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No. 2 Penn State Wrestling Ends Regular Season With 40-3 Beatdown Over American

No. 2 Penn State wrestling (12-2, 8-1 Big Ten) nearly shut out American University wrestling (3-8) on Senior Day in Rec Hall on Sunday afternoon by winning 40-3.

Seniors Vincenzo Joseph, Mark Hall, and Shakur Rasheed showed out in their Rec Hall finales by earning wins by fall to help cap off outstanding careers as Nittany Lions at home. Penn State won nine of the ten matches, including the aforementioned falls, a fall from Roman Bravo-Young, and a major victory from Seth Nevills.

How It Happened

No. 1 Nick Lee started the afternoon off with a match against American’s Sal Profaci in their bout at 141 lbs. A seemingly slow first period was not so slow at all, as Lee led 4-1 heading into the second period thanks to a few takedowns. The scoring continued heading into the final period where Lee lead 6-2 with nearly two minutes of riding time. Lee picked up the 7-3 decision to help the Nittany Lions jump out to a 3-0 lead.

At 149 lbs., No. 17 Jarod Verkleeren wrestled No. 8 Kizhan Clarke of American. Other than an escape by Clarke to begin the second and Verkleeren to begin the third, most of the match consisted of tie-ups and shot attempts that were fought off. It didn’t come until the final seconds of the match when Verkleeren evaded what looked like was going to be a Clarke takedown and skillfully threw him to side to get the takedown for the win.

With a 6-0 Nittany Lion lead, Luke Gardner kept the winning going when he defeated Ethan Karsten in their bout at 157 lbs. The two both ended up on their backs for split-seconds in the first period, however neither of the scrambles resulted in any near fall points. The match entered the second period scoreless, where Karsten escaped and took Gardner down to lead 3-0 heading into the third and final period. Gardner returned the favor in less than 30 seconds in the final period to even up the score 3-3. Feeding off the energy’s crowd, Gardner’s registered two more takedowns to help him earn the 7-5 decision.

At 165 lbs., No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph’s action packed first period gave him a 6-0 advantage against American’s Tim Fitzpatrick heading into the second period. However, Joseph didn’t need much longer to earn the fall at the 4:00 minute mark in his final match in Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions lead 15-0 heading into No. 2 Mark Hall’s bout at 174 lbs. against American’s Anthony Wokasch.

The only difference between Hall’s and Joseph’s matches was how long they lasted. Hall also brought Rec Hall to an uproar in his last match at Rec Hall as he earned his fall at the 2:33 mark, putting the Nittany Lions up 21-0 heading into intermission.

No. 6 Aaron Brooks leaped out to an early 7-3 lead over Tanner Harvey of American in their bout at 184 lbs. After an American challenge, Harvey closed the gap to make the score 7-5 heading into the third period. An escape and stout defense helped Brooks earn the 8-5 win.

At 197 lbs., No. 18 Shakur Rasheed got after things early by registering a takedown in the opening 10 seconds of his match against American’s William Jarrell. Rasheed followed in the footsteps of his fellow seniors who wrestled in their last matches at Rec Hall by pinning Jarrell at 1:04, an even faster time. The Nittany Lions lead 30-0 heading into No. 17 Seth Nevills’ match against Niko Camacho of American.

Nevills struck first after a scoreless first period when he escaped to starting the second to claim a 1-0 lead. He earned near fall points in the final period to help him climb to the 10-2 major decision and help Penn State extend its lead to 34-0.

At 125 lbs., Brandon Meredith and Gage Curry of American held each other scoreless after one. After refusing to let Curry up during the second period to keep the score knotted at 0-0, Meredith escaped in the third to take a 1-0 lead. Curry took Meredith down late in the third period to force sudden victory where he ended up earning the 4-2 decision. The Nittany Lions lead 34-3 heading into the final match of the afternoon.

No. 2 Roman Bravo-Young easily defeated American’s Joshua Vega to conclude the dual. After a quick nine-takedown first period, Bravo-Young won by fall at the 2:10 mark to finish the dual season for Penn State. The Nittany Lions won 40-3.

What’s Next

Penn State will travel to Rutgers University for the Big Ten Championships on March 7-8.

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About the Author

Jarod Kutz

Jarod Kutz is a junior majoring in public relations and minoring in business. Growing up 45 minutes away in Altoona, he knew Penn State was going to be his destination after high school. You can find Jarod watching his favorite sports teams (Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, or Indianapolis Colts ~ don't ask him how), eating Chipotle, or scrolling through social media. Follow @kutz53 on Twitter or shoot him an email at [email protected]

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