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Penn State Wrestling Struggles In Big Ten Consolation Semifinals

Penn State wrestling hit a rough patch in the third session of the Big Ten Championships by posting a 1-4 record overall in the round.

Greg Kerkvliet was the lone victor in the round as Robbie Howard, Brady Berge, Michael Beard, and Joe Lee all suffered losses. Kerkvliet will wrestle for third place while Howard, Berge, and Beard will wrestle for fifth. Lee finished in eighth place with his decision loss.

After the Nittany Lions climbed back into the team race Saturday night, Iowa extended its lead over Penn State after finishing 3-0 in the session. Penn State still sits in second place with 116 team points behind the Hawkeyes (139).

How It Happened

No. 11 Robbie Howard got the morning session started for Penn State at 125 pounds and faced No. 3 Malik Heinselman of Ohio State in the consolation semifinals. Howard wrestled well but couldn’t pull off the upset against the veteran Heinselman.

The first period featured plenty of action with both wrestlers getting in on shots, but Heinselman finished and took a 2-1 lead into the second. With the score tied 2-2 heading into the final period, Heinselman got an escape point and a late takedown to earn the decision. Howard will go on to wrestle in the fifth-place match against No. 8 Michael DeAugustino of Northwestern.

No. 5 Brady Berge lost in a nail-biter to No. 3 Brayton Lee of Minnesota in the 157-pound consolation semifinals. The two were tied 1-1 in the third period and neither wrestler could score a takedown. In overtime, Lee got in on a single leg and finished to get the 3-1 sudden victory decision. Berge fell to the fifth-place bout, where he’ll wrestle No. 4 Kendall Coleman, who defeated him in the quarterfinals Saturday.

In the 197 lb. consolation semifinals, No. 7 Michael Beard faced No. 4 Cameron Caffey of Michigan State. Beard couldn’t hold off Caffey on their feet as he dropped a 12-6 decision. Two mats down, No. 7 Greg Kerkvliet handled business against No. 5 Christian Lance of Nebraska in a 10-2 major decision.

Beard will wrestle for fifth place against No. 5 Lucas Davison of Northwestern, and Kerkvliet will wrestle for third place against No. 3 Tony Cassioppi of Iowa.

In the 165-pound seventh-place match, No. 6 Joe Lee dropped a 10-6 decision to No. 12 David Ferrante of Northwestern. Lee finished in eighth but still qualified for nationals.

What’s Next?

The Big Ten Championships finals will get underway at 4 p.m. along with the third and fifth-place matches. Fans can tune into the Big Ten Network to see the action go down live.

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About the Author

Max Tolson

Max is a senior majoring in print journalism. He hails from the small town of Millsboro, DE and loves to watch the Eagles and Penn State wrestling. Follow him on twitter @TolsonMax or send emails to [email protected] Go Birds!

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