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[Live Blog] 2021 NCAA Wrestling Championships

It’s that time of year again, folks.

Penn State wrestling’s quest for a ninth NCAA title under the leadership of Cael Sanderson begins Thursday. The Nittany Lions have nine wrestlers competing this weekend at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, including No. 1 seed Aaron Brooks and stars like Roman Bravo-Young and Nick Lee.

After last year’s championships were canceled due to the coronavirus, Sanderson’s group now finally has a chance to defend its 2019 crown from the likes of Iowa and Oklahoma State, among others.

Follow us here for updates and analysis throughout this weekend’s championship.


Session Seven (Read: The Finals)

10:37 p.m. — Folks, that just about does it. From the bottom of our hearts, thanks for tuning in with us and following along as Penn State posted yet another impressive postseason run.

We’ll see you back at Rec Hall next season!

10:24 p.m. — Despite crowning four individual champions, Penn State fell just short in the team score race. The Nittany Lions’ 113.5 points still earned them a second-place finish behind Iowa.

10:17 p.m. — One final word from Bo Nickal, in case you forgot…

10:12 p.m. — Here’s our recap of the finals, folks. Four Penn Staters entered, and four national title-winners returned. What a NIGHT!

9:59 p.m. — Iowa sure didn’t take Carter Starocci’s national title win lightly…In fact, they’re quite pissed!

9:27 p.m. — Tom Brady sure knows a thing or two about winning…

9:20 p.m. — Penn State sent four Nittany Lions to the mat. Four came away with titles. What a performance for perhaps the youngest team in the tournament!

9:17 p.m. — ANOTHER ONE! Aaron Brooks rides a 3-2 decision to earn the 184-pound national title!

9:15 p.m. — No takedown!

9:15 p.m. — NC State chucks a challenge brick as Brooks seemingly avoids a takedown with 14 seconds on the clock. He’s still up 3-2, at least for now.

9:14 p.m. — Brooks takes a 3-2 lead on a stall point!

9:13 p.m. — Hidlay escapes to lock things 2-2.

9:11 p.m. — Brooks takes a 2-1 lead into the final frame.

9:10 p.m. — WHAT A MOVE! Brooks takes a 2-1 lead thanks smooth reversal. However, Cael Sanderson throws a challenge brick looking for the near-fall.

9:08 p.m. — Brooks’ bout remains scoreless after the first period.

9:06 p.m. — No. 1 Aaron Brooks is now up and facing No. 2 Trent Hidlay of NC State in the 184-pound title bout.

9:03 p.m. — What a beaut!

9:02 p.m. — Penn State’s a perfect 3-for-3 in title bouts tonight, even after sending each to 60-second sudden victory periods.

9 p.m. — THAT’LL DO IT! He sweeps the leg to grab the takedown and earn the 174-pound national title.

Starocci is now the fifth Nittany Lion all-time to earn the 174-pound title.

8:58 p.m. — We’re headed to a third straight sudden victory!

8:57 p.m. — We’re locked at 1-1 following a Kemerer escape.

8:55 p.m. — Although he was close to a takedown, time expires before Starocci can get the points. He’ll take a 1-0 lead into the final period.

8:53 p.m. — Escape! Starocci’s up 1-0 early in the second period.

8:52 p.m. — Not much action yet. This bout is tied 0-0 heading into the second period.

8:50 p.m. — Starocci’s bout remains scoreless one minute into the first period.

8:48 p.m. — Two wrestlers. Two NCAA Championships finals debuts. Who comes out on top?

8:34 p.m. — Here comes Starocci for his first NCAA title bout. He’ll face top-ranked Michael Kemerer of Iowa. Let’s get it!

8:18 p.m. — Carter Starocci’s title bout is on deck! Could Penn State go 3-for-3 on the night?

7:55 p.m. — If our calculations are correct (they are), Penn State now has national champions at every current weight class. Here are some of the more recent title-winners:

  • 125 pounds: Nico Megaludis
  • 133 pounds: Roman Bravo-Young
  • 141 pounds: Nick Lee
  • 149 pounds: Zain Retherford, Frank Molinaro
  • 157 pounds: Jason Nolf
  • 165 pounds: Vincenzo Joseph, David Taylor
  • 174 pounds: Mark Hall, Matt Brown
  • 184 pounds: Bo Nickal, Ed Ruth
  • 197 pounds: Bo Nickal
  • 285 pounds: Anthony Cassar

7:43 p.m. — OK, folks. Go grab something to eat or finally cash in on that trip to the restroom. We’ll need to wait a bit before Carter Starocci’s 174-pound title bout later tonight.

7:41 p.m. — ANOTHER ONE! Following a sudden reverse takedown, Nick Lee is your national champion at 141 pounds — Penn State’s second title-winner already tonight.

7:40 p.m. — Here comes a sudden victory…again.

7:38 p.m. — We’re tied 2-2 with about 20 seconds left in the third.

7:37 p.m. — Here comes Nick Lee! A takedown right out the gate puts him up 2-1 in the third period.

7:36 p.m. — Lee’s down 1-0 entering the third.

7:34 p.m. — A quick escape puts Eierman up 1-0 early in the second period.

7:32 p.m. — Lee’s bout remains scoreless headed into the second period.

7:31 p.m. — Lee and Eierman are scoreless through the first minute.

7:30 p.m. — Roman Bravo-Young: humble beast.

7:26 p.m. — Next up, Nick Lee will face top-ranked Jaydin Eierman in the 141-pound title bout. Lee recently fell to the Iowa product in the Big Ten Championships earlier this month. Could revenge be in the cards tonight?

7:23 p.m. — Bravo-Young wins it on a takedown! He’s Penn State’s FIRST-EVER national champion at 133 pounds. Have a day, RBY!

7:22 p.m. — We’re headed to a sudden victory, tied 2-2…

7:21 p.m. — Bravo-Young’s down 2-1 following a few stalling calls, but he’s still got the riding time to cancel it out.

7:20 p.m. — A point! Huzzah! Bravo-Young’s up 1-0 with about two minutes to go.

7:19 p.m. — No points yet, but Bravo-Young’s racked up more than a minute and a half of riding time. We’re headed into the third period still scoreless.

7:16 p.m. — Boy, we are deadlocked! Bravo-Young and Fix take a 0-0 tie into the second period.

7:14 p.m. — We’re scoreless halfway through the first period.

7:11 p.m. — Here we go! Bravo-Young and Fix are getting introduced before taking the mat to kick off tonight’s final bouts.

7:02 p.m. — No, your TV isn’t broken. It looks like ESPN is choosing to hold broadcasts of tonight’s matchups in favor of the conclusion of Mississippi State and Saint Louis’ NIT matchup. Guess we’ll need to wait a bit…

6:51 p.m. — Roman Bravo-Young will get things started when the finals begin at 133 pounds. Buckle up!

6:43 p.m. — Folks! It’s all come down to this. Tonight, four Nittany Lions will take the mat and attempt to bring home individual glory.

Although Penn State’s locked out of a team title, there’s a lot to look forward to! Follow along with our live blog as we bring you updates on all the action.

Session Six

2:35 p.m. — Well, folks. That’ll do it for this afternoon’s slate.

Remember, Penn State’s got four wrestlers — Roman Bravo-Young, Nick Lee, Carter Starocci, and Aaron Brooks — vying for individual titles in the finals tonight. We’ll see you at 7 p.m.!

2:32 p.m. — What a way to wrap up a tournament run! Kerkvliet earns a 13-1 major decision to finish in seventh place at 285 pounds. His win also helped Penn State jump to second place in the team score race with 97.5 points — just one more than Oklahoma State.

2:29 p.m. — Entering the third period, Kerkvliet’s up 7-1 with more than four minutes of riding time under his belt! He’s got at least one riding time point locked up.

2:27 p.m. — Kerkvliet’s racked up almost three minutes of riding time already. He’s up 6-1!

2:24 p.m. — Right out the gate, Kerkvliet is up 2-0 over on mat one! He’s facing No. 21 Tate Orndorff of Ohio State in the seventh-place bout.

2:24 p.m. — Well, folks. Iowa’s won this year’s team title — its first since 2010 and 24th overall. Penn State can still hope to crown four individual champions Saturday night. The Nittany Lions are still clear contenders for second place in the team score race.

2:23 p.m. — A quick takedown 20 seconds in seals a 10-8 win and seventh-place finish for Beard!

2:21 p.m. — A last-second takedown ties this bout 8-8 at the end of regulation. We’re headed to a sudden victory…

2:19 p.m. — Beard’s up 8-6 with about a minute to go in the final period.

2:17 p.m. — A takedown gives Beard the edge again. He’s up 7-5!

2:17 p.m. — Beard’s in trouble following a takedown. We’re locked at 5-5 with a minute to go in the second period.

2:16 p.m. — Beard takes his 5-2 advantage into the second period. He’s also racked up 30 seconds of riding time.

2:13 p.m. — Beard’s up 5-2 early following a takedown and a reversal.

2:10 p.m. — OK, *now* we’re close. Beard’s taken the mat to kick off Penn State’s medal round action. He’ll get started in just a moment.

1:59 p.m. — OK, folks! Beard is on deck on mat one to face No. 8 Stephen Buchanan of Wyoming. Kerkvliet will face No. 21 Tate Orndorff of Ohio State on the same mat following Beard’s bout. Buckle up!

1:52 p.m. — Well, about two hours later, and we’re still on hold! Although Beard and Kerkvliet still need to wait a bit before taking the mat, here’s who they’ll face in their seventh-place bouts.

11:52 a.m. — Rise and shine, folks! We’ve got another full day of wrestling action ahead of us.

Relatively speaking, Penn State’s morning will be rather quiet. Michael Beard and Greg Kerkvliet will each wrestle in the consolation brackets for seventh place later this afternoon. We’ll let you know when and where once we know, too!

Session Five

10:47 p.m. — Penn State is sending four — Bravo-Young, Lee, Starocci, and Brooks — to the finals tomorrow night, while two — Beard and Kerkvliet — will be wrestling for seventh place. We’ll see you back tomorrow morning, folks!

10:45 p.m. — Kerkvliet drops a 14-8 decision to finish out the night for the Nittany Lions. He will wrestle for seventh place tomorrow.

10:44 p.m. — Kerkvliet with the takedown, then Schultz with the reversal. Kerkvliet is down 13-8.

10:43 p.m. — Beard drops a 5-0 decision, and will wrestle for seventh place tomorrow.

10:41 p.m. — Kerkvliet is down 10-4 at the end of the second period, while Beard is down 5-0 late in the third.

10:39 pm. — Schultz pulls a reversal, and Kerkvliet is down 7-4. Beard is down 5-0 after two periods.

10:38 p.m. — Kerkvliet swings a reversal, tying 4-4. Beard is down 3-0.

10:37 p.m. — Beard is down 2-0 at the end of the first period. Schultz scores a takedown, cutting Kerkvliet’s lead 3-2.

10:36 p.m. — Kerkvliet scores an early takedown, and Schultz escapes. Kerkvliet up 2-1.

10:26 p.m. — Michael Beard and Missouri’s No. 7 Rocky Elam are on deck at mat one, while Greg Kerkvliet and Arizona State’s No. 4 Cohlton Schultz are on deck at mat eight. They both will be wrestling for the chance to go to their respective weight class’ consolation semifinals tomorrow, where they could place anywhere from third to sixth.

10:25 p.m. — Aaron Brooks has been red hot this tournament, and will be competing for his first national title tomorrow night.

10:08 p.m. — Keckeisen gets a takedown, but Brooks gets another point on riding time and secures a spot in the finals after a 6-4 decision.

10:05 p.m. — Brooks starts on top to begin the third period. Keckeisen escapes, cutting his lead to 5-2.

10:04 p.m. — Brooks gets a takedown. He leads 5-1.

10:02 p.m. — Brooks chooses bottom to start the second period. He escapes, increasing his lead 3-1.

10:00 p.m. — Keckeisen escapes, and it’s 2-1.

9:59 p.m. — Brooks with an early takedown, leading 2-0.

9:50 p.m. — Starocci earns another point for 1:47 riding time, winning a 2-0 decision to move on to the finals tomorrow. Aaron Brooks is up next on mat four against Northern Iowa’s No. 4 Parker Keckeisen.

9:49 p.m. — Kerkvliet secures another takedown, and is awarded an extra point for riding time. He wins a 13-5 major decision to become an All-American as a freshman.

9:48 p.m. — Kerkvliet elects to start the third period neutral, and is up 10-4. Starocci leads 1-0 with over 1:00 of riding time in the third period.

9:47 p.m. — Kerkvliet with another takedown. He leads 6-3 with 2:37 riding time.

9:46 p.m. — Starocci escapes, taking the lead 1-0. Harris also escapes, shortening Kerkvliet’s lead 4-3.

9:45 p.m. — Starocci ends the first period tied 0-0 and will start on bottom. Kerkvliet ends his first up 4-2 and will start the second on top.

9:44 p.m. — Kerkvliet with another takedown, and Harris escapes. Kerkvliet leads 4-2.

9:43 p.m. — Harris escapes. Kerkvliet leads 2-1.

9:42 p.m. — Kerkvliet scores early and leads 2-0.

9:41 p.m. — With 5:03 riding time, Beard walks away with a 9-1 major decision to move on in the tournament. He is officially an All-American.

9:40 p.m. — Beard secures a takedown, leading 8-1.

9:39 p.m. — Carter Starocci and Utah Valley’s No. 2 Demetrius Romero are up next on mat six. Sloan escapes and finally gets on the board. Beard leads 6-1.

9:37 p.m. — Beard ends the second period in a ride out, chalking up 4:00 of riding time and leading 6-0.

9:35 p.m. — Beard ends the first period up 6-0 with 2:00 riding time. He’ll begin the second period on top.

9:33 p.m. — Beard with the four point near fall. He’s up 6-0.

9:32 p.m. — Beard has the first takedown, and is up 2-0.

9:31 p.m. — Beard and Sloan are up now on mat seven.

9:24 p.m. — Greg Kerkvliet and Oklahoma State’s No. 29 Austin Harris will compete in the 285 lb. consolation match immediately following Beard and Sloan. Similarly with Beard, Kerkvliet will need to win this match to earn All-American status.

9:14 p.m. — Michael Beard and South Dakota State’s No. 13 Tanner Sloan are currently on deck mat seven, where they will compete in the 197 lb. consolation match. Beard will need to win this match to be considered an All-American.

9:11 p.m. — During this lull while we wait for more Penn State bouts, here’s a quick reminder of the current team standings:

8:53 p.m. — Penn State wrestling has announced that Brady Berge has been forced to medically forfeit from the tournament after sustaining a match-ending injury in the quarterfinals, ending his season.

8:48 p.m. — That’ll do it! Nick Lee advances to the finals tomorrow after a 9-3 victory off riding time.

8:47 p.m. — Lee with a takedown and a near fall to increase his lead to 8-3 with riding time.

8:45 p.m. — Lee is on top to start the last period. Rivera escapes, and Lee leads 4-3.

8:44 p.m. — Lee with the takedown. He gains the lead for the first time in the bout, up 4-2.

8:43 p.m. — Rivera is hit with stalling, and it’s all tied up 2-2.

8:42 p.m. — Lee starts the second period on bottom, and quickly escapes to put himself on the board. Lee is down 2-1.

8:41 p.m. — Rivera swings the first takedown, and Lee is down 2-0 late in the first period. Rivera is also given his first stalling warning.

8:32 p.m. — Myers escapes, but RBY secures a 5-3 win off riding time. He will be moving on to the finals tomorrow night! Lee is up next on mat six.

8:31 p.m. — Cael Sanderson has his first challenge, but he withdraws.

8:28 p.m. — RBY with the takedown. He regains the lead, up 4-2.

8:27 p.m. — It’s still tied 2-2 at the end of the second, and RBY will start the third period neutral.

8:26 p.m. — Myers escapes to tie it 2-2.

8:24 p.m. — RBY is up 2-1 at the end of the first period, and he’ll be on top to start the second.

8:21 p.m. — RBY secures the first takedown, but Myers escapes after they re-center. RBY up 2-1.

8:16 p.m. — RBY is up now on mat six.

8:02 p.m. — RBY and Virginia Tech’s No. 3 Korbin Myers are currently on deck at mat six, where they’ll be immediately followed by Nick Lee and Rutgers’ No. 3 Sebastian Rivera.

7:57 p.m. — Here’s where Penn State stands in the team standings before we get going:

7:40 p.m. — We’re 20 minutes out from semifinal action in St. Louis. Penn State has fours wrestlers set to compete in semifinals tonight, along with three scheduled in various consolation brackets.

Here’s the full slate:

  • 133 lbs. semifinals — No. 2 Roman Bravo-Young vs. No. 3 Korbin Myers (Virginia Tech)
  • 141 lbs. semifinals — No. 2 Nick Lee vs. No. 3 Sebastian Rivera (Rutgers)
  • 157 lbs. consolations — No. 12 Brady Berge vs. No. 33 Wyatt Sheets (Oklahoma State)
  • 174 lbs. semifinals — No. 3 Carter Starocci vs. No. 2 Demetrius Romero (Utah Valley)
  • 184 lbs. semifinals — No. 1 Aaron Brooks vs. No. 4 Parker Keckeisen (Northern Iowa)
  • 197 lbs. consolations — No. 15 Michael Beard vs. No. 13 Tanner Sloan (South Dakota State)
  • 285 lbs. consolations — No. 9 Greg Kerkvliet vs. No. 29 Austin Harris (Oklahoma State)

Session Four

4:40 p.m. — Well, that’ll do it for today’s afternoon session. Four Nittany Lions — Nick Lee, Roman Bravo-Young, Carter Starocci, and Aaron Brooks — will move on to tonight’s semifinals, which will begin at 8 p.m. We’ll see you then!

4:36 p.m. — Despite earning another escape and a takedown, Kerkvliet drops a 9-4 decision to Steveson. He’ll head to the consolation bracket, too.

4:33 p.m. — Things are looking tough for Kerkvliet. He’s down 5-1 with just a bit to go in the third period.

4:32 p.m. — Steveson escapes to increase his lead to 3-0 early in the second period.

4:28 p.m. — Kerkvliet is in trouble early following a quick Steveson takedown.

4:22 p.m. — To close out this afternoon’s slate, No. 9 Greg Kerkvliet will face No. 1 Gable Steveson over on mat three. They’ll get started in a few minutes over on matt three.

4:17 p.m. — Following a rough third period, Beard’s quarterfinals matchup is through. He drops an 8-3 decision and will enter the consolation bracket to wrestle later tonight.

4:15 p.m. — Ruh-roh, Raggy. Another Woodley takedown has Beard down 4-2 entering the third period.

4:13 p.m. — Beard escapes twice to lock things up 2-2 halfway through the second period.

4:10 p.m. — Beard’s down 2-0 midway through the first period following a Woodley takedown.

4:08 p.m. — And here…we…go.

3:58 p.m. — No. 15 Michael Beard is up next for Penn State at 197 pounds. He’ll face No. 26 Jake Woodley of Oklahoma over on mat six in just a moment.

3:55 p.m. — As Penn State hoops fans would say, “We’re climbing!”

The Nittany Lions are slowly but surely gaining ground on Iowa in the team score race. But will they have enough to take the lead?

3:52 p.m. — W.

Brooks secures a 9-4 victory to becomes the fourth Nittany Lion headed to the semifinals. He’s also now a two-time All-American, joining Nick Lee, Roman Bravo-Young, and Carter Starocci as Penn State’s honorees so far today.

3:51 p.m. — *Another* takedown edges Brooks’ lead out to 8-3 with about a minute to go.

3:48 p.m. — After escaping a reversal, Brooks posts another takedown to gain a 5-3 lead to close out the second period. His riding time is now up to 1:55 and counting.

3:47 p.m. — Venz escaped Brooks’ clutches to earn a point, but the Nittany Lion racked up 45 seconds of riding time beforehand. Brooks takes a 2-1 lead into the second period.

3:45 p.m. — Brooks is off to a quick start up 2-0 thanks to a takedown midway through the first period.

3:41 p.m. — Buckle up for a rematch of the Big Ten Championship at 184 pounds.

3:39 p.m. — The Nittany Lions are climbing.

3:37 p.m. — That’ll do it! Riding time helps Starocci earn the 6-3 decision. The Erie native is officially an All-American and the third Nittany Lion headed to Friday’s semifinals.

3:35 p.m. — Starocci racks up well over a minute of riding time along with the 5-0 lead in the third.

3:33 p.m. — An escape and another takedown gives the Big Ten Freshman of the Year a 5-0 lead!

3:31 p.m. — Starocci hangs on to that 2-0 lead into the second along with 47 seconds of riding time.

3:30 p.m. — Starocci strikes first with a takedown and he’s got a 2-0 lead late in the first period!

3:22 p.m. — Starocci and Kent State’s McNally are just about to get started on mat five!

3:19 p.m. — Iowa’s Alex Marinelli, the No. 1 seed at 165 pounds, has just been upset by Stanford’s Shane Griffith. That could prove to be a difference-maker in the team standings, folks.

3:09 p.m. — Starocci will get thing started for Penn State against McNally on mat five shortly.

3:04 p.m. — A quick look at the team standings before we kick off quarterfinal action.

2:51 p.m. — March Madness? We’ve got it right here for you in St. Louis. If you’re new to the world of college wrestling, skim through this and get some studying done before Session Four gets underway.

2:43 p.m. — We’re back, folks! Welcome to Session Four of the NCAA Championships. Four more Nittany Lions have the chance to move on to Friday night’s semifinals. Here’s the full slate:

  • 174 lbs. quarterfinals — No. 3 Carter Starocci vs. No. 6 Andrew McNally (Kent State)
  • 184 lbs. quarterfinals — No. 1 Aaron Brooks vs. No. 8 Taylor Venz (Nebraska)
  • 197 lbs. quarterfinals — No. 15 Michael Beard vs. No. 26 Jake Woodley (Oklahoma)
  • 285 lbs. quarterfinals  — No. 9 Greg Kerkvliet vs. No. 1 Gable Steveson (Minnesota)

Session Three

12:54 p.m. — That’ll do it for now, folks. We’ll see you again at 3 p.m. when the Nittany Lions continue their quarterfinals efforts!

12:50 p.m. Probably not the way Penn State drew it up. Although Roman Bravo-Young and Nick Lee moved on with ease, Berge’s injury and Howard’s loss leave just six Nittany Lions alive in the bracket. However, Berge hasn’t been ruled out just yet.

Here’s a quick look at the team score standings now that Penn State’s morning action is wrapped up,

12:49 p.m. — Well, that didn’t take long. Howard loses by fall to McKee, scrapping his hopes of a third-place finish.

12:46 p.m. — Howard’s up on mat four. Let’s rock!

12:40 p.m. — Howard will head to mat four to face Minnesota’s Pat McKee in just a bit.

12:34 p.m. — Well, we’ve got some time to kill until Robbie Howard receives his next consolation destination to wrap up Penn State’s morning session. So…anyone watch any good TV lately? That first episode of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” this morning was pretty cool. Let us know in the comments ;)

12:29 p.m. — Here’s an updated look at the current team score standings. Penn State remains locked in second place behind Iowa.

12:28 p.m. — Berge can’t continue the bout and takes an injury default loss.

12:26 p.m. — Berge’s right leg appears to be injured following a Dellavecchia takedown. Doesn’t look too good, either. Although in injury time, Berge is down 2-0.

12:24 p.m. — Berge’s bout remains scoreless midway through the first period.

12:16 p.m. — Berge and Dellavecchia are up next on mat four!

11:59 p.m. — Penn State will wrap up this morning’s slate with No. 12 Brady Berge, who’ll take on No. 4 Jesse Dellavecchia of Rider in a short bit. Robbie Howard will move on in the consolation bracket this morning, too.

11:58 a.m. — That’ll do it, baby. Lee secures an 11-3 major decision to move on to the semifinals. He’s now a FOUR-TIME All-American!

11:55 a.m. — Lee grabs a takedown to kick off the third period and take a 10-2 lead.

11:53 a.m. — The 141-pounder wraps up the second period with an 8-2 lead under his belt. He’s also racked up more than two and a half minutes of riding time.

11:49 a.m. — Lee’s now up 6-1 following the first period.

11:47 a.m. — Lee came out swinging, folks. He’s up 2-0 early in the first period thanks to a quick takedown 35 seconds in.

11:39 a.m. — But wait, there’s more! No. 2 Nick Lee will take the mat against No. 10 Zach Sherman of North Carolina in just a moment. He’ll head to mat six, following Bravo-Young.

11:36 a.m. — Ticket = punched. Bravo-Young earns a decisive 4-1 win, becoming the first Nittany Lion to qualify for Friday night’s semifinals. By landing in the tournament’s top eight, he’s also now a three-time All-American!

11:31 a.m. — RBY takes a 2-0 lead and 1:41 of riding time into the second period. He follows it up with an escape to take a 3-0 advantage.

11:29 a.m. — RBY is ready to rock! He earns a takedown to take a 2-0 lead early in the first.

11:24 a.m. — No. 2 Roman Bravo-Young is up next on mat six against No. 10 Louie Hayes of Virginia.

11:20 a.m. — That’ll do it! Howard escapes with a 9-7 win to get Penn State off on the right foot Friday. He’ll move on in the consolation bracket.

11:18 a.m. — Howard gets the third period started with a reversal to go up 5-3.

11:16 a.m. — Following about a minute and a half of Gutierrez riding time, Howard escapes to lock the bout 3-3 at the end of the second period.

11:11 a.m. — A reversal from Gutierrez puts Howard down 3-2 midway through the second period.

11:09 a.m. — Howard’s quickly up 2-1 after the first period to get started!

11:02 a.m. — No. 23 Robbie Howard will kick off this morning’s action against Chattanooga’s No. 24 Fabian Gutierrez on mat two in just a few minutes.

10:55 a.m. — Penn State sits in second place in this weekend’s team score behind Iowa. With a sizable lead over the next closest team, the Nittany Lions remain in a good position to give the Hawkeyes a run for their money.

10:39 a.m. — Rise and shine, Penn State! The Nittany Lions are just about a half-hour away from hitting the mat once again. Here’s a quick preview of Penn State’s matchups in today’s first session:

  • 125-pound consolations — No. 23 Robbie Howard vs. No. 24 Fabian Gutierrez (Chattanooga)
  • 133-pound quarterfinals — No. 2 Roman Bravo-Young vs. No. 10 Louie Hayes (Virginia)
  • 141-pound quarterfinals — No. 2 Nick Lee vs. No. 10 Zach Sherman (North Carolina)
  • 157-pound quarterfinals — No. 12 Brady Berge vs. No. 4 Jesse Dellavecchia (Rider)

Session Two

11:11 p.m. — What a day. Penn State will bring seven wrestlers to Friday’s quarterfinal round, and sits in second place in the team standings — just 5.5 points behind Iowa.

10:38 p.m. — That’ll wrap things up for the Nittany Lions tonight, who send seven to Friday’s quarterfinals after a pretty successful Session Two.

10:37 p.m. — Beard gets another point for riding time, and punches his ticket to the quarterfinals with a 17-8 major decision.

10:36 p.m. — Pentz escapes, cutting the lead 14-7. Beard takes him down again, and Pentz escapes. 16-8 Beard.

10:35 p.m. — And another. Beard’s takedown increases his lead 14-6.

10:33 p.m. — MORE. Beard with another takedown, leads 12-6 heading into the third period.

10:32 p.m. — Beard with an impressive fifth takedown. He leads 10-6.

10:30 p.m. — Beard leads 8-4 after the first period.

10:29 p.m. — Greg with another takedown, leads 11-2 with clinched riding time. He wins a 12-2 major decision to send him into the quarterfinals.

10:27 p.m. — Pentz escapes, cutting Beard’s score 4-2. Kerkvliet’s near fall increases his lead 9-1, after which he lets Woods escape. Kerkvliet is up 9-2.

10:26 p.m. — Kerkvliet with the takedown, leads 5-1. Beard also secures a quick take down, and while Pentz escapes, is able to take him down again. He leads 4-1.

10:25 p.m. – Kerkvliet escapes and now leads 3-1. Beard and Pentz are set to start on mat six.

10:24 p.m. — Kerkvliet leads 2-1 after the first period. He will start the second period on bottom.

10:21 p.m. — Kerkvliet puts himself on the board with the first takedown, but Woods escapes. Kerkvliet is up 2-1.

10:19 p.m. — Kerkvliet is now ready to go on mat two, while Beard is still on deck on mat six.

10:05 p.m. — No. 15 Michael Beard will take on North Dakota State’s No. 31 Owen Pentz on mat six, where they’re currently two bouts out. Over on mat two, No. 9 Greg Kerkvliet and Lehigh’s No. 8 Jordan Woods are two bouts out as well.

9:54 p.m. — Brooks moves on to the quarterfinals with a 5-0 decision 2:52 riding time over Hastings.

9:51 p.m. — Brooks extends the lead 4-0 after two periods.

9:49 p.m. — Brooks starts on bottom to kick off the second period, where he quickly escapes to increase his lead to 3-0.

9:48 p.m. — Starocci is in the quarterfinals after an 8-2 decision. Brooks swings a takedown and is up 2-0 at :50.

9:47 p.m. — Starocci escapes, leading 5-2. Brooks remains tied 0-0.

9:46 p.m. — Aaron Brooks is set to begin on mat seven. Starocci leads 4-2 heading into the third period.

9:43 p.m. — Starocci starts on top to begin the second period. Hastings escapes, cutting Starocci’s lead 4-2, but he has over two minutes of riding time.

9:42 p.m. — Starocci secures a late takedown at the end of the first period, increasing his lead 4-1.

9:41 p.m. — Hastings escapes, and Starocci leads 2-1.

9:39 p.m. — Starocci snags the first takedown, taking an early 2-0 lead.

9:38 p.m. — Starocci and Hastings are now up at mat three. Aaron Brooks is on deck at mat seven, where he will take on Minnesota’s No. 17 Owen Webster.

9:36 p.m. — Lee drops a 10-4 decision, ending his first NCAA Tournament.

9:32 p.m. — Nicholson gets a takedown in the third period. Lee is down 9-4.

9:29 p.m. — Nicholson with the takedown. Lee is down 7-4.

9:28 p.m. — Lee takes top to begin the second period, and Nicholson escape. Lee is down 5-4.

9:25 p.m. — Nicholson escapes, and it’s tied 4-4 after one period.

9:25 p.m. — Lee is down 3-2 at 2:00, but takes the lead with a takedown 4-3.

9:24 p.m. — Nicholson has the first takedown, but Lee swings a quick reversal. It’s tied 2-2.

9:22 p.m. — Lee and Nicholson are due to start momentarily on mat one. Carter Starocci will compete for a spot in the quarterfinals tomorrow against Wyoming’s No. 14 Hayden Hastings on mat three, where they are two bouts out.

8:50 p.m. — In ten minutes, the second half of Session Two will kick off with consolation matches. Joe Lee and Chattanooga’s Drew Nicholson are two bouts out on mat one, competing at 165 lbs.

7:49 p.m. — With that, we’ll take a short break until we pick things up again at 9 p.m.

7:45 p.m. — Berge completes the upset over No. 5 Young! With his 3-2 decision, he moves on to the quarterfinals tomorrow.

7:43 p.m. — Berge escapes early to start the third period, taking back the lead 3-2.

7:41 p.m. — Berge starts on top to start the second period, and Young quickly escaped. It’s all tied up at 2-2.

7:38 p.m. — Berge secures the takedown, but Young escapes. Berge is up 2-1.

7:36 p.m. — And by soon, we actually meant not at all. Berge and Young are finally up on mat two.

7:22 p.m. — Berge and Young are now on deck at mat two and will kick things off soon.

7:14 p.m. — Brady Berge and Iowa’s No. 5 Kaleb Young are two bouts out on mat two.

7:10 p.m. — Never a doubt. Lee will move on to the quarterfinals after a 14-3 major decision with 4:06 of riding time.

7:09 p.m. — Lee with yet another takedown, extending his lead 13-3 with clinched riding time.

7:08 p.m. — Carlson escapes, and Lee is up 11-3.

7:06 p.m. — Lee is up 10-2 after an escape, and will start on top in the third period.

7:05 p.m. — Lee starts the second period on bottom and quickly escapes, then secures a takedown. He’s up 9-2.

7:03 p.m. — Anotha one. Carlson escapes, Lee takes him down. Lee is up 6-2 at the 1:40 mark.

7:02 p.m. — Carlson escapes, but Lee secures another takedown. Lee 4-1.

7:01 p.m. — Lee puts himself on the board quickly with a takedown a mere twenty seconds in to the match. He leads 2-0.

7:01 p.m. — Lee is now up on mat two at 141 lbs.

6:51 p.m. — Lee is on deck at mat two.

6:50 p.m. — RBY has a late takedown, and he will take an 11-3 major decision to head into the quarterfinals tomorrow.

6:48 p.m. — Burwick escapes. RBY up 8-3.

6:48 p.m. — RBY has a late takedown, leading 8-2 at the end of the second period. He will begin on top to start the third.

6:46 p.m. — RBY with the reversal! He leads 6-1.

6:45 p.m. — RBY secures another takedown, extending his lead to 4-1 to end the first period.

6:43 p.m. — RBY strikes first with the takedown, but Burwick manages an escape. RBY is up 2-1.

6:41 p.m. — Nick Lee and South Dakota State’s No. 15 Clay Carlson are two bouts out on mat 2. RBY and Burwick are set to begin momentarily.

6:33 p.m. — Roman Bravo-Young is on deck at mat one against Wisconsin’s No. 18 Kyle Burwick.

6:31 p.m. — Howard drops a 2-1 decision on riding time, and will head into the consolation bouts tomorrow.

6:30 p.m. — Howard escapes to tie things up 1-1, but LaMont has riding time.

6:28 p.m. — Howard is down 1-0 heading into the third period.

6:26 p.m. — LaMont escapes and is the first on the board, up 1-0 at the start of the second period.

6:25 p.m. — Howard and LaMont are tied up 0-0 at the end of the first period.

6:23 p.m. — Howard and LaMont of Utah Valley are up at 125 lbs.

5:45 p.m. — Robbie Howard will kick things off for the Nittany Lions on mat one once the action gets started, but here’s Penn State’s full slate.

  • 125 lbs. — No. 23 Robbie Howard vs. No. 7 Taylor LaMont (Utah Valley)
  • 133 lbs. — No. 2 Roman Bravo-Young vs. No. 18 Kyle Burwick (Wisconsin)
  • 141 lbs. — No. 2 Nick Lee vs. No. 15 Clay Carlson (South Dakota State)
  • 157 lbs. — No. 12 Brady Berge vs. No. 5 Kyle Young (Iowa)
  • 174 lbs. — No. 3 Carter Starocci vs. No. 14 Hayden Hastings (Wyoming)
  • 184 lbs. — No. 1 Aaron Brooks vs. No. 17 Owen Webster (Minnesota)
  • 197 lbs. — No. 15 Michael Beard vs. No. 31 Owen Pentz (North Dakota State)
  • 285 lbs. — No. 9 Greg Kerkvliet vs. No. 8 Jordan Wood (Lehigh)

5:33 p.m. — Before things get started, a quick reminder on where Cael Sanderson’s group stands in the team standings:

  1. Iowa — 19.0 
  2. Penn State — 17.0
  3. Missouri — 14.0

5:28 p.m. — Session Two is almost here! Eight Nittany Lions have advanced to the second round, while Joe Lee will look for a bounce-back performance in wrestlebacks.

Watch tonight’s coverage live on ESPN2, while mat cams will once again be streamed on ESPN3.

Session One

4:04 p.m. — Not too shabby! Eight of Cael Sanderson’s nine wrestlers at NCAAs have advanced to the second round. That will kick off at 6 p.m. Thursday night on ESPN2.

3:30 p.m. — Kerkvliet completes a tech fall at the end of the first period, winning 18-0 at 2:17. Beard secures a major decision, 14-4. This will wrap up round one for the Nittany Lions.

3:29 p.m. — Greg Kerkvliet is up 10-0 at 1:34 on mat 4, while Beard is up 12-3 at the :30 mark.

3:28 p.m. — Beard is up 12-1 at 1:15 in the third period.

3:27 p.m. — Koser escapes, and Beard is up 8-1.

3:26 p.m. — Early in the second period, Beard swings a reversal to increase his lead to 8-0.

3:23 p.m. — Beard is up 6-0 at 1:05 after a 4 nearfall.

3:22 p.m. — Beard strikes first with the takedown, giving him an early 2-0 lead in the first period.

3:15 p.m. — No. 15 Michael Beard is on deck for the Nittany Lions at 197 pounds. He’ll face No. 18 Jacob Koser of Navy on mat five.

3:10 p.m. — A 17-1 tech fall sends Brooks rolling into the second round! His victory also gives Penn State the lead in the team score with 12.5 points early on. Notably, Brooks needed just 25 seconds in the third period to ice the bout.

3:03 p.m. — Brooks ends the first period up 8-1 over Gardner-Webb’s Jhaquan Anderson thanks to a late nearfall.

3 p.m. — Brooks is up against No. 32 Jhaquan Anderson of Gardner-Webb.

2:46 p.m. — No. 1 Aaron Brooks will wrestle next at 184 pounds. His bout is two out on mat three.

2:44 p.m. — That’ll do it! Starocci stays hot and rides a 10-2 major decision into the next round of the tournament.

2:38 p.m. — Starocci is out to a 2-0 lead with 50 seconds to go in the first period.

2:35 p.m. — Now, 174-pounder No. 3 Carter Starocci is up on mat four! He’ll face No. 30 Victor Marcelli of Virginia.

2:32 p.m. — Following a slow start, Lee drops an 8-1 decision. He’ll head to the consolation bracket later tonight.

2:28 p.m. — Spoke too soon. Following a nice move from Wittlake, Lee’s down 7-0 with :15 to go in the second period.

2:27 p.m. — Although he hasn’t earned any points just yet, Lee, a redshirt freshman, is holding his own against No. 10 Travis Wittlake of Oklahoma State so far.

2:26 p.m. — No score in Lee’s bout yet after one.

2:22 p.m. — Here comes Joe Lee! He’s out on mat one to begin his tournament run.

2:11 p.m. — Here’s an early look at the team score standings! Penn State sits in a good position early, tied for third place.

2:01 p.m. — We’re back, baby! Lee will get things started for Penn State in just a bit. You can catch all the action on ESPN3 and ESPNU.

1:35 p.m. — No. 23 Joe Lee will get things started for Penn State in today’s second session. At 165 pounds, he’ll face Oklahoma State’s Travis Wittlake, who’s seeded at No. 10. Although we’re still a few bouts out, they’ll face off on mat one soon.

1:31 p.m. — Man, this break is killer, huh? To kill some time, check out our guide to the NCAA Wrestling Championships from years past. Sure, it’s a little outdated thanks to some now-graduated faces. But it’s still chock-full of information and tips that could help you make the most of a jam-packed weekend of wrestling.

12:49 p.m. — After going 4-0 in today’s first session, Penn State wrestling will enjoy a nice break before returning to action at 2 p.m. The Nittany Lions will send Joe Lee, Carter Starocci, Aaron Brooks, Michael Beard, and Greg Kerkvliet to the mat later this afternoon.

12:42 p.m. — Berge pulled away quickly to post a 12-4 major decision. He’ll move on to round two later this weekend.

12:38 p.m. — After a slow first period, Berge now runs out to a 5-1 lead after two.

12:33 p.m. — Berge is underway against Cerniglia to wrap up Session 1a for Penn State.

12:13 p.m. — Next up is No. 12 Brady Berge at 157 pounds. He’ll try to grab Penn State’s fourth victory of the day against No. 21 Andrew Cerniglia of Navy

12:07 p.m. — Pure domination from Lee. He grabs the 18-0 tech fall 2:33 into the first period and moves onto the second round just like that.

12:04 p.m. — While Nick Lee waits on deck, feel free to listen to RBY’s absurd resume after his first round victory.

11:57 a.m. — Up next for the Nittany Lions is No. 2 Nick Lee at 141 lbs. He’ll wrestle Drexel’s Julian Flores on mat four.

11:54 a.m. — That’ll do it. RBY finishes with the 20-5 tech fall and moves on to the second round with ease.

11:51 a.m. — RBY has looked dominated in his first bout. He leads 15-4 in the third period.

11:48 a.m. — RBY comes out aggressive and the No. 2 seed leads 6-2 after the first period. The junior earned a two-point takedown in the period’s final seconds.

11:45 a.m. — RBY and Carter are now wrestling on mat four.

11:41 a.m. — RBY waits on deck while Iowa’s Austin DeSanto puts the finishing touches on a first round victory on mat four.

11:37 a.m. — Howard completes the upset to open the day for Penn State! He wins 6-4 and advances to round two.

Up next for the Nittany Lions is No. 2 Roman Bravo-Young against No. 31 Sean Carter of Appalachian State. That’ll take place on mat four.

11:34 a.m. — A strong start for Howard. He now leads Heinselman 6-1 entering the final period.

11:31 a.m. — The pair are deadlocked at 0-0 after the first period.

11:27 a.m. — Howard and Heinselman are ready to rock on mat two!

11:14 a.m. — Howard is up next!

11:00 a.m. — Howard is slated to wrestle in the third bout on mat two this morning.

10:57 a.m. — Robbie Howard will open things up for the Nittany Lions at 125 lbs. against No. 10 Malik Heinselman of Ohio State.

10:52 a.m. — Here’s a reminder on where the Nittany Lions are ranked entering this weekend’s tournament.

10 a.m. — We’re about one hour away from today’s first bouts. Which matchups are you most looking forward to? If you need a refresher, we previewed each Nittany Lion’s contest in this blog post.

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