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Michael Beard Leads Pack Of Nittany Lions At Southern Scuffle

As most people relaxed and welcomed in the new year over the weekend, 10 Penn State wrestlers took to the mat looking to pick up a few victories at the Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

While Penn State’s wrestling program has been widely successful in recent years, only one athlete could make it to the championship on Sunday. Sophomore Michael Beard was the No. 2 seed in the 197-pound bracket and successfully posted a 4-1 record over the two-day event, placing second overall.

Beard picked up three wins on Saturday, including two technical falls, an 18-2 victory over Kaden Russell of Duke, and an almost equal 17-2 landslide win against Eli Sheeran of Buffalo. Beard beat a fellow Big Ten man in Michigan State’s No. 20 Cameron Caffey 6-2 in the semi-finals on Sunday. In the first period, the Pottstown, Pa., native had to take an injury default loss in the championship against Missouri’s No. 4 Rocky Elam.

Junior Brandon Meredith also had a notable performance this weekend going 3-1 with a trip to the quarterfinals. Meredith had an additional loss coming from a non-collegiate wrestler.

Sophomore Joe Lee came away with two victories in his first two matches, earning a trip to the quarterfinals. However, Lee ended there and finished the tournament 2-2 overall.

This weekend’s action showcased junior Seth Nevill’s first appearance this season in the 285-pound bracket, finishing with a 3-2 record.

Some other Nittany Lions with notable performances included 149-pound sophomore Terrell Barraclough, who picked up one pin and went 3-2 overall. True freshman Alex Facundo finished the weekend 2-2 at 165 pounds but picked up a remarkable 3-1 win over Drexel’s No. 31 Evan Barczak. Additionally, sophomore Donovan Ball came out with a major decision victory in his 2-2 effort in the 184-pound weight class.

Sophomore Baylor Shunk wrestled in the 125-pound bracket and picked up a technical fall win, but he posted an overall 1-2 record. Later, freshman David Evans had a pin in his first match in the 133-pound bracket but came out on the weekend 2-2. Last but certainly not least, freshman Matt Lee competed in the 165-pound bracket and wrapped the tournament 1-2.

Penn State wrestling will return to the mat on Friday, January 7, with a road trip to Maryland for its Big Ten season-opener. The action from College Park will begin at 7 p.m.

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About the Author

Gabriel Herman

Gabriel Herman is a journalism major at Penn State from Minneapolis, MN. He writes about several sports-related topics. If you want to discuss great moments in Minnesota sports history, you can reach him at [email protected].

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