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Penn State Wrestling Secures Five Finalists In Big Ten Championships’ Session Two

Penn State wrestling had seven athletes participating in semifinal bouts of the Big Ten Championships in Lincoln, Neb. Saturday evening.

There were also three wrestlers participating in the consolation brackets. No. 2 Drew Hildebrandt lost his second bout of the tournament 6-3 to No. 8 Patrick McKee at 125 pounds. No. 7 Beau Bartlett pinned No. 8 Christian Kanzler of Illinois but then lost to No. 6 Mike VanBrill of Rutgers. No. 10 Creighton Edsell lost on a 3-2 decision to Minnesota’s No. 9 Cael Carlson.

The Nittany Lions managed to send five wrestlers to Sunday’s championship bouts.

How It Happened

The first semifinalist for Penn State was No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young, who took on Michigan’s No. 5 Dylan Ragusin. Bravo-Young was awarded the first two points after a late takedown in the first period. There were no points awarded for either wrestler in the second period. Bravo-Young then picked up two more points, one on an escape and one from 1:09 in riding time to get a 4-0 victory by decision.

Bravo-Young will face No. 2 Austin DeSanto from Iowa Sunday in the 133-pound championship.

No. 1 Nick Lee was opposite of the Golden Gophers’ No. 5 Jakob Bergeland at 141 pounds. Lee grabbed several points in the first period, including eight near fall, to give him a 12-1 lead into the second period.

Lee tacked on four more points to finish a technical fall victory at the 5:06 mark of the bout. Tomorrow, Lee will take on the Hawkeyes’ No. 2 Jaydin Eierman.

No. 10 Brady Berge looked for an upset over No. 3 Will Lewan in a 157-pound semifinal bout. There was one point apiece for both wrestlers through the second and third periods. The bout went into sudden victory overtime, and Lewan came out on top after a takedown.

Berge will still have an opportunity to wrestle in tomorrow’s action.

No. 1 Carter Starocci won by medical forfeit over Iowa’s No. 4 Michael Kemerer. Starocci will face No. 2 Logan Massa of Michigan.

No. 1 Aaron Brooks faced No. 4 Taylor Venz of Nebraska at 184 pounds. Brooks dominated the first two periods as he had two takedowns and a reversal. Brooks secured riding time midway through the second period and ultimately came away with a 7-2 victory by decision. Brooks will face No. 2 Myles Amine from Michigan.

No. 2 Max Dean went up against Michigan State’s No. 3 Cameron Caffey. Dean held a 2-0 lead for most of the match, but he was taken down with nearly one minute in the third period, making it a 3-2 bout score. It didn’t matter as Dean escaped and had 1:23 in riding time, giving him the 5-2 victory by decision.

Dean will face Nebraska’s No. 1 Eric Schultz in the 197-pound championship.

No. 3 Greg Kerkvliet faced off with Iowa’s No. 2 Tony Cassioppi. Kerkvliet had a reversal in the second period to take the lead. Cassioppi escaped tying things at 2-2 and setting up an intense final minute of wrestling. After another Kerkvliet takedown, Cassioppi had a reversal at the end of the third period pushing it into sudden victory overtime. The Hawkeye then managed another quick takedown early in the sudden victory period, and Kerkvliet dropped a heartbreaker and lost his chance at the finals.

Kerkvliet will still wrestle Sunday in the consolation bracket.

What’s Next?

Tomorrow’s Big Ten Championships’action in Lincoln, Neb., will begin at 12 p.m. and then again at 4:30 p.m. Bartlett, Berge, and Kerkvliet will be wrestling in consolation matches. At the same time, five other Nittany Lions will try to become 2022 Big Ten Champions.

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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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