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[Photo Story] Penn State Wrestling’s Dominant NCAA Championships Weekend

What a weekend.

When all was said and done at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Penn State wrestling had clinched its ninth team title under Cael Sanderson, crowned five individual champions, and undoubtedly reminded the world who the best team in the sport is.

There was plenty to celebrate all weekend. Relive every moment here with some of the best shots from the three-day tournament.


The Nittany Lions opened the action with nine wrestlers at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. While Drew Hildebrandt, Beau Bartlett, and Brady Berge couldn’t make huge runs in their respective brackets, they still fought hard among the best wrestlers in the nation.

Meanwhile, the majority of Penn State’s other stars took care of business in the early action.

While five of Penn State’s wrestlers managed to run the table through Saturday, 285-pounder Greg Kerkvliet saw his run end in the semifinals against Minnesota’s top-ranked Gable Steveson.

That loss eventually sent Kerkvliet to fourth place of that division. However, the Nittany Lion truly held his own against the Olympic gold medalist.

While Kerkvliet’s Saturday ended short, Roman Bravo-Young, Nick Lee, Carter Starocci, Aaron Brooks, and Max Dean all dominated their way to individual championships — while also helping the Nittany Lions lock up the team title.

After Lee and RBY secured their second consecutive individual national titles, it was time for Carter Starocci and Aaron Brooks to become back-to-back champs.

Starocci beat Virginia Tech’s Mekhi Lewis in an overtime period, while Brooks got revenge against Michigan’s Myles Amine. Brooks had fallen to the Wolverines just weeks prior at the Big Ten Championships.

Max Dean finished the night at 197 pounds with the win over Iowa’s Jacob Warner. The Cornell transfer capped off his first season in Happy Valley with an electric 3-2 decision, and an emotional celebration to boot.

With the team championship clinched and five individuals locked up, it was time for the Nittany Lions to flex the hardware.

We’ll say it again — what a weekend.

The champions.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email willpegler@onwardstate.com

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