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No. 1 Penn State Wrestling Tops Lock Haven 44-3 In Season Opener

No. 1 Penn State wrestling (1-0) dominated Lock Haven (0-1) with a score of 44-3 in its first dual Friday.

The defending 2022 National Champions dominated in their first dual of the 2023 season, winning nine of their ten bouts. The Nittany Lions claimed three pins, three technical falls, and two major decisions en route to their first win of the season.

Before the dual even started, some new decorations were even added to Rec Hall.

How It Happened

First up, 125-pound Gary Steen had his first start of the season against No. 13 Anthony Noto. Steen was first down 2-0 after a Lock Haven takedown, but he quickly rebounded with an escape to make the score 2-1. Noto tacked on two more takedowns and an escape in the second. Steen was only able to account for two more escapes and fell to a major decision 13-4 in his first outing.

At 133 pounds, No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young faced Gable Strickland. Bravo-Young was quick to score first, getting three takedowns in the first period and going up 6-3. He kept the intensity as he scored nine more points in the second, having a 15-5 lead. Bravo-Young kept pushing into the third as he finished the match 23-8 and earned the technical fall.

At 141 pounds, No. 13 Beau Bartlett saw Ty Linsenbigler. After dropping down a weight class, Bartlett earned his first four points via two takedowns in the second. The Nittany Lions got three more takedowns in the third and earned a major decision victory 10-0.

Another newcomer then had his Penn State debut at 149 pounds, as No. 25 Shayne Van Ness wrestled Connor Eck. Van Ness made his transition to Rec Hall easy, as he was up 4-1 in the first period and added on eight more points in the second with a near pin before the buzzer. The redshirt freshman then finished off the match with a pin and over five minutes of riding time.

Next at 157 pounds was Terrell Barraclough against No. 28 Ashton Eyler. Barraclough was the first to a takedown, but the challenge brick was thrown by Lock Haven, and the ruling was reversed. Penn State was quick to earn that back with another takedown. Eyler got an escape, but Barraclough was able to hold on and take the 3-1 win.

The Nittany Lions then went up 18-3 at intermission.

The third Nittany Lion of the night to make his debut was Alex Facundo facing Aiden Gaugler at 165 pounds. Facundo came out hot with six takedowns in the first period. Gaugler matched that halfway, making the score 12-6 after one. The score racked up in Facundo’s favor after he was up 23-10 with 2:21 of riding time after the second. The third redshirt freshman of the night kept the pressure and earned the 27-12 technical fall less than a minute into the third period.

At 174 pounds, No. 1 Carter Starocci took on Tyler Stolzfus. In true Starocci fashion, the redshirt junior was the first to a takedown and held the 11-4 lead through the first. Starocci dominated and even got a few dangerous position calls in his favor before he took the 19-5 major decision.

No. 1 Aaron Brooks was next to the mat against Colin Fegley. Brooks came out hot with a 6-2 lead in the first thanks to three takedowns. This carried over to the second period, as he upped his lead 16-5 with 2:45 of riding time. Brooks added to both categories in the third, finishing off with a 24-9 technical fall.

Rounding off last year’s National Champions, No. 1 Max Dean faced Brad Morrison. Dean quickly went up 2-0 in the first, but Morrison has no time to even score a point, as Dean got the pin with 57 seconds left in the first period.

Finishing off the dual, No. 2 Greg Kerkvliet saw Ethan Miller. The bout started with a 4-1 lead for Kerkvliet, and just like Dean, a pin came soon after in the first period with 1:39 left in the first period.

Penn State then finished off the dual with a score of 44-3.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will take part in the Black Knight Open against Army on Sunday, November 20 in West Point, New York. The time of the dual will be announced at a later date.

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About the Author

Mara McKeon

Mara is a sophomore staff writer majoring in English and public relations. She loves all things sports and anything that has peanut butter. You can usually find her obsessing over country music and counting down the days until she gets to see Luke Combs at the Linc. Feel free to reach her on Twitter @MckeonMara, and for more formal affairs, her email is [email protected]

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