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No. 1 Penn State Wrestling Dominates In Black Knight Open Tournament

No. 1 Penn State wrestling (1-0) took 13 wrestlers to West Point, New York, on Sunday to participate in the Black Knight Open tournament and is coming home with big results.

Penn State won the championship in five of the 10 weight classes, with three of them being all-Penn State finals. Besides the notable championship wins, Penn State also had 11 out of 13 overall participants crowned place winners.

How It Happened

125 pounds – No. 4 Gary Steen

First off for the Nittany Lions, Steen started the round of 16 down 2-1 against Columbia’s Yani Vines. But, a takedown in the second put him up and gave him the 5-4 decision win. Steen then faced Patrick Adams from Buffalo in the quarterfinals, where he scored four takedowns, without a single takedown against him in the 10-3 win.

In the semi-finals, Steen lost 4-2 to the top-seeded Ethan Berginc and was sent to the consolation bracket.

Steen then earned third place in his final bout.

125 pounds – Karl Shindledecker

Also in the 125 pounds bracket, Shindledecker started off the day against Army’s Charlie Farmer. The first and second periods were tied 6-6, but Farmer was the only one to score in the third, leaving Shindledecker down 9-6 at the end of the bout.

Shindledecker then moved down to the consolation bracket and lost his first bout 9-5 against Patrick Adams from Buffalo.

141 pounds – No. 1 Beau Bartlett

Bartlett came out hot in his first bout of the day against Cole Rhemrev of Indiana with four takedowns and a near fall in the first period and another takedown and near fall in the second. The stellar performance ended the bout in the second period with a score of 18-3.

Bartlett then earned a major decision when he faced Tyler Morris of Army in the quarterfinal, where he upped his first bout by getting five takedowns in the first period. Bartlett kept rolling in the semis against Campbell’s Shannon Hanna, where he punched his ticket to the championship 7-2 to face Penn State teammate David Evans.

The first period saw no points for either side, but Evans was first on the board in the second with an escape. Bartlett was able to tie it 1-1 and a takedown in an extra fourth period solidified the 3-1 win.

Bartlett then took 1st place in the class.

141 pounds – No. 3 David Evans

Competing in the same bracket as Bartlett, Evans saw Jack Marlow from Buffalo in the first round. Evans was up 5-4 in the first period and tacked on five more points in the third to solidify the 11-6 win. He then made quick work of the quarterfinals, securing a fall 36 seconds into the first period. The semifinals was a close call when Evans snuck away with the 3-2 decision over Indiana’s Cayden Rooks.

Evans then lost the championship to Bartlett and took home second place.

149 pounds – No. 2 Shayne Van Ness

Van Ness started off the tournament with a bye but then took on Kaleb Burgess from Buffalo in the quarterfinals. Penn State had the lead 2-0 in the first and the freshman went on to hold the lead 9-3 through three periods, earning a 15-7 major decision win. Van Ness moved on to the semifinals to face Graham Rooks from Indiana, which resulted in an 8-2 decision to send him to the championship

Van Ness started the championship bout down 3-1, but an injury point and an escape evened the score. The Nittany Lion then earned a takedown to beat No. 1 Johnny Lovett from Central Michigan and secure the crown.

157 pounds – No. 6 Levi Haines

Haines’ first opponent of the day was Army’s Trae McDaniel. The freshman won 8-2 before moving on to face Troy Nation from Campbell in the quarterfinals. Haines turned up his performance, earning two near falls and five takedowns en route to a 17-3 win. The semifinals saw Haines with three takedowns in the first, while only allowing three escape points for his opponents, winning 7-4.

In the championship bout, Haines faced teammate Terrell Barraclough. Barraclough was first on the board with an escape in the second period, but a reversal from Haines in the third got him the 2-1 championship win.

157 pounds – No. 4 Terrell Barraclough

In a similar path to Haines, Barraclough started off with a technical fall win against Michael Leandrou from Hofstra. Barraclough had complete control from the beginning, only giving up three escapes in the 18-3 win. He then earned a 6-0 win in the semifinals when he faced Derek Gilcher from Indiana. Finally, he took down Central Michigan’s Corbyn Munson 3-1 to match up against Haines in the championship bout.

Barraclough could not come up with the championship win, so he earned second place in the tournament. Still, Penn State took home gold in this weight class.

165 pounds – No. 1 Alex Facundo

Facundo was the second Nittany Lion of the day to get a bye, so his first bout came in the quarterfinals against Tyler Lillard from Indiana. Facundo was first on the board with a takedown in the first and upped the lead 5-1 in the second. Two more takedowns got him the 10-4 quarterfinal win. The semis saw Tracy Hubbard from Central Michigan, who was no match for Facundo, going down 7-3 to send Facundo to the championship bout.

The 165-pound championship was another all-Penn State bout with Facundo and Matt Lee. Facundo was the first to strike with a takedown in the first, and he added on five more in the second. Lee found two escape points, but Facundo kept going and earned the 10-2 major decision win.

165 pounds – No. 3 Matt Lee

Starting in the round of 16, Lee saw Chandler Amaker from Central Michigan. Lee was in control from the start and ultimately took the bout 10-2 before moving on to face Mason Spears from Brown. He improved his performance by getting takedowns in every period of the quarterfinals and winning 11-2. A close bout saw Lee upset Dalton Harkins from Army 4-3 before his matchup with Facundo.

Lee could not overcome his freshman teammate in the championship and took second place.

174 pounds – Jack Kelly

Kelly went into the tournament unranked and saw his first bout against Cole Rees from Campbell. In a hard-fought battle, Kelly went down 2-0 to start and remained down 4-2 in the second. He attempted the comeback in the third but lost the bout 5-4 by decision.

In consolation, Kelly won the first bout 10-6 but lost in the second round of consolation 6-0 due to a fall at the 2:02 mark.

184 pounds – No. 4 Donovon Ball

Ball found himself with a bye and then faced Ben Cushman from Central Michigan in the quarterfinals. Ball went up 4-2 in the first period and scored three more in the third to ultimately win 7-3. The junior then moved on to the semifinals against the top-seeded Jacob Ferreira but lost a tight 3-2 battle to send him to consolation.

During the consolation matches, Ball worked back to end up in the third-place bout where he defeated Army’s Sahm Abdulrazzaq 4-3 to claim third prize.

197 pounds – Max Dean

The only defending National Champion in the lineup started off his day against Brandon Hoselton from Campbell, which ended quickly with a fall in the first period. The quarterfinals showed a different kind of dominance when Dean defeated Aaron Wolk from Brown 15-0. Three near falls and two takedowns highlighted that bout. In the semis, Dean was able to get a 5-0 lead and was given the win over Indiana’s Nick Willham due to injury in the first period.

The championship was another quick turnaround for Dean as he got a pin in the first period to easily claim first place.

197 pounds – Lucas Cochran

Cochran started his run against Danny Lawrence from Army in a 13-1 major decision win. Multiple near falls and takedowns resulted in the win. In the quarterfinals, Cochran was the first to strike, going up 2-0. But, his opponent, Buffalo’s Sam Mitchell, scored five unanswered points to win.

Throughout consolation, Cochran won 16-2 and 10-5 before taking his final bout 9-4 and securing fifth place.

What’s Next?

Carter Starocci, Aaron Brooks, and Greg Kerkvliet will take part in the NWCA All-Star Classic in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday, November 22.

As a whole, the team will travel to Trenton, New Jersey to face Rider University at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 2.

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About the Author

Mara McKeon

Mara is a senior 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 or Penn State wrestling and counting down the days until she gets to see Luke Combs in Beaver Stadium. Feel free to reach her on Twitter @MckeonMara, and for more formal affairs, her email is [email protected].

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