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No. 1 Penn State Wrestling Dominates No. 4 Ohio State 29-9

No. 1 Penn State wrestling (11-0, 4-0 Big Ten) dominated No. 4 Ohio State (11-2, 5-1 Big Ten) 29-9 on Friday in Columbus. The dual marked Penn State’s third meeting against a top-10 team in its last four matches.

This marked the Nittany Lions’ 40th program win in a row, which is a massive milestone in this season’s push for a National Championship.

How It Happened

Gary Steen opened the dual against Malik Heinselman at 125 pounds. Despite his best efforts, Steen was quickly controlled and forced onto his back by Heinselman, which gave him the pin and the Buckeyes a 6-0 lead.

Next up at 133 pounds, Roman Bravo-Young faced Jesse Mendez. A lone takedown and a ride out from Bravo-Young gave him the 2-0 lead heading into the second period. Although Mendez manufactured an escape, Bravo-Young snatched up his second takedown of the match and extended his lead to 4-1. Two more takedowns from Bravo-Young secured the 8-3 victory.

Beau Bartlett hit the mat next and stared down Dylan D’Emilio at 141 pounds. Bartlett fought hard for the lone takedown of the period, taking a 2-0 lead with nearly 90 seconds of riding time heading into the second period. An escape from D’Emilio was the only point scored in the second period and kept Bartlett trailing 2-1 heading into the final period. A takedown in the third from Bartlett gave him the 4-2 decision victory.

The dual score knotted up at 6-6 following Bartlett’s battle.

Then, at 149 pounds, Shayne Van Ness squared off against Sammy Sasso. Van Ness found himself at the backend of an eventful first period and trailed 3-2. Sasso piled on another takedown to extend his lead to 5-2 after five minutes. Despite an escape from Van Ness, Sasso won the match 6-3 and put the Buckeyes back in front 9-6.

Next on the mat, Levi Haines and Paddy Gallagher prepared to dual at 157 pounds. Haines lead fast and picked up a 4-1 lead with 90 seconds of riding time as the action carried over into the second period. Another takedown from Haines extended his lead to 6-2. Haines tacked on some near-fall points late in the period to take pull off a 14-2 major decision victory.

The Nittany Lions had their first lead of the night with a score of 10-9 heading into intermission.

The action resumed at 165 pounds with a battle between Alex Facundo and Carson Kharchla. There was no blood following the first period, but Facundo grabbed a strong takedown to take a 2-0 lead heading into the final period. Another Facundo takedown gave him the 4-1 win, extending the Penn State lead to 13-9.

Carter Starocci then faced off against Ethan Smith in the 174-pound category. Starocci grabbed two takedowns to build a 4-2 lead after the first period. Starocci collected another takedown when he secured a 6-3 lead heading into the final two minutes. Starocci continued to showcase his “killer mentality” as he secured a 16-9 win.

The Nittany Lions led 16-9 with three matches to go.

Next at 184 pounds, Aaron Brooks took on Kaleb Romero. Once again, no points were scored in the first period. An escape from Brooks was the only action in the second period when he took a 1-0 lead heading into the final period. Despite some fight from Romero, a takedown from Brooks gave him the 3-2 win and tacked on to the Nittany Lions’ 19-9 lead.

Later at 197 pounds, Max Dean shared the mat with Gavin Hoffman. A Dean takedown was the lone action in the first and provided a 2-0 cushion for the Nittany Lions. Dean then forced a pin in the late seconds of the second period and gave Penn State a 25-9 lead heading into the closing matchup.

At heavyweight, Greg Kerkvliet matched up against Tate Ordndorff. Kerkvliet scored an early takedown and remained in the top position for all but 15 seconds of the first period and took a 2-0 lead after one period. Another takedown from Kerkvliet secured him a 5-0 lead heading into the final two minutes of the dual. Two more takedowns ultimately gave Kerkvliet the 9-0 major.

Penn State won the road dual with a final score of 29-9.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will remain on the road and head to Bloomington to battle No. 22 Indiana at 2 p.m. on Sunday, February 5. The dual will be broadcast on BTN+.

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About the Author

Brendan Wagner

Brendan is a sophomore majoring in print and media journalism. Born in Pittsburgh, he now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a die-hard Pittsburgh sports fan, you can find him on Twitter, @brchwags, often complaining about the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tom Brady.

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