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Penn State Wrestling’s Gary Steen Primed To Conclude Season On High Note

Penn State wrestling is less than a month away from the Big Ten Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and grapplers like Gary Steen are set on ending the conference slate with an exclamation point.

Steen is currently 5-10 on the season, with just one of his triumphs coming after the January 1 benchmark. However, Steen hasn’t let his recent stretch of mishaps tarnish his main goals. Moving forward, he plans on focusing solely on matches in front of him rather than past blunders.

“Now, it’s not so much being about the wins and the losses, rather growing as a wrestler and trying to jump levels,” Steen said. “I’m building my confidence day and day and working with the best guys in the practice room. [I’m] becoming the best wrestler and the best version of myself every day.”

Steen is currently exercising his redshirt freshman slate of eligibility, after dueling into head coach Cael Sanderson’s unit as a practice wrestler last season. But, in the two, short years Steen has been a part of the program, he feels his progression is immense.

“When I first came in, it was definitely a learning experience. I probably didn’t get a takedown for months,” said Steen. “Now I’m seeing a lot of progress in multiple levels… especially in my strength.”

Penn State has struggled to find a dominant 125-pound wrestler over its recent power haul in the last decade. The last time Penn State had a national champion at that weight was Nico Megaludis nearly seven years ago. But since then, Penn State has yet to produce an All-American in the weight class. Despite this, Sanderson still has confidence in his lead-off wrestler.

“Steen, at this point, has earned that spot,” Sanderson said. “He’s wrestled well all year… I think he has all of the physical tools he needs. He’s a good kid who works hard and has a great foundation. Go to work and do what you know is right, then everything else should fall in line.”

With Steen now a virtual lock in the starting rotation for the remainder of the season, he’ll search to end his recent run of regular-season difficulty with a forceful statement in the Big Ten Championships the first week of March.

“I just need to be more confident,” Steen said. “I’m just going to go out there and wrestle hard… make that guy never wants to wrestle me again.”

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About the Author

Brendan Wagner

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

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