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Penn State Wrestling Eyeing Postseason As Regular Season Winds Down

With just one more dual left in the 2023 regular season, Penn State wrestling is once again preparing itself for a postseason push.

For starters Max Dean and Roman Bravo-Young, this means one more chance to wrestle in front of the home Rec Hall crowd as Nittany Lions before the Big Ten and NCAA national tournaments begin in March.

Starting off the potentially long list of accolades to cap off the year, the Nittany Lions also snagged the Big Ten regular-season championship on Sunday.

Head coach Cael Sanderson reflected on the end of the season and how it has become routine with him as his coaching career goes on.

“The season always comes and goes quickly,” Sanderson said. “We will be right [back] here before you know it and the same the year after that.”

The team’s last dual will also serve as Senior Day, celebrating some of the team’s all-time greats as they finish out their Penn State careers.

Defending national champions Dean and Bravo-Young, among others, will be honored before the start of the dual. The duo will be acknowledged for seven and five years of collegiate wrestling, respectively.

“Obviously, we love them, and we want them to come back,” Sanderson said. “They are just getting better and better, so we want to keep that rolling.”

Ahead of the NCAA Tournament, Dean holds a 17-2 record and Bravo-Young is undefeated with a 12-0 record. Both will anticipate the crowd’s reaction to another possible win in Rec Hall…for one final time.

Teammate Aaron Brooks has loved the chance to get to compete with both of those men, but he is also looking forward to fulfilling their role as a senior next season.

Being roommates with Bravo-Young, Brooks has many fond memories with the fifth-year athlete. He also learned so much, both physically and mentally, along the way that he will pass on to the next generation of Nittany Lions as well.

“Everyone takes wisdom differently, knowledge differently,” Brooks said. “Some you can give words of advice, some you have to lead by example in the actions that you do, so when the opportunity presents itself to do that for my teammates, in any way, I look forward to doing that.”

While Senior Day festivities are fresh on many of the wrestlers’ minds, the bigger idea of the postseason and the goal of a repeat national championship title is shining bright in the eyes of Sanderson.

“We are getting ready for the national tournament. That’s our focus and our purpose,” Sanderson said.

The Nittany Lions will wrestle in their final dual of the season at 1 p.m. Sunday, February 19, at Rec Hall against the Clarion Golden Eagles.

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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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