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Penn State Wrestling Sends Seven To NCAA Championship Quarterfinals

Penn State wrestling (16-0, Big Ten 8-0) finished off day one of the NCAA Tournament with another victorious round after eight of its wrestlers left the opening session victorious.

The Nittany Lions will send seven athletes to Friday’s quarterfinal round. Shayne Van Ness and Carter Staorcci led the charge with electric bouts and Aaron Brooks secured a pin en route to a dominant session two showing.

How It Happened

First to the mat for Penn State, No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young faced No. 17 Brayden Palmer of Chattanooga. Bravo-Young started out early with two takedowns in the first, but Palmer responded with two escapes making the score 4-2. No points were scored in the second period, but Bravo-Young accumulated 2:36 of riding time. The third period once again saw no scoring, but Bravo-Young still finished victorious with a 5-2 win after the riding time bonus.

Next at 141 pounds, No. 6 Beau Bartlett wrestled No. 11 Clay Carlson of San Diego State. There was no score from either side in the first period, but Bartlett struck first in the second with an escape and a takedown for a 3-0 lead. Carlson earned an escape early in the third, but it wasn’t enough for the comeback. Bartlett won a 3-1 decision to advance.

The 149-pound bout saw No. 13 Shayne Van Ness battle No. 5 Paniro Johnson of Iowa State. Following his electric pin in session one, he got a takedown before a near fall. Johnson then opened up the second period with a reversal and a takedown, but Van Ness answered with a pair of escapes to make the score 8-4. Van Ness picked up another takedown and a stall point to head into the third period up 11-4. A blood timeout was then taken for Johnson in the third, but Van Ness rolled to a 14-8 win and punched his ticket to the quarterfinals.

True freshman No. 2 Levi Haines was next against No. 15 Jacob Wright of Wyoming. Haines started on top, 2-1 in the first period. The Nittany Lion then continued into the second period with another takedown and an escape. Haines finished out his bout with a third takedown and a riding time bonus point to win 8-2.

No. 1 Carter Staorcci then faced off with No. 17 Donnell Washington of Indiana at 174 pounds –– a matchup chock-full of history on and off the mat. Starocci was first on the board with a takedown after one. Starocci then earned an escape and was up 3-0 after two periods before finishing out the third period with a rideout to capture the 4-0 win.

In the only consolation bout of the night, No. 13 Alex Facundo faced No. 4 Julian Ramirez of Cornell. Facundo was down early 2-0 to start the bout, but followed up with an escape to come within one. Ramirez recorded another takedown to go up 4-2, and an escape to extend his lead to 5-2. Ramirez got Facundo on his back and earned a four point near fall to win 12-2, ending Facundo’s tournament run.

At 184 pounds, No. 3 Aaron Brooks wrestled No. 14 Will Feldkamp of Clarion. Brooks was the first to score with a takedown, and then Feldkamp answered with an escape. Brooks had another takedown before securing a pin in the second period to win by a fall.

Next up, No. 9 Max Dean faced No. 8 Silas Allred in a Big Ten Championship rematch. Dean started off with a 2-0 deficit, but earned one back at the conclusion of the first period. Dean then had another escape to tie the score at two. The Nittany Lion tried to scramble out of another takedown, but Allred got him to the ground and won 7-2. With Dean’s loss, he moved into the consolation bracket.

The final bout of the night saw No. 3 Greg Kervliet take on No. 14 AJ Nevills of San Diego State. Kerkvliet was first to a takedown and quickly pivoted to a near fall, leading 6-0 after. Nevills then got an escape, but Kerkvliet got another takedown to lead 8-1. Kerkvliet kept the pressure on and led 11-2 with 2:15 riding time after two periods. Kerkvliet finished out the bout with a score of 14-2 to finish out the night for Penn State.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will move on to session three of the NCAA Championships starting at noon on Friday at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This session will be broadcast on ESPNU.

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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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