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Penn State Wrestling Dominates 2023 U.S. Open

Eight current and former Penn State wrestlers competed in the 2023 U.S Open wrestling tournament this past weekend, with three competitors — Aaron Brooks, Nick Lee, and Jason Nolf — moving on to the Final X.

Beau Bartlett, Timothy Levine, Carter Starocci, and Brooks represented Cael Sanderson’s current Nittany Lion squad, earning a combined 13-4 record in the tournament.

After finishing third in the 2023 NCAA Wrestling National Championships, Bartlett went 4-2 in the U.S. Open. The Nittany Lion was ranked as a No. 10 seed, reaching the semifinals before ultimately losing to Penn State great Nick Lee. Bartlett split his two consolation matches, landing him in the fourth overall spot.

Starocci, a 2023 national champion, went 3-1 in the open but pulled out from the consolation matches. He won his first three matches by a combined score of 29-0 before falling 7-1 in the semifinals and finishing sixth.

Brooks, Penn State’s other 2023 national champion, would continue his dominance in the open. The Nittany Lion went 5-0, with a combined score of 46-7, on his way to a championship at 86 kg. Brooks came back from a 6-0 deficit in the finals, scoring 10 unanswered points and securing himself a spot in the Final X.

Levine, a transfer from Brown, went 1-2 in his matches at 65 kg. Elsewhere, Lee, Jason Nolf, Mark Hall, Vincenzo Joseph, and Morgan McIntosh represented Penn State’s past and finished with a combined 23-4 record.

Lee and Nolf were both perfect in the tournament, taking titles at 65 kg and 74 kg, respectively. The Nittany Lion greats locked in their Final X spots, preserving their world team hopes.

Hall lost in the semifinals of 86 kg to Brooks but continued wrestling well through the consolations to take third place. Joseph suffered a similar fate, this time losing in the 74 kg finals to Nolf.

McIntosh started the tournament hot, winning his first two matches by a combined score of 20-0. However, the Nittany Lion finally fell in the quarterfinals, taking sixth place with a 4-2 record.

Brooks, Lee, and Nolf will next compete in the Final X on June 10 in Newark, New Jersey. The top two wrestlers in each weight class will battle in a best-of-three series to determine the 2023 Senior World Championship roster.

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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 probably Russell Wilson.

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