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Penn State Wrestling’s Shayne Van Ness Planning To ‘Stomp’ Through Looming Dual Season

Penn State wrestler Shayne Van Ness is 3-0 with three pins to start the season.

The 149-pound wrestler dominated the Journeymen Collegiate Classic on November 12, defeating Army’s Eddie Hummel, Bloomsburg’s Cade Balestrini, and Lehigh’s Kelvin Griffin each in the first period with a fall.

Once again, Van Ness showed his strength during the NWCA All-Star Classic in Rec Hall on November 21, where he defeated No. 3 Kyle Parco of Arizona State for the second time this year 5-1.

The explosive start is huge for Van Ness, as he finished off the 2023 season with a loss to No. 1 Yianni Diakomihalis in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament and an eventual third-place finish. He was also crowned a freshman All-American for his top-eight finish. Now, Van Ness is gunning for the top spot.

The redshirt sophomore shared his new motto for the season that helps his mental game and is at the center of his thought process. Van Ness says he uses the motto as he overcomes any hardships and every opponent that will come his way this season.

“My philosophy this season is ‘Shayne Van Ness stomps,'” Van Ness said. “You’ll hear me say that a lot, but it’s just a reflection of me wrestling the way I want to wrestle, going out there and being dominant.”

The Nittany Lion was also crowned Big Ten Wrestler of the Week on November 14 for his electrifying performance at the Journeymen Classic, but it’s only the beginning of a five-month stretch of the season.

“I just believe that I have the skills and the ability to dominate and be the best,” Van Ness said.

Aside from the outside competition, Van Ness has a running battle with teammate Beau Bartlett. The pair spends the season seeing who can get the most falls and “out-pin each other.” The winner walks away with a plaque to commemorate their success.

While this rivalry sparks some healthy competition in the Lorenzo Wrestling Complex, the Penn State wrestling room is focused on keeping gratitude at the forefront, and a strong mindset keeps the team focused and ready to wrestle through March.

Van Ness and the rest of the Nittany Lions will begin dual season against Lehigh at 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 3, at Rec Hall.

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About the Author

Mara McKeon

Mara is a junior 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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