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Penn State Wrestling’s Carter Starocci ‘Fully Healthy’ For NCAA Championships

Three-time national champion Carter Starocci shared he’s prepared to compete in the NCAA Championships after medically forfeiting from the Big Ten Championships.

“I’m fully healthy right now. I can do anything right now,” Starocci told media members Wednesday. “At the end of the day, the Big Ten title is cool and the NCAA title is cool, but I just truly enjoy beating on guys, and I can’t do this forever… So I want to make sure I want to take everybody out again and again. That’s what’s fun for me,” Starocci said.

Despite attending the conference tournament in College Park, Maryland, then-undefeated Starocci walked out to the mat in both of his bouts to take the required two medical forfeits, removing him from the tournament without automatically qualifying for the NCAA Championships around the corner.

Ahead of the finals at the Big Ten Championships, Starocci took to social media in a cryptic tweet, thanking Penn State and stating he’ll move on to another chapter.

However, during a lengthy conversation with the media on Wednesday, Starocci put speculations to rest.

“It was frustrating, but looking back on it, I think it’s a blessing to have [Cael Sanderson who] really cares about me just not as a wrestler but also as a person,” Starocci said. “[Sanderson] is in a lose-lose situation. He puts me out there, and he ends up second-guessing himself or he doesn’t, and I’m getting pissed at him.”

“I mean at the end of the day, [Sanderson] is the boss man. I work for him. So whatever he decides, that’s what I’m going to roll with,” Starocci continued.

These comments stemmed from initial reports coming out of College Park, later confirmed by Starocci, that the three-timer was prepared and eager to wrestle at the Big Ten Championships, only to be shut down by Sanderson the day of the competition.

“Almost every word that comes out of his mouth, maybe besides that day, I’m always on board with… I would do anything for coach Cael,” Starocci said.

Now as Starocci prepares to move forward to the national tournament next week, everything seems to be running smoothly for the Hodge Trophy hopeful.

Regarding Starocci’s tweet, he had one more affirmation to share with fans.

“I love Penn State. I would never plan on leaving this place in the future. I was just very frustrated at the time, but I would do anything for Penn State,” Starocci finished.

Starocci and the Nittany Lions will hit the mat on Thursday, March 21, in Kansas City, Missouri, for the NCAA Championships. Seeding for the championships will be released at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13.

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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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