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Lions Go 4-1 in Finals, Finish Second at Big Tens

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Cael Sanderson

Penn State’s Roman Bravo-Young (133), Nick Lee (141), Carter Starocci (174), and Max Dean (197) all won titles at the Big Ten Championships Sunday at the University of Nebraska.

In a tournament that came down to the last bout in the team race, the Nittany Lions were edged by Michigan in the final standings, 143-141.5. Penn State’s Greg Kerkvliet and Michigan’s Mason Parris met in the 285-pound third place match at the end. Kerkvliet needed a pin to steal the team title from the Wolverines. The unlikely fall didn’t happen, but Kerkvliet won the match, 5-3. Iowa took third place in the event with 129.5 points.

Also in the finals, PSU 184-pounder Aaron Brooks was handed the second loss of his collegiate career in a 6-4 overtime setback against Michigan’s Myles Amine. A Brooks win would have likely given the Nittany Lions the team championship.

Also in the finals, Lee received a medical forfeit as Iowa’s Jaydin Eierman recovers from knee issues.

Bravo-Young earned a 3-1 win over Iowa’s Austin DeSanto, while Starocci beat Michigan’s Logan Massa, 5-1, in the 174-pound finals. Dean capped the individual titles with a 4-2 win at 197 over Nebraska’s Eric Schultz.

In consolation action, 125-pounder Drew Hildebrandt earned a qualifer to the NCAA championships with a 4-0 win over Indiana’s Jacob Moran. Rather than wrestle the ninth place match against Illinois’ Justin Cardani, Hildebrandt chose to medically forfeit with the trip to Detroit already in hand.

At 149, Beau Bartlett earned a qualifier to NCAAs with a seventh place finish. Bartlett got a 3-1 win over Michigan’s Kanen Storr for the trip.

Brady Berge had already qualified for nationals at 157 with his work Saturday, but finished off a nice tournament with a third-place finish. Berge pinned Purdue’s Kendall Coleman in the consolation semifinals before beating Iowa’s Kaleb Young, 3-1, in overtime in the third place match.

Kerkvliet was in the same position as Berge, and earned a pair of 5-3 wins over Northwestern’s Lucas Davison in the consolation semis and Parris in the third place match.

Penn State will wait to see if 165-pounder Creighton Edsell will be awarded an at-large selection to the NCAA championships Wednesday night.

The NCAA championships  will be held from the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit March 17-19.

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