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Penn State Wrestling

‘Ready or Not, Here We Come’: Takeaways From Penn State Wrestling Beating Clarion, Ending Regular Season

Carter Starocci, Penn State Wrestling
Photo by NCAA: Carter Starocci

Penn State wrestling finished off another undefeated season Sunday, taking care of Clarion 40-6 at Rec Hall to cap a perfect 16-0 campaign.

It was Senior Day. Donovon Ball, Roman Bravo-Young, Max Dean, Paul Feite, Konner Kraeszig, Joe Lee, Seth Nevillsand Eddie Smith all were recognized prior to the match.

“It’s a great group of guys,” Penn State wrestling coach Cael Sanderson said. “It’s a pretty close group. They come from all over the country with different types of backgrounds. It’s been a good group of guys. Some of them have years of eligibility remaining, and who knows if they use them or not?”

Penn State finished the day with a 40-4 advantage in takedowns and had bonus points in six of its nine wins.

SENIOR DAY

Although some of the eight wrestlers could return for another year, it’s impossible to say what everybody will decide at this point. That will be up to the wrestlers.

One of the people that won’t have that option is Bravo-Young, who is out of eligibility and wrestled what’s for sure his final match at Rec Hall Sunday.

Bravo-Young made the most out of one last dual meet, ending it with a fall of Clarion’s Mason Prinkey in 4:31.

“I think I started in Rec Hall with a pin, so I wanted to end with a pin,” Bravo-Young said. “It’s kind of weird being done here. I came a long way. Today was a surreal moment, but just like anything in life, you have to move on. But the job really isn’t done. I’m excited for nationals.”

Bravo-Young also talked about his time in State College after coming from Arizona for his college career.

“I think it’s been more than I imagined,” he said. “I’m lucky, blessed and I grew a lot here.”

STEEN MACHINE

It’s been a rough redshirt freshman year for 125-pounder Gary Steen. He came into Sunday with a 5-12 record and hadn’t got a win since Jan. 22 against Michigan State.

He got a much-needed victory against a familiar opponent in the Clarion’s Joey Fischer, coming away with a 5-1 win. The match between Steen and Fischer was a rematch of the 2020 PIAA Class 2A state finals at 113 pounds where Steen beat Fischer 4-2 in overtime.

Steen said they also wrestled in a third place match one year, and which also ended with an overtime win for Steen.

“This is our first match that didn’t go into overtime,” Steen said.

“I’m just continuing to grow as a person and getting better in the room every day. I’m believing in myself and working every day.”

ON TO THE POSTSEASON

Penn State gets next weekend off and now will then its attention to the postseason. The Big Ten Tournament will be held in two weekends at the University of Michigan, and the NCAA Championships will be held March 16-18 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Penn State will likely be favorites in both postseason tournaments.

“Ready or not, here we come,” Sanderson said. “I think the guys look good. Overall our guys wrestled well today. We just need to get a couple good weeks of training in and be ready to roll.”

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