Penn State’s Carter Starocci and Indiana’s DJ Washington have history.
In January 2021, Washington beat Starocci via decision, 10-9.
He’s one of only two wrestlers to accomplish that feat in an NCAA match— Iowa’s Michael Kemerer being the other— and the only one to do so in a regular-season dual meet.
Starocci’s loss to Kemerer came in the 2021 Big Ten Championship match.
Starocci followed his loss to Washington by winning 48 of his next 49 matches with two national championships and a Big Ten title. He didn’t get a crack at Washington last season.
Washington instead wrestled Penn State’s Aaron Brooks— another two-time national champ— in the 184-pound class.
Carter Starocci avenged his loss to Kemerer three times, including once in the national championship match the same month Kemerer took the Big Ten title away from him. Sunday, he had a chance to avenge his other loss, and he knew it.
“God forgives… I don’t,” Starocci tweeted Saturday afternoon. “You should have killed (me) when you had the chance. Now, I’m getting my lick back and some. See you tomorrow boy.”
God forgives… I don’t. You should have killed my when you had the chance. Now, I’m getting my lick back and some. See you tomorrow boy. pic.twitter.com/jxHDou7mDm
— Carter Starocci (@carterstarocci) February 4, 2023
The top-ranked wrestler at 174 pounds got his lick back with an 11-3 major decision, which wasn’t a surprise.
But the main story happened afterward.
Things got a little heated between Carter Starocci and DJ Washington 😬 pic.twitter.com/1j2LOOsLuE
— WrestlersGrind (@_wrestlersgrind) February 5, 2023
After time ran out in the third period, the fireworks started. Washington got in Starocci’s face. Starocci shoved him. The referee and both coaches— Penn State’s Cael Sanderson and Indiana’s Angel Escobedo— got on the mat to calm their wrestlers down. Eventually, the coaches forced their men to shake hands.
Penn State ended up winning the dual meet 35-8.
It was the 41st straight dual meet win for Sanderson’s empire and Starocci’s 41st consecutive win individually. He’s now won 49 of 50 matches and has a 50-2 overall college record.
Penn State (13-0, 6-0 Big Ten) has three dual meets left before the Big Ten Championships, set for March 4-5. The next dual meet is this coming Friday at No. 22 Rutgers. That contest is set to begin at 7 on BTN+.
DJ Washington got dominated and showed not one ounce of energy the last 2 periods in that match then all of the sudden after it’s over wants to act like he’s going to throw a punch? Bad look. He has a lot of work to do. pic.twitter.com/QKCSLAOxCb
— Jersey Jerry (@Jerrythekid21) February 5, 2023