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‘I Don’t Look Back With Any Regrets’: Max Dean Proud of Penn State Wrestling Career

Penn State Wrestling: Max Dean
Max Dean February 20, 2022 David Hague/NSN

Max Dean’s Penn State wrestling career didn’t have a storybook ending.

The 197-pounder ended last season with a national championship. 

He ended this season, his last, with a seventh-place finish. 

In the seventh-place bout, Dean beat Cornell’s Jacob Cardenas 4-2.

After the match, Dean reflected on his two years at Penn State after spending the first half of his career at Cornell, where he was also a 2-time All-American at the Ivy League school.

“(Penn State has) really meant a lot to me and my wife, even outside of wrestling,” an emotional Dean said. “I’m just really grateful.”

Dean finished in eighth place at NCAAs at 184 pounds in his true freshman year for the 2017-18 season and also came in second place at 184 the following year. He redshirted for the 2019-20 season, and Cornell canceled its wrestling season due to the pandemic in the 2020-21 season, so Dean didn’t wrestle competitively for two years.

His career re-started in a big way when he transferred to Penn State for the 2021-22 season, where he netted himself a title at 197 pounds last year.

This year didn’t go as well for Dean.

 He had a pair of early losses this season and also fell in the Big Ten finals to Nebraska’s Silas Allred. Dean dropped another one to Allred on Thursday night at NCAAs but rebounded to go 3-1 the rest of the way for seventh place.

“I obviously wanted a little more, but that’s just the way that it goes sometimes,” Dean said. “This sport is unforgiving, but I don’t look back with any regrets. Sometimes the chips just don’t fall in your favor.

“I’m really grateful. I got to be on the podium every year. I won an NCAA title. A lot of the people that I got to cross paths with, there’s a lot of amazing people in this sport. I’m just grateful for the way everything worked out.”

Penn State locked up its second straight team title and 10th out of 12 years under Cael Sanderson Saturday morning when Iowa’s Spencer Lee chose not to weigh in for his consolation bouts after being upset on Friday night.

Dean’s grateful for being a part of such a dominant team under a wrestling legend in Sanderson.

“It’s pretty cool that I’m a part of two team titles, and I get to wrestle for the greatest of all time,” he said. 





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