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NCAA Wrestling Championships Live Thread: 5 Penn State Wrestlers Going for Glory

Penn State Wrestling
Photo by Eddie Provident, Nittany Sports Now: Greg Kerkvliet

TULSA, OKLAHOMA– Penn State wrestling has already locked up its 10th team NCAA championship in 12 seasons and 11th overall. 

But the job still needs to be completed. 

Five Penn State wrestlers are one win away from a national title. 

Roman Bravo-Young (133), Carter Starocci (174) and Aaron Brooks (184) are all going for their third national titles. Levi Haines (157) and Greg Kerkvliet (285) are going for their first. 

No. 1 RBY is taking on Cornell’s Vito Arujau, the third-seeded wrestler who got a convincing 11-3 major decision over Oklahoma State’s Daton Fix.

Starocci, also ranked No. 1, is going against Nebraska’s Mikey Labriola in what will be a rematch of the Big Ten Championship, which Starocci won in a 6-1 decision.

No. 2 Haines beat No. 3 Peyton Robb (Nebraska) again, earning a 5-3 decision. Haines also upset Robb, then ranked No. 1, in the Big Ten Championship match earlier this month. Now, he takes on the top-ranked wrestler in the land at 157: North Carolina’s Austin O’Connor.

No. 3 Brooks is going against top-ranked Parker Keckeisen from Northern Iowa. Keckeisen beat Oregon State’s Trey Munoz (No. 4) 5-1 Friday night.

Finally, Kerkvliet, the third-seeded heavyweight, hopes the third time will be the charm against Michigan’s Mason Parris, who is No. 1. Parris beat Kerkvliet in both the regular-season dual and in the Big Ten Championship match.

Follow this thread below for updates of every match. The Finals start at 157 pounds at 7 p.m. and end at 149 pounds 

157: No. 1 Levi Haines (PSU) vs. No. 1 North Carolina’s Austin O’Connor (UNC)

After a scoreless first period, O’Connor earned two near fall points to take the lead. Penn State challenged the near fall points and won that challenge, as the referee determined that O’Connor did not establish control to earn those back points.

O’Connor rode Haines for the entire second period, but the match was still scoreless after two periods. He then made an escape and a takedown on Haines to take a 3-0 early in the third period.

Haines made an escape, but another takedown for O’Connor put him up 5-1. Haines made one more escape, but O’Connor won the National Title on a 6-2 decision after riding time.

174-No. 1 Carter Starocci vs. No. 2 Nebraska’s Mikey Labriola (29-1)

Starocci won a 6-1 decision against Labriola in the first matchup of the year in the Big Ten Final on March 5

Starocci made a takedown and rolled Labriola on his back to pin him at 2:46 in the first period to win the National Title. This is Starocci’s third National Title and he holds a 52-game winning streak.


184-No. 3 Aaron Brooks vs. No. 1 Northern Iowa’s Parker Keckeisen (26-1)

Brooks dominates the match and wins his third national title with a 7-2 decision over Northern Iowa’s Parker Keckeisen.

285-No. 3 Greg Kerkvliet vs. No. 1 Michigan’s Mason Parris (32-0)

Kerkvliet falls to Michigan’s Parris for the third time this season in a 5-1 decision.

133-No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young vs. No. 3 Cornell’s Vito Arujau (24-1)

Arujau gets the first two points with a first-period takedown. RBY gets a point for an escape, but another takedown makes it 4-1 Arujau. It stayed 4-1 after the first period, and Arujau start the second period with a minute of riding time making it 5-1. The second period didn’t go any better for RBY. A pair of two-point near-falls made it 8-1. Arujau led 8-2 after the second period.

In the third period, RBY gets two points with a take down. but an Arujau escape makes it 9-4. 10-4 is the final, and RBY’s bid for a third national title falls short.

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