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Penn State Places Seven in the Semifinals at the NCAA Wresting Championships

Penn State Wrestling: Roman Bravo-Young
Photo by Eddie Provident, Nittany Sports Now

TULSA, Okla. — Penn State won every single match they had Friday morning at the NCAA Wrestling Championships at the BOK Center, placing seven wrestlers in the Semifinals.

Penn State is currently comfortably in First Place as a team at the NCAA Championships with 78.0 points, 30 more than Iowa who has 48.0 so far.

No. 1 graduate Roman Bravo-Young (19-0) won a 4-1 decision against No. 8 Minnesota’s Aaron Nagao (20-5) at 133 pounds. Bravo-Young broke the scoreless deadlock after two periods with a reverse and used riding time to help him stay perfect on the season.

No. 6 junior Beau Bartlett (24-2) battled hard with No. 3 Pitt redshirt senior Cole Matthews (21-12) at 141 pounds. Both tied at 1 through three periods and after sudden victory.

Matthews rode Bartlett the entirety of the first tiebreakers period and looked to have the win. Bartlett managed to make a takedown on Matthews very late in the second period of tiebreakers, to earn the exciting victory 3-1.

No. 12 redshirt first-year Shayne Van Ness (22-6) fell behind early in his match to No. 20 Indiana’s Graham Rooks (28-9) at 149 pounds. Rooks made three takedowns to take a 7-2 lead in the second period, putting Van Ness in a difficult position.

Van Ness made two escapes, got a stall warning on Rooks, made a takedown on Rooks and then got two back points in the third period to improbably win a 9-7 decision.

One of the best matches for Penn State saw No. 2 Levi Haines (23-1) take on No. 7 Virginia Tech’s Bryce Andonian at 157 pounds. Haines fell behind early, as Andonian started out with a takedown and got four back points to take a 6-0 lead in the first period.

Haines made three takedowns and two escapes to tie the match at 8-8 in the third period. Haines then pinned Andonian at 6:11 to complete the incredible comeback.

No. 1 junior Carter Starocci (22-0) handled No. 8 Minnesota’s Bailee O’Reilly (20-6) in a 5-2 decision at 174 pounds to stay perfect on the season.

No. 3 senior Aaron Brooks (15-1) made a big takedown of No. 6 Ohio State’s Kaleb Romero (23-6) in the third period, to earn a 4-1 decision at 184 pounds.

No. 3 junior Greg Kerkvliet (15-2) dealt with No. 11 Wisconsin’s Trent Hillger at 285 pounds in a 4-0 decision. A takedown in the second period proved crucial in the win for Kerkvliet.

The only consolation wrestler for Penn State was No. 9 senior Max Dean at 197 pounds. Dean won both of his matches with ease, defeating No. 26 Ohio State’s Gavin Hoffman in a 6-0 decision and No. 18 Oregon State’s Tanner Harvey in a 10-5 decision to move into the Round of 12.

The Semifinals and Round of 12 start Friday at 8:00 p.m. EST. Nittany Sports Now will have nonstop coverage these final two days of the NCAA Wrestling Championships. Here is Penn State’s schedule for Friday night.


133-No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young vs. No. 4 Arizona State’s Michael McGee (23-2)

141-No. 6 Beau Bartlett vs. No. 2 Northern Colorado’s Andrew Alirez (26-0)

149-No. 12 Shayne Van Ness vs. No. 1 Cornell’s Yianni Diakomihalis (19-1)

157-No. 2 Levi Haines vs. No. 3 Nebraska’s Peyton Robb (28-1)

174-No. 1 Carter Starocci vs. No. 4 Cornell’s Chris Foca (27-1)

184-No. 3 Aaron Brooks vs. No. 2 NC State’s Trent Hidlay (23-1)

285-No. 3 Greg Kerkvliet vs. No. 2 Air Force’s Wyatt Hendrickson (29-1)


197-No. 9 Max Dean vs. No. 11 Maryland’s Jaxon Smith (23-7)

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