TULSA, Okla. — With Penn State winning nine of the last 11 National Titles in Wrestling, it isn’t surprising to see that its are currently No. 1 with 26.0 points as a team after the first day of the NCAA Championships at the BOK Center.
Penn State placed seven wrestlers in the quarterfinals and leads second-place Iowa by 5.5 points heading into Friday.
No. 1 graduate Roman Bravo-Young (19-0) beat No. 17 Chattanooga’s Brayden Palmer (21-7) in a 5-2 decision after riding time at 133 pounds. While not an absolute dominating performance, Bravo-Young didn’t give Palmer any real chance to score, ensuring his victory.
No. 6 junior Beau Bartlett (23-2) came out just short in a close 3-2 decision over No. 11 South Dakota State’s Clay Carlson (23-9) to put himself into a great quarterfinal match in the at 141 pounds.
No. 12 redshirt freshman Shayne Van Ness (21-6) continues his impressive run at the NCAA Championships, with a 14-8 decision in an upset of No. 5 Iowa State’s Paniro Johnson (18-5) at 149 pounds.
No. 2 first-year Levi Haines (22-1) had no trouble dispatching No. 15 Jacob Wright of Wyoming (19-6) in an 8-2 decision at 157 pounds. Three takedowns, an escape and riding time led Haines to beat Wright and move on to the Quarterfinals.
No. 1 junior Carter Starocci (21-0) won a solid, 4-0 decision against No. 17 Indiana’s Donnell Washington (23-8) at 174 pounds. This is the second time the season Starocci defeated Washington, with an 11-3 major decision on Feb. 5.
No. 3 senior Aaron Brooks (14-1) had another dominant victory Thursday, with a pin at 5:00 in the second period against No. 14 Will Feldkamp of Clarion (25-5) at 184 pounds. Brooks had dominated the match up until that point and solidified the win with that pin.
No. 3 junior Greg Kerkvliet (17-2) also had no problem against No. 14 AJ Nevills of South Dakota State (20-7) in the heavyweight bout. Kerkvliet made numerous takedowns and won a 14-2 major decision against Nevills to progress to Friday in good form.
No. 9 senior Max Dean (21-4) was the only Penn State westler to lose in the Round of 16. He never established control in his match with No. 8 Silas Allred of Nebraska at 197 pounds and Allred dominated him, winning in a 7-2 decision. Allred also beat Dean in the Big Ten Championship final earlier this month.
No. 13 redshirt freshman Alex Facundo (18-6) became the first Penn State wrestler to fall out of the NCAA Championships. He stood no chance against No. 4 Julian Ramirez of Cornell (24-4) in the Consolation Rounds at 165 pounds. Ramirez used a takedown and four back points in the third period to win a 12-2 major decision against Facundo.
The Quarterfinals and Consolations start Friday at 12:00 p.m. EST. Nittany Sports Now will have nonstop coverage the next two days of the NCAA Wrestling Championships. Here is Penn State’s schedule for Friday afternoon.
133-No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young vs. No. 8 Minnesota’s Aaron Nagao
141-No. 6 Beau Bartlett vs. No. 3 Pitt’s Cole Matthews
149-No. 12 Shayne Van Ness vs. No. 20 Indiana’s Graham Rooks
157-No. 2 Levi Haines vs. No. 7 Virginia Tech’s Bryce Andonian
174-No. 1 Carter Starocci vs. No. 8 Minnesota’s Bailee O’Reilly
184-No. 3 Aaron brooks vs. No. 6 Ohio State’s Kaleb Romero
285-No. 3 Greg Kerkvliet vs. No. 11 Wisconsin’s Trent Hilger
197-No. 9 Max Dean vs. No. 26 Ohio State’s Gavin Hoffman
Penn State Wrestling: 8 Advance to Round of 16 at NCAA Championships