ANN ARBOR, M.I.– Session two of the Big Ten Championships are underway. This thread will keep everyone posted on how Penn State wrestling is doing in Ann Arbor.
Penn State has three wrestlers competing in Session 2, and all of them dropped a match in the first session. 125-pounder Gary Steen (0-1 on the day) looks to bounce back against Michigan’s Jack Medley. Ninth-seeded Medley tech-falled No. 10 Steen in the regular season.
Also for Penn State, 149-pounder Shayne Van Ness (1-1) will go up against Purdue’s Jaden Reynolds. No. 5 Van Ness didn’t wrestle No. 14 Reynolds in the regular season.
At 165, No. 4 Alex Facundo (1-1) will take on No. 11 Nick South of the Indiana Hooisers. Facundo didn’t wrestler South in the regular season, instead taking on and beating Robert Major.
In the third session, Penn State has seven wrestlers competing in semifinal matches. Roman Bravo-Young (133), Beau Bartlett (141), Levi Haines (157), Carter Starocci (174), Aaron Brooks (184), Max Dean (197) and Greg Kerkvliet (285) are all 1-0 today and will be wrestling in semifinal matches. The semifinals are slated to begin at 7:30.
Steen vs. Medley
Medley gets the scoring started with two points via takedown. Steen fights back by getting a point of his own on an escape. Medley picked up two more points to go ahead 4-1. That’s how it stayed until the end of the first period. The second period saw Medley pick up another point on Steen moving the score to 5-1 after two. Steen had no answer for Medley in the third, losing by decision 7-2. Steen will have one more chance to continue this tournament. He will not have the chance to earn an automatic bid to the national championship tournament and if he wins his next match(es), it will not count towards Penn State’s team score. Steen will have the winner of the Tristan Lujan (MSU)/Andre Gonzales (OSU) match.
Van Ness vs. Reynolds
Van Ness was looking to score early on the 5-13 Reynolds and got an early takedown. Van Ness stayed on him and ended the first period, up 4-0 with 2:33 of riding time. Still on the attack for team bonus points, SVN extended his lead to 10-3 after two period with an additional minute and six seconds of riding time. Van Ness scored a few more times in the third ending with an incredible 4:36 of riding time and the major decision (19-7). Van Ness now has an automatic bid to the national tournament and can place as high as third in the conference. Van Ness will matchup with the ninth-seed Chance Lamer of Michigan next.
Facundo vs. South
Facundo scored the first points of the match late in the first period to go up 2-0. The second period did not see a lot of action, but the lead was now 3-0. South got his escape point to make it 3-1, but time was not on his side. Facundo won by decision (3-1) and punched his ticket to Tulsa. He continues with Van Ness in his quest for third place. The tenth-seed Bubba Wilson (NEB) will be Facundo’s next opponent.
Van Ness vs. Lamer
SVN was out for blood in the first period with a takedown and four near fall points just halfway through the first period. The period ended with Van Ness up 6-1 after an escape and had 1:29 of riding time in his pocket. Lamer got his second escape making the score 6-2 until Van Ness notched two more takedown. The second period ended with SVN up 10-3 with 2:49 of riding time in his favor. The third period saw more takedowns and Lamar was trying to limit the damage to keep his team in contention, but a late injury stoppage saw the match called early. Van Ness won by injury default, he was up 13-4 at the time of the stoppage. He will get the loser of the Michael Blockhus (MINN)/Graham Rooks (IND) semi-final matchup tomorrow.
Facundo vs. Wilson
Now this is the time of the night that the matches start to slow down, Facundo and Wilson held each other scoreless after the first period. Facundo was on bottom to start the second period and earned his escape point quickly, giving him the 1-0 lead. Wilson took the lead at the 1:24 mark in the third period with a takedown. Facundo earned his escape point making it 3-2, but Wilson held on to win by decision. Facundo will compete for seventh tomorrow. Still a great showing by the young gun.
Bravo-Young vs. Ragusin
RBY came out of the gates with a shot to get his first takedown of the match. Ragusin got out and then RBY was back on the attack, but kept Ragusin down to end the first period up 4-1 with one minute of riding time. Into the second period, RBY started down, got his escape point and got another takedown to make it 7-1, but it went under official review. The call was reversed, the score stood at 5-1 with two minutes left in the second. No further scoring in the second period as the two headed into the third. Ragusin was in on RBY’s leg, but RBY battled through the position and fought off the takedown. Ragusin could not keep RBY off the scoreboard though as RBY tacked on three more points to win by decision (8-2). Roman will be in the Big Ten finals tomorrow night against Aaron Nagao of Minnesota. It will be the first time the two have faced off.
Bartlett vs. Hardy
Bartlett was in on a shot and the refs awarded the two points and after a brief review, the call stood. Bartlett accrued twenty-five seconds of riding time and Hardy earned his escape before the end of the first period. Hardy chose down to start the second and earned his escape again to tie the match up at 2. Hardy got his first takedown on Bartlett after securing a leg and working up. Hardy was up 4-2 with 35 seconds of riding time as Bartlett went down to start the third. Hardy was able to keep Bartlett down to take his riding time over a minute and locked up that point soon after. With a minute left Bartlett tried to roll through, but Hardy held on. Bartlett escaped and Hardy was back on the attack with another takedown which made the score 6-3. Hardy defeated Bartlett by decision 7-3 with the riding time point. Beau will wrestle tomorrow with the chance to finish third along with SVN.
Haines vs. Coleman
The two wrestlers did a lot of feeling each other out in the first as the scoreboard was still empty. Haines chose bottom to start the second and was out within the first six seconds of the period. Haines got a takedown and then a stalemate was called. On the restart, Coleman rolled through and almost scored on a reversal, but Haines scrambled up and avoid the score. Haines and Coleman were uninterested in scoring moves for the rest of the second and the match went to the third. Coleman now started on bottom and was out as quick as Haines was making the score 3-2 in favor of Haines. Haines went after the left leg and had a hold of it, but Coleman hopped around and was able to break away. With a minute left, Coleman went for a huge double-leg, but Haines timed his defense up perfectly to stop the shot. Coleman attempted one last double, but time expired and the freshman Levi Haines won by decision 3-2. Haines will have the top ranked Peyton Robb of Nebraska in the finals of the 157 pound bracket.
Starocci vs. O’Reilly
Starocci started off O’Reilly with a double leg that he worked the whole way to the edge of the mat to earn his two points. O’Reilly earned his escape after the restart. Starocci was in on another shot and O’Reilly was on the mat right in front of Coach Cael and Coach Cunningham as Carter got another takedown to finish the first up 4-1. O’Reilly started down in the second period and Starocci looked to ride for as long as possible. After the two went out of bounds and Starocci had 1:51 of riding time, Starocci gave the optional start conceding the escape point to O’Reilly. At the end of two, Starocci was up 4-2. O’Reilly now on top looked to chip away at that riding time point, but Starocci was out after twenty seconds. After a great scramble, O’Reilly had Starocci in a bow and arrow position, but the refs called stalemate before points were scored. Starocci was in on the right leg with twenty-five seconds left pushing the score to 7-2. O’Reilly had no answer and Carter won 8-2 and will face Mickey Labriola of Nebraska in the finals. Starocci has two wins over Labriola under his belt.
Brooks vs. Finesilver
Brooks’ headgear caused two stoppages in the early stages of the first period. Once his headgear wanted to stay together, Brooks notched his points and gave up the escape quickly to Finesilver. Brooks nabbed two more takedowns by the end of the first period, score was 6-2. Finesilver started on bottom in the second hoping for a timely escape which he earned. Brooks was on a mission for bonus points with a few more takedowns in the second. Brooks now had 1:44 of riding time late into the third and locked that point up. Brooks won by major decision 18-6 as Brooks looks to takeout Kaleb Romero of Ohio State for his third Big Ten championship.
Dean vs. Warner
Now with the fourth time in their carrers, Max Dean squares off with Jacob Warner of Iowa. Dean was 3-0 heading into the matchup this evening. The first period saw the familiar foes jockeying for position, but saw no scoring. Dean started down in the second period and Warner tried his best to keep Dean down. With 1:25 left in the second, Dean got away finally getting a point on the board. Warner only had 35 seconds of riding time in his favor. Dean took his best shot in form of a swing single and got Warner to the mat making the score 3-0. Warner started the third on bottom, got his escape making the score 3-1 with almost the entire period to make something happen. Warner attempted a double leg was ten seconds left, but the two went out of bounds. Warner then got back to back cautions on the restart which all but sealed the win for Dean. Dean won by decision, 3-1, all while earning his 100th career victory. He will meet Silas Allrad of Nebraska in the finals tomorrow.
Kerkvilet vs. Cassioppi
Another pair of familiar foes locked up to end day one in which Kerkvilet owns a 3-1 record over Cassioppi who is notable slimmer this year than in previous. After a lot of wrist control by Kerkvliet, he blasted through Cassioppi with a double leg to take the lead in the match. After a restart, Kerkvliet finished the first period on top with 1:02 in riding time. Kerkvliet started on bottom to start the second period and Cassioppi had a few mat returns before a reversal was made and the score was now 4-0 in favor of the Nittany Lion junior. Cassioppi was stuck on bottom for the rest of the second period and started the third period on bottom as well. Kerkvliet showed a masterful ride in the third period staying on top for the whole period. Kerkvliet won by decision 5-0, with 3:12 of riding time; now Mason Parris of Michigan stands in between Kerkvliet and his first Big Ten crown.