TULSA, Okla. — No. 1 junior Carter Starocci won the National Title at 174 pounds with a pin at 2:46 against No. 2 Mikey Labriola of Nebraska Saturday night at the BOK Center, and met with former President Donald Trump afterward.
3x National Champion, Carter Starocci!
📺 ESPN#NCAAWrestling x @pennstateWREST pic.twitter.com/kVgDlVK452
— NCAA Wrestling (@NCAAWrestling) March 18, 2023
— MatScouts (@MatScouts1) March 18, 2023
Starocci spoke glowingly of Trump and said he enjoyed meeting him following his third straight national title.
“That’s pretty cool,” Starocci said. “I like watching his interviews because he’s a big personality. He has a set of big balls. I like how his mind works. Pretty big being with him.”
Trump attended the NCAA Wrestling Championships to an ovation from the crowd. He came as a guest of Oklahoma Republican Markwayne Mullin, according to The Tulsa World.
The former President had secret service around him at all times, and the wrestlers who won their National Title matches went up to him, shook his hand and said hello.
One of these wrestlers was Pitt’s Nino Bonaccorsi, who won his national title match at 197 pounds.
97 & 45! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/w8etEp3yzn
— The Wrestling Room (Pat Mineo) (@MrPatMineo) March 19, 2023
Seems like Donald and @NeenBon go way back pic.twitter.com/L9f9CjfKT5
— MatScouts (@MatScouts1) March 19, 2023
It seems likely that Starocci met Trump after his last college match. In his post-match interview with ESPN, Starocci indicated that he’s going to get ready for the 2024 Summer Olympics and also plans to pursue an MMA career. Starocci has college eligibility remaining, but it doesn’t appear that he plans on using it.
As for his Penn State career, Starocci used the phrase “big balls” to describe himself, in addition to Donald Trump.
“I think that’s what big balls look like,” Starocci told ESPN after the match. “You know what I mean? I think it feels good being a three-timer. I just joined elite company with Penn State… but that’s not where this train stops. It keeps going forward. I’ll be back in the gym on Monday. Dreams don’t work unless you do.”