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‘That’s Something We Have to Resolve’: Penn State Wrestling HC Cael Sanderson has a Decision to Make at 149

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Cael Sanderson

Penn State wrestling is the best team in the country, and it wouldn’t be in that position without depth.

There was some concern last month when PSU lost All-American Shayne Van Ness for the season due to injury, forcing Penn State wrestling coach Cael Sanderson and co. to adjust their plans at the 149 pound weight class.

But even without SVN in the fold, two wrestlers have shown themselves to be capable in that spot.

The one who’s gotten the most attention is true freshman Tyler Kasak. Kasak’s only wrestled in three of Penn State’s six dual meets but has won and been impressive in all of them. He beat Lehigh’s Drew Munch in his college dual meet debut Dec. 3.

More than a month later, he took on Oregon State’s Nash Singleton— ranked No. 12 at the time— and upset him with a 4-1 decision. Kasak’s most impressive performance came less than two weeks ago in Rec Hall. Kasak took on No. 14 Graham Rooks of Indiana and dominated him with a 15-0 tech fall.

Penn State’s had two dual meets since then, but Kasak didn’t compete in either due to illness. But Penn State won at 149 at Michigan Friday and Michigan State Sunday thanks to David Evans, who went 2-0 over this past weekend.

At his weekly media availability this past Tuesday, Sanderson said Penn State’s still pondering what do do at 149

“That’s a weight class and a decision that we’ve been trying to figure out, and what the right solution there is, to make sure that everyone has a good fair chance?” Sanderson said. “I mean, those two wrestled earlier in the season, although it was at a lower weight (141 pounds).”

That match took place at the Army Black Knight Invitational in November, and although Kasak won, it was close: a 2-1 decision that went to a tiebreaker.

Sanderson knows there isn’t much time to make a decision with it being almost February.

“So that’s something that we have to resolve here quickly,” Sanderson continued. “And then we also need to get our 149 pounder they need to get enough matches to earn; you want to be a contributor and earn an automatic spot for your conference if possible. And then obviously, taking care of all those details. But yeah, that’s something that we got to work out here soon.”


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