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Penn State Wrestling: Carter Starocci Extends America’s Longest Streak

Carter Starocci, Penn State Wrestling
Photo by NCAA: Carter Starocci

Death, taxes and Penn State wrestling star Carter Starocci winning.

Everybody paying attention knew the three-time national champion would win his match Friday night at Iowa.

The only questions were: Who would he wrestle, and how much would he win by?

Question No. 1 was answered before the meet started, when lineups revealed that Starocci would go against No. 7 Patrick Kennedy. Some fans were hoping Iowa coach Tom Brands would pull a surprise and send out true freshman Gabe Arnold, who had beef with Starocci last winter. But Brands didn’t send Arnold out at 174 or 184, likely wanting to preserve his redshirt.

So Kennedy it was, and Starocci, getting a bonus-point win, 13-5.

Starocci is simply one of the best wrestlers in Penn State history, and if he wins his fourth national championship— which he’s the favorite to do— he’ll be a four-time national champion, a feat only five wrestlers have accomplished.

One of those five is Starocci’s coach, Cael Sanderson.

Sanderson had a big night Friday, getting his 200th win.

Starocci could have company in Kansas City next month.

Aaron Brooks is also on the brink of winning a fourth national title. Brooks, who won his first three titles at 184 pounds, is now the No. 1 wrestler at 197.

Like Starocci, Penn State wrestling star Brooks took care of business in Iowa City, albeit in less dominant fashion than some would have expected. Brooks beat Iowa’s Zach Glazier, who came in at No. 11.

Going back to Starocci, he hasn’t lost a match since the 2021 Big Ten championship finals. Starocci fell to Iowa’s Michael Kemerer, but averaged that loss weeks later in sudden victory to win his first national title.

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