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Penn State Wrestling

Penn State Wrestling Rankings: 2 Move up, 2 Move Down

Penn State wrestling is looking to win another national championship
Photo by Penn State Athletics: Cael Sanderson

With two more demolitions, Penn State wrestling is still No. 1 as a team. 

That ranking won’t change for a long time. 

But what about the individual rankings?

In Intermat’s latest batch, four of Penn State’s wrestlers had gone either up or down. So which ones moved, and which ones stayed the same? Which ones went up, and which ones went down? Here are your answers, Penn State fans

125: BRAEDEN DAVIS (NO. 6, DOWN 4)

Davis has had an interesting past three matches, and not in a good way. 

Sure, the freshman sensation won two of those matches and is still far and away the best 125-pounder Penn State’s had in what feels like forever. But in that stretch, Davis also suffered his first collegiate loss and got two wins that didn’t come without controversy. 

It started two Fridays ago. Davis wrestled Ohio State’s Vincent Kilkeary, and had a 4-3 lead in the match’s final seconds. Then, things got really interesting. Kilkeary had Davis on the ropes and got what many felt was a takedown. But the refs didn’t call it that way initially. It ended up going to review, and the initial decision stood.

It 

A week later, Davis lost to Iowa’s Drake Ayala, who came into that match No. 7 and is now No. 5. 

Three nights after that, Davis beat Rutgers’ Dean Peterson, who was and still is No. 19, in sudden victory 4-1. But like the Kilkeary match, it didn’t come without controversy. 

Regulation was seconds away from being over. The Rutgers coaching staff threw a challenge brick.

Rutgers was challenging for a neutral danger call that would have given Peterson the win

But one of the officials said “We don’t have it” to the Rutgers coaching staff, with “it” being replay.

Although February could be going better for Davis, he’s still a star in the making. 

133: AARON NAGAO (NO. 11, DOWN 5)

Nagao’s had a Jekyll and Hyde past several days. He looked great Friday night against Iowa’s Cullan Schreiver, who was and is No. 20. Nagao majored Schreiver 11-0. 

Against Rutgers, Nagao had another chance to impress, facing Rutgers’ Dylan Shawver. Shawver, who came in ranked No. 10, beat Nagao in sudden victory 9-6.

Nagao now has four losses on the season, but considering he finished fifth in the country at 133 last season, chances are good he’ll crank it up when it counts most.

141: BEAU BARTLETT (NO. 1, NO CHANGE)

Bartlett had a chance to prove himself as the man to beat at 141, and he cased in, beating No. 2 Real Woods of Iowa 7-2. 

His match Monday wasn’t as impressive. Despite going up against an unranked opponent in Rutgers’ Max Hermes, Bartlett only won 4-1. 

Nonetheless, Bartlett’s capabilities are as clear as a summer sky. He’s already beaten America’s No. 2 and No. 3 wrestlers at 141, with Ohio State’s Jesse Mendez falling to Bartlett in sudden victory. This coming Sunday, Bartlett has another test in Nebraska’s Brock Hardy, who’s ranked No. 7. Hardy beat Bartlett in the Big Ten semifinals last March in Ann Arbor. Now, Bartlett has a chance for revenge. 

149: TYLER KASAK (NO. 19, UP 1)

Like Nagao, Kasak had an up-and-down week. Unlike Nagao, Kasak lost at Iowa but won against Rutgers. In Iowa City, Kasak fought from 8-2 down against Caleb Rathajan– who moved from 12 to eight– 11-8 in sudden victory. 

The true freshman bounced back in a big way at the BJC Monday, taking care of Rutgers’ Michael Cetta in a 7-5 decision. 

Kasak has the biggest test of his college career coming up. Nebraska’s Ridge Lovett is No. 1 at 149. It’d be a lot to ask for the true freshman to beat the 20-0 Lovett. But Kasak can prove a lot by hanging in the match, so we shall see what happens. 

Speaking of guys ranked No. 1…

157: LEVI HAINES (NO. 1, NO CHANGE)

Haines wrestled the fifth-ranked 157-pounder in the nation Friday and made him look like he didn’t want to be there.

Haines shut out Iowa’s Jared Franek in a 12-0 major. He followed that up by pinning Rutgers’ Dylan Weaver. Haines is a beast, and like several of his teammates, is the man to beat in his weight class. 

165: MITCHELL MESENBRINK (NO. 6, UP 1)

Some were surprised that Mesenbrink didn’t move up from No. 7 last week. Well, he left InterMat no choice by beating the old No. 6, Iowa’s Mikey Caliendo, 12-6. Mesenbrink followed that up with an 18-3 tech fall over Rutgers’ Anthony White. Mesenbrink’s first full college season has been magical, and it doesn’t look to be slowing down.

174: CARTER STAROCCI (NO. 1, NO CHANGE)

The man with 62 straight wins– the longest of any wrestler in America– stays at No. 1.

184: BERNIE TRUAX (NO. 6, NO CHANGE)

Truax had a tough end to the previous week, being pinned by unranked Ryder Rogotzke of Ohio State. But he’s bounced back with a pair of wins. 

The three-time All-American shutout Iowa’s Aidan Riggins in an 8-0 major, then did the same to Rutgers’ Shane Cartagena-Walsh 7-0. 

Truax will have a much tougher test Sunday against Nebraska’s Lenny Pinto, who’s ranked No. 3. 

197: AARON BROOKS (NO. 1, NO CHANGE)

Similar story to Starocci.

HEAVYWEIGHT: GREG KERKVLIET (NO. 1, NO CHANGE)

Similar story to Starocci and Brooks.

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