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Penn State Wrestling

Penn State Wrestling Rankings: Starter Moves Down

Penn State wrestling has had one dual meet since Intermat released its last batch of rankings.

Although it was closer than some expected, Penn State beat No. 4 Nebraska 22-13.

The team didn’t go anywhere at No. 1 but what happened with its individual starters?

Let’s break it down here.

125: BRAEDEN DAVIS (PENN STATE WRESTLING, NO. 8, DOWN 2)

Coming into the month, it seemed like Davis could do no wrong. The freshman 125-pounder won his first 13 matches and was expected by many to roll over Ohio State’s Vincent Kilkeary Feb. 2. But Davis escaped with a 4-3 win that many felt he didn’t deserve due to a a controversial ruling near the end of the bout. The next week, Davis suffered his first loss at Iowa against a top-five opponent in Drake Ayala. Three days later, Davis got back in the win column, but again, there was controversy due to instant replay not being available.

Sunday, No. 6 Davis took on No. 13 Caleb Smith, and not only lost, but gave up bonus points for the first time in his career. But if Sanderson’s concerned about Davis, he didn’t express it in his post match presser.

133: AARON NAGAO (PENN STATE WRESTLING, NO. 11, NO CHANGE)

Nagao would have been a shot at redemption Sunday. He lost in sudden victory last Monday at the Bryce Jordan Center to Rutgers’ Dylan Shawver, who came into that bout ranked No. 10. 

Alas, he didn’t get to wrestle due to sickness, and as a result, his ranking doesn’t move down, but doesn’t move up, either.

141: BEAU BARTLETT (PENN STATE WRESTLING, NO. 1, NO CHANGE)

Bartlett was No. 1 in last week’s rankings. Beating Nebraska’s Brock Hardy, who was and is ranked No. 7, didn’t change that.

149: TYLER KASAK (PENN STATE WRESTLING, NO. 9, NO CHANGE)

Kasak has turned the opportunity into a No. 9 ranking at the weight to go with a 12-2 record for the season going into Sunday.

That’s when he had his toughest test so far this season in top-ranked Ridge Lovett of Nebraska. Although Kasak came close, Lovett ultimately got the better of him in a 7-3 defeat.

“I think he did well,” Penn State wrestling coach Cael Sanderson said. “It was a tied score in the third period. He’s close. I think he’s right there. He’s a freshman and he’s going to get better each match. He just needs more experience.”

157: LEVI HAINES (PENN STATE WRESTLING, NO. 1, NO CHANGE)

Haines came into the Nebraska dual meet ranked No. 1, and almost majoring No. 7 Peyton Robb did nothing to hurt that.

165: MITCHELL MESENBRINK (PENM STATE WRESTLING, NO. 6, NO CHANGE)

Mesenbrink just keeps on winning. He took on Nebraska’s Antrell Taylor Sunday, who was and is ranked No. 15, and won 9-5. He’s now 18-0 on the season, which is pretty good for anybody but especially a redshirt freshman. Can Mesenbrink win a national title? Considering 165 has Keegan O’Toole (Missouri) and David Carr (Iowa State), the odds would be against against him. But there’s no reason Mesenbrink can’t be an All-American, as can the rest of PSU’s starters.

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

63 straight wins and counting.

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

Kasak gave No. 1 Lovett all he could handle at 149. Bernie Truax did the same at 184. Truax, ranked No. 6, did the same with No. 3 Lenny Pinto. Truax ended up falling, 8-6, but had Pinto on his heels until the dying seconds, when he was denied what the Rec Hall faithful felt should have been a takedown. Truax has been in solid form since being pinned by Ohio State’s Ryder Rogotzke earlier this month, and although he fell short on the scoreboard, there’s reason to be encouraged heading into crunch time.

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

The king stays the king.

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

See above.

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