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Penn State Wrestling Legend Carter Starocci Hints That He’s Wrestled his Last College Match

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Carter Starocci

Has Penn State wrestling legend Carter Starocci wrestled his last match?

Nothing is confirmed yet. But based on logic and what he said in his post-match press conference after becoming the sixth wrestler in history to win four national titles Saturday night in Kansas City, it appears so.

When Starocci was asked directly what the chances were of him coming back for a fifth year, he said he didn’t know.

“I’m not even thinking about that right now,” he said.

But something he said while answering an earlier question indicated otherwise.

“I think it’s bittersweet,” Starocci said. “Just realizing like ‘dang, I’m already a senior, and that was kind of like my last folkstyle match.”

It’s easy to see why this would be it for Starocci.

He simply has nothing left to prove in college wrestling. Winning that fourth title while far from 100 percent would be the definition of a storybook ending.

Those words suggest that Starocci’s wrestled his last match but so did his words after title win No. 3.

“This (winning a national title) is cool,” he told ESPN after pinning Nebraska’s Mikey Labriola in the first period, “but I want the peak of the sport. I don’t look past this because this is what I wake up to do every single day. It’s been fun smacking the head of the college team, but I want that Olympic gold.”

Starocci went a long way toward getting Olympic Gold by winning a national title since he’ll now be automatically qualified for the USA Trials scheduled for April 19-20 in nowhere other than Happy Valley.

If this is it for Starocci, he’ll end his college career 93-4– two of those losses came via injury default in the Big Ten championships earlier this month– with four All-America finishes and 69 straight wins in matches he competed in. Simply put, Carter Starocci is one of the best to ever do it for Penn State wrestling or anybody else.

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