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Penn State Wrestling

Penn State Wrestling: Predictions for the 2024 NCAA Championships

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

After Penn State wrestling had seven finalists and five champions at the Big Ten Tournament, where do things fit for Penn State in the NCAAs?

Here are my predictions for national champions at each weight class. 

125 – Matt Ramos, Purdue – Yeah, I know what just happened at Big Tens with Braeden Davis. He was the sixth seed in the tournament, and ended up winning the the whole thing. He was also aided by upsets by the No. 1 and 2 seeds in the quarterfinals. It’s a pretty wide open bracket, but I believe Ramos has the most talent out of all of them.

133 – Daton Fix, Oklahoma State – It would be cool to see Fix finally win one after him having to deal with Roman Bravo-Young all those years. This is it for Fix, so expect him to be a little more motivated to make it happen at the top of the podium.

141 – Jesse Mendez, Ohio State – As it was at Big Tens, expect PSU’s Beau Bartlett and Iowa’s Real Woods to have something to say about this. But Bartlett and Woods could meet each other in the semis, so I’m going to give Mendez the edge in the finals.

149 – Ridge Lovett, Nebraska – Lovett seems to be in another gear this season, so I’m going with the third top seed out of the first four weights. Lovett and Arizona State’s Kyle Parco would be an interesting final.

157 – Levi Haines, Penn State Wrestling – Make that four of the first five top seeds for me. North Carolina State’s Ed Scott, who is from near Penn State in DuBois, could make it an interesting semifinal against Haines as the fourth seed.

165 – Mitchell Mesenbrink, Penn State – How do you bet against Mesenbrink after that Big Ten championship against Wisconsin’s Dean Hamiti? He’s fortunate that he won’t see either Missouri’s Keegan O’Toole or Iowa State’s David Carr until the finals. It doesn’t seem right that O’Toole and Carr are going to meet in the semis in such a loaded bracket.

174 – Carter Starocci, Penn State – Penn State choosing to have Starocci default out of Big Tens makes for another crazy bracket where he is the nine-seed. He will probably see Virginia Tech’s Mekhi Lewis in the quarters, and that’s been a championship before. If you believe Starocci is healthy, and I believe he is, it’s hard to not pick him.

184 – Parker Keckeisen, Northern Iowa – If you saw Keckeisen’s match with PSU’s Bernie Truax in the NWCA All-Star Classic this year, you saw how special of a talent Keckeisen is. Nobody has touched him this year, and I don’t see anyone that will at nationals.

197 – Aaron Brooks, Penn State – I’m never going to pick against Brooks, but man, he’s going to have his work cut out for him this weekend. Former teammate Michael Beard of Lehigh could be waiting in the semis, and Mifflin County native Trent Hidlay of North Carolina State is the No. 2 seed. Neither would be a gimme for Brooks.

285 – Greg Kerkvliet, Penn State – Kerkvliet is probably glad there’s no Gable Steveson to worry about, but there’s still plenty of threats for him. Iowa State’s Yonger Bastida, Air Force’s Wyatt Hendrickson, Arizona State’s Cohlton Schultz, and Lehigh’s Nathan Taylor are all possibilities for a run at the title.

Team champion— Penn State

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