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Penn State Wrestling

Penn State Wrestling Sends 7 to Big Ten Finals

Photo by Penn State Wrestling: Levi Haines

Penn State wrestling was already having a remarkable day, with all nine of the wrestlers who competed at the Big Ten Championships in College Park, Maryland, making it to the semifinals.

It got even better in the semis, with PSU going 7-2.

Braeden Davis (125), Beau Bartlett (141), Levi Haines (157), Mitchell Mesenbrink (165), Bernie Truax (184), Aaron Brooks (197) and Greg Kerkvliet (Heavyweight) all advanced to the Big Ten finals.

Penn State would have eight in the finals if Carter Starocci were close to full strength. But due to an injury suffered in Penn State’s last dual meet of the season against Edinboro late last month, Starocci took a pair of injury defaults to exit the tournament.

Here’s how the night went down.


No. 6 Braeden Davis (Penn State wrestling) vs. No. 7 Michael DeAugustino (Michigan)

The bout is scoreless through the first period. DeAugustino starts the second period on top, but Davis escapes to go up 1-0. He keeps that advantage into the third period, where he starts on top. This time, it’s DeAugustino who gets the quick escape and ties the bout at one. The third period ends tied at 1, and Davis goes into second period for the second time today. One sudden victory isn’t enough, and they go to tiebreakers. Davis starts on top, and DeAugustino gets an escape to go up 2-1. In the second tiebreaker, Davis gets an escape to tie it at two. Nothing is decided after tiebreakers, so the two go into another sudden victory. With 30 seconds left, Davis wins it with a takedown. He’ll be wrestling for a Big Ten title.

Davis 5, DeAugustino 2

No. 5 Aaron Nagao (Penn State wrestling) vs. No. 1 Dylan Ragusin (Michigan)

Ragusin gets the scoring started with a takedown in the first minute. After Ragusin has nearly a minute and a half of riding time, Nagao reverses him to make it 3-2. Ragusin gets another point with an escape to make it 4-2, and that’s how the first period ends. Nagao gets an escape to make it 4-3, where it remains going into the third period. Nagao starts the last period on top, and Ragusin gets an escape to make it 5-3. Nagao gets a late takedown, but its after time ran out. Ragusin wins, 6-3, with an extra point due to riding time.

Ragusin 6, Nagao 3


No. 1 Beau Bartlett (Penn State wrestling) vs. No. 5 Sergio Lemley (Michigan)

The two are scoreless after one, and Bartlett escapes for the match’s first point early in the second period. With less than a minute left in the period, Bartlett gets a takedown to make it 4-0. Bartlett ends the second period up 4-0 and with 31 seconds of riding time. Lemley escapes early in the third to make it 4-1, ending Bartlett’s riding time at 39 seconds. With less than a minute left, Lemley gets a takedown to tie it. Bartlett soon retakes the lead with an escape, but only leads 5-4. Bartlett hangs on to advance to his first Big Ten championship match.

Bartlett 5, Lemley 4


No. 4 Tyler Kasak (Penn State wrestling) vs. No. 1 Ridge Lovett (Nebraska)

The two wrestle to a scoreless first period. Kasak starts the second period on top, and Lovett gets an escape to open the scoring. He holds that 1-0 lead into the third period. Kasak continues to fight, but Lovett gets a takedown with 20 seconds left. He wins, 4-0.

Lovett 4, Kasak 0


No. 1 Levi Haines (Penn State) vs. No. 4 Jared Franek (Iowa)

Franek gets off to a better start than he did in January at Carver Gawkeye arena, when Haines blanked Franek, 12-0. It’s scoreless after 1. Haines starts the second period on bottom and gets an escape to open the scoring. He gets a takedown late in the second to make it 4-0 and then locks up riding time in the third after starting on top. Haines ends up winning 5-0. Franek still hasn’t scored on him in 2024.

Haines 5, Franek 0



No. 2 Mitchell Mesenbrink (Penn State) vs. No. 3 Mike Caliendo (Iowa)

It takes Mesenbrink less than 30 seconds to open the scoring with a takedown. After Caliendo makes it 3-1 with an escape, there’s a brief stoppage for blood. With exactly a minute left, Mesenbrink gets a takedown to make it 6-1. Caliendo then gets an escape to make it 6-2. With 24 seconds left, Mesenbrink gets a third takedown to make it 9-2 and put himself on the verge of a major. Caliendo inches a little closer with an escape point toward the end of the first. Caliendo adds a fourth point in the third with another escape, but Mesenbrink quickly gets a takedown to make it 12-4 and put himself in line for a major. He ends up with a tech fall. Even better for Mesenbrink.

Mesenbrink 23, Caliendo 7


No. 3 Bernie Truax (Penn State) vs. No. 2 Lenny Pinto (Nebraska) 

The two are scoreless after the first period. Truax starts the second period on bottom and quickly gets an escape to make it 1-0. He keeps that lead into the last period, where he starts on top. Pinto gets an escape within the first three seconds and ties the score. With 1:12 left in the third, Truax takes both ankles and gets a takedown to go ahead 4-1. Pinto almost gets another close escape, but Truax stays on him until Pinto does escape to make it 4-2. Truax holds on to avenge his loss to Pinto in February.

Truax 4, Pinto 2


No. 1 Aaron Brooks (Penn State) vs. No. 4 Silas Allred (Nebraska)

It’s a fast start, with Allred escaping and Brooks getting a takedown within the first 30 seconds to make it 3-1. Brooks gets another takedown to make it 6-1. Brooks ends the period up 6-1 and with riding time secured. He gets a near fall to make it 10-1, at this point piling up more than three and a half minutes of riding time. Brooks ends up majoring Allred.

Brooks 14, Allred 2


No. 1 Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State) vs. No. 4 Yaraslau Slavikouski (Rutgers)

Kerkvliet gets a takedown within the first 10 seconds to go up 3-0. He adds another point later in the period due to the stall call and enters the second up 4-0. After riding Slavikouski for 2:51, Kerkvliet starts the second period on bottom and gets a quick escape to extend the lead to five. A takedown with around a minute left makes it 8-0 and puts Kerkvliet in line to major. Kerkvliet adds the riding time point to win, 9-0.

Kerkvliet 9, Slavikouski 0


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