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Penn State Wrestling

Penn State Wrestling: Tyler Kasak, Bernie Truax Finish 3rd/5th Place

Penn State Wrestling
Photo by Penn State Wrestling: Cael Sanderson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Penn State wrestling had a great Saturday morning at the T-Mobile Center, with true freshman Tyler Kasak, ranked No. 7, and graduate student Bernie Trusx, ranked No. 6 winning their medal matches.

Kasak (24-5) finished in third at 149 pounds, and Truax (19-6) finished in fifth at 184. After losing his Round of 32 match Thursday, Kasak won six straight from Thursday night through Saturday morning to end his first season strong. Truax lost in the Quarterfinals Friday morning, but won his two Round of 12 matches later en route to his Fifth Place finish.

Kasak took on No. 1 Nebraska junior Ridge Lovett in the Consolation Semifinals. This served as their their third match this season, with Lovett winning the previous two, 7-3 in the dual Feb. 18 and 4-1 in the Big Ten Championships. 

Unlike those matches, Kasak started off the better of the two, getting an early takedown. He would have two more takedowns and controlled his match to defeat Lovett in a 10-1 major decision.

This set him up with fellow Pennsylvania native West Virginia’s Ty Watters, a graduate of West Allegheny high school,  in the third place match.

He got a takedown on Watters in the first period and held off attacks from Watters to win on a 3-2 decision.

“I don’t think about it,” Kasak said to ESPN’s Quint Kessenich after losing his Round of 32 match and winning seven straight. “It’s heartbreaking, heart-wrenching, but you gotta figure out what man you want to be in those situations. You can give up or you can find out what you’re made of. Just kind of show case how you were raised and who you want to be as a person.”

Truax lost in the Consolation Semifinals to Oregon State redshirt junior Trey Munoz, seeded fourth (24-4). Munoz picked Truax up and slammed him at 2:30 into the first period.

He would face off against senior Isaiah Salazar (24-4), seeded second, in the fifth-place match. Truax lost to Salazar in sudden victory in the Big Ten Championship match 8-1.

Truax got his revenge this time around, putting on a show with three takedowns for a 12-0 major decision after riding time.

Truax, who came to Penn State wrestling as a graduate transfer from Cal Poly, ends his career as a four-time All-American.

Penn State wrestling competes later Saturday night, with a school-record six finalists preparing to battle for individual national titles.

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