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Penn State Wrestling Legend David Taylor Weighs in on Carter Starocci Competing at 86 KG

Carter Starocci, Penn State Wrestling
Photo by NCAA: Carter Starocci

UNIVERSITY PARK– Many people expected Penn State wrestling legend Carter Starocci to wrestle at 74 KG for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials. 

It’s quite possible that Starocci himself expected that, considering he hyped up possible matchup with USA Wrestling legend Jordan Burroughs late last month.

But when the 86 KG bracket came out, Starocci’s name was on it.

The favorite at that class is another Penn State wrestling legend: defending Gold Medalist David Taylor

When talking with reporters the night before the trials, Taylor describe Starocci as a “tweener.”

“He’s a true 79-kilo guy,” Taylor said. and I think in his mind, he wanted to go 74 kilos, but I just don’t know if that was possible for him, you know. He just, he just has to do what’s best for him. feel like it’s best for him to go at 86 kilos and I think he’s going to be extremely competitive this weekend.”

So why was Taylor unsure that it was possible for Starocci to compete at 74 KG?

“He’s just too big,” Starocci said. “That’s what we face with six weight classes. That’s what makes the Olympic Trials so difficult is just you take 10 weight classes where you have multiple people that are the best in the world, and then you shrink them to six weight classes.”

Starocci’s first bout will be against No. 11 Patrick Downey, who won a national title at 197 pounds for Iowa State in 2015.

For Taylor, Starocci won’t be an easy out in any weight class. 

He’s a ferocious competitor. So any weight that Carter goes in, he obviously has a shot to do very well and he’s proven that, healthy or not healthy throughout his career. He’s one of the best competitors I’ve ever seen.”

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