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Penn State Wrestling, Softball Stars Named Athletes of the Year

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Aaron Brooks

Penn State sports are out of session until August, and the school has recognized a wrestling star and a softball star as its 2024 Athletes of the Year.

It should come as no surprise to any Penn State wrestling fans that Aaron Brooks is the school’s Male Athlete of the Year.

With 2024 roughly halfway done, Brooks has already had one of the best years maybe of any Penn State athlete ever.

In March, he won his fourth national title— a feat only six others, including teammate Carter Starocci, have accomplished. On April Fool’s Day, Brooks won college wrestling’s most prestigious individual honor— The Hodge Trophy. It was no joke. He earned it.

On a team full of stars, Brooks was the biggest of all.

He ended his fifth and final season 22-0. Brooks had six pins, 11 tech falls and just under 91 percent of the wins coming with bonus points. Brooks went 9-0 against top 16 competition. Seven of those were bonus-point wins.

Things got even better for Brooks less than three weeks later at the Olympic Trials, fittingly held in Happy Valley.

To qualify for Paris, Brooks needed to beat reigning Gold Medalist and fellow Penn State legend David Taylor twice in a best-of-three series, and he did just that. In less than two months, Brooks has a chance to make 2024 even better by winning an Olympic Gold Medal.

Penn State softball had one of its best seasons ever, and Bridget Nemeth was at the heart of it, making her a worthy choice for Penn State’s Female Athlete of the Year.

Nemeth, the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Year, went 23-7 in the circle and added four saves, seeing the school record for single-season wins.

Nemeth was a big reason Penn State made it to the NCAA Tournament, its first postseason appearance in 13 years.


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