TULSA, Ok. (WTAJ) — Penn State wrestling mathematically clinched the 2023 NCAA Wrestling Championship early in session five on Saturday. This is the Nittany Lions’ eleventh National Championship.
Head coach Cael Sanderson has won 10 of the last 12 National Championships.
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All-Americans Beau Barlett, Max Dean, and Shayne Van Ness helped clinch the win on Saturday’s consolation rounds.
No. 6 Barlett beat 10. Lachlan McNeil from North Carolina in a 4-1 decision for third place at 141 pounds. No. 12 Van Ness beat no. 3 Kyle Parco from Arizona State in a 7-2 decision for third place at 149 pounds.
No. 9 Dean beat no. 14 Jacob Warner from Iowa for seventh place at 197 pounds. The senior wraps up his career as a four-time All-American, a two-time team National Champion, won the 197 pound National Championship in 2022, and won the Big Ten title.
Five remaining Nittany Lions will wrestle for their individual National Championships.
No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young looks for his third-straight National Title at 133 pounds. He will wrestle no. 3 Vito Arujau from Cornell. Arujau wrestled at 125 last year and took third in the 2022 National Championship.
No. 2 Levi Haines will take on no. 1 Austin O’Connor from North Carolina for the 157 pound final. Haines was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year with his Big Ten title.
No. 1 Carter Starocci will meet no. 2 Mikey Labriola from Nebraska at the 174 pound final. This will be a rematch of the Big Ten final at 174 pounds, where Starocci beat Labriola 6-1 in decision. Starocci looks for this third-straight National Championship. Labriola placed seventh in the 2022 National Championship
No. 3 Aaron Brooks will wrestle on. 1 Parker Keckeisen from UNI for the 184 pound final. Brooks also looks for his third-straight National Championship. Keckeisen placed third in 2022.
No. 3 Greg Kerkvliet will wrestle no. 1 Mason Parris from Michigan for the 285 pound final. This will be a rematch of the Big Ten final at 285 pounds, where Parris won 5-3 on decision in sudden victory. Parris placed fifth in the 2022 National Championship.
Bravo-Young, Brooks, Haines, and Starocci all won Big Ten titles at their respective weights, and Kerkvliet took second.