Penn State Wrestling: 2022 NCAA Championships – Session I Recap

Penn State's Roman Bravo-Young (Image via The Des Moines Register)
Penn State's Roman Bravo-Young (Image via The Des Moines Register) /
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Penn State Wrestling
Penn State head coach Cael Sanderson watches during a practice session before the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, Wednesday, March 16, 2022, at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich.220316 Ncaa Practice Wr 010 Jpg /

Opening Round Matches (cont.)

No. 1 Carter Starocci (PSU) vs. No. 33 Connor O’Neill (RUT)

Result: Carter Starocci fall over Connor O’Neill 6:39

Boy did that help.

With the match well in hand late in the third period, Starocci was able to get the pin on O’Neill to give the Nittany Lions their first fall bonus points (2 points) of the day. It’s vital for top ranked teams to get as many bonus points as they can in early round matchups against far lesser foes.

Next up for Carter is No. 16 Adam Kemp of Cal Poly in the round of 16.

No. 2 Aaron Brooks (PSU) vs. No. 31 A.J. Burkhart (LEH)

Result: Aaron Brooks maj dec over A.J. Burkhart 21-7

Brooks completely smashed Burkhart on his way to the one-sided major decision. While a technical fall would have been better in terms of bonus points, I’ll still take the dominant result.

Next up for Brooks is Virginia Tech’s No. 15 Hunter Bolen in the round of 16.

No. 1 Max Dean (PSU) vs. No. 32 Will Feldkamp (CLAR)

Result: Max Dean tech fall over Will Feldkamp 17-1

Speaking of dominant, in the second period Dean almost turned Feldkamp into a pretzel in the middle of the mat. Max is clearly just trying to push the limits of the human body to see how far ligaments and tendons can stretch before the rupture.

Of course, he’s a man of science.

Next up for Max is a round of 16 match against Virginia’s No. 17 Jay Aiello.

No. 4 Greg Kerkvliet (PSU) vs. No. 29 Brandon Metz (NDSU)

Result: Greg Kerkvliet fall over Brandon Metz 4:17

Thank goodness the back end of this year’s Penn State squad is a force to reckon with.

All four guys did exactly what they needed to do which was win the match, score bonus points, and move on.

The night session of the opening day of the NCAA Wrestling Championships comes back on the at 7:00 p.m. EST and will air on both ESPN and ESPN3.