Match No. 3
No. 2 Penn State vs. No. 3 Arizona State
No. 22 Beau Bartlett (PSU) dec over No. 5 Kyle Parco (ASU) 3-1 SV
Throughout his young Penn State career, the word “enigma” best fits when describing Beau Bartlett.
Prior to setting foot on campus at Penn State, Bartlett was a four-time national prep champion and placed eighth in the Senior U.S. Open Championships while in high school. Beau also won the 2018 Pan-Am title and the 2017 and 2019 Powerade Championships.
Add in a bronze finish in the 2021 World Junior Wrestling Championships and it’s safe to say Beau Bartlett is a darn good wrestler.
But his 23-13 overall record for the Nittany Lions tends to tell a slightly different story. Which is the fact Bartlett has wrestled at a weight which isn’t natural to him (141 is where he should be) and he has had mixed success while wrestling up a weight class.
Even good wrestlers struggle when they’re going up against guys who aren’t at their ideal weight. And yes, I do know it’s only a difference of eight pounds between 141 and 149. On a side note, eight pounds for me would be one solid trip to Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub.
But for guys like Beau, eight pounds is a massive difference in terms of height, reach, and leverage depending on the individual wrestler.
Nonetheless, the Penn State faithful, myself included, felt like the breakthrough for Bartlett could happen at any moment. He always wrestles top-ranked guys tough and matches are there for the taking late in the third period.
But this breakthrough hadn’t happened yet prior to Penn State’s dual against Arizona State in the finals of the Blue Pool in the 2021 Collegiate Wrestling Duals.
ASU got on the board first by winning a major decision at 125, however, PSU countered with a decision by RBY and a major decision by Nick Lee. The Nittany Lions were leading 7-4 going into the softest part of their lineup (149, 157, and 165).
And next up for Bartlett was the No. 5 ranked Kyle Parco for the Sun Devils. Parco was an All-American in 2021 with a sixth-place finish at 149 so he was certainly no slouch.
This match represented another chance for Bartlett to prove to everyone how good he could be and to prove he was an important piece to the success of the Penn State wrestling team.
The match started out pretty much exactly how everyone predicted it would go as both Bartlett and Parco circled the mat trying to feel each other out. Neither guy was able to land a takedown and the match was tied 0-0 heading into the second period.
Beau started the second period on the bottom and he was finally able to free himself from Parco’s clutches midway through the period. Both grapplers then finished the second squared up and on their feet. Going into the third period Bartlett was up 1-0 with Parco on the bottom position.
Kyle immediately broke free from Bartlett and the match was tied at 1-1 with riding time not being a factor and the majority of the third period remaining.
Both grapplers circled the mat and Parco remained the aggressor in taking several half-hearted shots. It was apparent Bartlett’s game plan was to try to counter Parco’s shots and work from there. And Beau was almost successful in both the first and second periods.
And with 40 seconds remaining in the third period, Parco took a shot and Beau countered. This time he was on the cusp of earning the takedown, however, Parco somehow escaped Bartlett’s clutches and the final seconds of the third period ticked away.
Onto to sudden victory.
The sudden victory period began the same way the opening period started, with Parco looking to get to his offense. And with a minute left in the period, Parco took a committed shot to Bartlett’s side. But Beau was ready for it.
Bartlett countered Parco’s shot and gained control of his upper body and his shoulders. Having gained full leverage this time on his counter, Beau was able to throw Parco to the mat while maintaining control.
The official awarded the takedown and Beau Bartlett had just defeated the highest-ranked wrestler of his young Nittany Lion career.
The rout for Penn State was on and they ended up pulverizing the Sun Devils to the tune of 29-9 to win the Collegiate Wrestling Duals.
Parco went on to be a two-time All-American this past season by finishing in the top eight. However, the success from the outcome of this match didn’t translate to Bartlett being a world-beater the rest of the season. But, on the bright side, Beau did qualify for his first ever NCAA Championships, so baby steps.
Regardless, Bartlett’s win against Parco was definitely one of the best matches of the 2021-2022 season for Penn State and it’s not going to be the last time Beau takes down a top 10 ranked opponent.