Penn State Wrestling: Nittany Lions hold on to win the 2022 National Collegiate Duals

Penn State's Roman Bravo-Young gets ready before wrestling at 133 pounds during a NCAA Big Ten Conference wrestling dual against Iowa, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.220127 Penn St Iowa Wr 031 Jpg
Penn State's Roman Bravo-Young gets ready before wrestling at 133 pounds during a NCAA Big Ten Conference wrestling dual against Iowa, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.220127 Penn St Iowa Wr 031 Jpg /

Recapping the final in the Blue Pool for the 2022 National Collegiate Duals as Penn State Wrestling narrowly escapes Iowa State 22-12

By completely dismantling both Central Michigan and North Carolina last night, the top ranked Nittany Lions faced their toughest opponent to date in the Iowa State Cyclones. Winning its 35th straight dual meet would be no easy task for Penn State Wrestling.

Iowa State punched their ticket to the finals in the Blue Pool of the National Collegiate Duals by cruising past Oregon State 26-6 and then squeezing by Cornell 18-13.

On paper this looked like it was going to be a battle which could come down to the last match or two. But you know what they say about sports on paper, right?

Yep. Sometimes it’s right and sometimes it’s wrong.

Moving on.

Onto the action!

The final for the Blue Pool started out at 125 where Gary Steen went up against an experienced backup for Iowa State as their starter was out.

Cabanban used a late takedown in the first period and an entire ride out in the second period to take a 2-0 lead with over two minutes of riding time going into the final period.

Steen allowed the early escape and midway through the period Cabanban locked up the riding time point to make the score 4-0. Knowing he needed to score some points, Steen went on the attack and nearly caught Cabanban with a takedown but he couldn’t pull the trigger.

With the final seconds of the match ticking away, Steen almost locked in a cradle but unfortunately it was too little too late and the freshman dropped the decision 4-0. After the first match Iowa State was on the board and had the lead 3-0.

In the ranked matchup at 133, and to the surprise of most Penn State wrestling fans, the match went into the second period tied at 0-0. But there was plenty of action in the second and third period.

Late in the second, RBY earned two near fall points and then after an early escape in the third period, Bravo-Young snagged the first takedown of the match to take a 5-0 lead.

RBY tacked on two more takedowns and with the riding time point pulled out an exciting 10-2 major decision. The Nittany Lions then took the lead in the dual 4-3.

Next up at 141, Beau Bartlett added to his already fantastic season by using a flurry of takedowns at the end of the match to secure the 8-3 decision and extend Penn State’s lead to 7-3.

The battle at 149 saw both grapplers trade escapes in both the second and early in the third period to knot the score at 1-1. Van Ness was the aggressor for the majority of the match, however on his next shot, Johnson was waiting and countered with a beautiful go behind takedown.

Van Ness pulled free of Paniro’s grip and with a little more than a minute left in the third period, the match stood at 3-2 in favor of Johnson. Shayne went on the attack and took roughly 217 shots  in the final 40 seconds with Johnson doing nothing but running away. You would think this would fit neatly into criteria for “stalling” in folkstyle wrestling but as everyone knows, it’s all up to the individual official.

And with eight seconds remaining in the match the official finally signaled a stall warning. Great. But come on, eight seconds left in the match? *sigh*

Well needless to say Shayne Van Ness dropped his first match of the year in a tough 3-2 decision and Iowa State closed the gap in the dual 7-6

Levi Haines got the call again at 157 and he’s looked nothing short of impressive in his first three dual meet matches for the Nittany Lions.

Haines was on the attacked from the opening whistle and he was able to snag two first period takedowns, a big third period takedown, and the riding time bonus to win the 8-3 decision over his Cyclone counterpart.

Halfway through the dual meet Penn State lead Iowa State 10-6.

And in the second big time matchup for the young guns of Penn State, Alex Facundo had a difficult uphill climb against former NCAA Champion David Carr.

Carr looked like he was going to cruise through the match as he was in complete control in the first two period. Down 3-1 going into the third, Facundo was able to quickly work free from the bottom position and the match was narrowed by a point. Trailing 3-2 with roughly 30 seconds left, Facundo took several shots, however none of them were able to hit home and he ended up losing the tight decision 4-2.

Following this result, the Nittany Lions narrowly held onto the lead 10-9.

The fourth ranked matchup of the evening was another slugfest as Carter Starocci brought his lunch pail and put in some tough work. As he always does.

Starocci snagged two takedowns and an escape to win the 5-1 decision and Penn State extended their lead to 13-9.

The top four matchup at 184 looked like it was going end just like the previous match. After an early escape in the second period, Brooks took a 3-0 lead looking to cruise to the victory.

But Marcus Coleman had other ideas and he struck at the perfect time to catch Brooks by complete surprise. Coleman had Brooks’ back to the mat and his six point throw flipped the match on its head.

Going into the third period Aaron Brooks tried to narrow the lead but Coleman continually fought him off. Brooks got a takedown but Coleman pulled the immediate reversal and went on to pull of the massive upset for Iowa State.

With only two matches left in the dual, Penn State clung to a 13-12 lead.

The fans in attendance were then greeted with the second consecutive top five matchup with Max Dean taking on Yonger Bastida. Dean has been severely tested recently and this match would be no different.

After a scoreless first period, Max Dean earned the quick escape and then was able to snag a late takedown in the second period to take a 3-0 lead going into the final period.

Dean began the third in the top position and it was crucial for him to push his riding time to over a minute just for some added cushion.

And he was able to come up clutch by doing just that. Max got the riding time to just over one minute before Bastida broke free. And for the final minute in the match, Dean and Bastida took turns taking shots, however the final whistle blew with both grapplers squared up and on their feet with Dean the 4-1 decision winner.

That was a huge win there for Penn State Wrestling!

The dual then came to an anti-climactic conclusion as Iowa State had to forfeit the final bout due to an injury from the prior day.

The Penn State Nittany Lions were tested and they pulled through with the 22-12 win to claim their second straight National Collegiate Duals title.

Next up for the Nittany Lions is their Big Ten road opener against the Wisconsin Badgers on January 6th at 9pm.

No. 5 Iowa State 12 No. 1 Penn State 22

125 Corey Cabanban (ISU) dec. over Gary Steen (PSU) 4-0, ISU 3 PSU 0
133 No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young (PSU)  major dec. over No. 21 Ramazan Attasauov (ISU) 10-2, ISU 3 PSU 4
141 No. 5 Beau Bartlett (PSU) dec. over Zach Redding (ISU) 8-3, ISU 3 PSU 7
149 No. 5 Paniro Johnson (ISU) dec. over No. 17 Shayne Van Ness (PSU) 3-2, ISU 6 PSU 7
157 Levi Haines (PSU) dec. over Jason Kraisser (ISU) 8-3, ISU 6 PSU 10
165 No. 3 David Carr (ISU) dec. over No. 14 Alex Facundo (PSU) 4-2, ISU 9 PSU 10
174 No. 1 Carter Starocci (PSU) dec. over No. 21 Julien Broderson (ISU) 5-1, ISU 9 PSU 13
184 No. 4 Marcus Coleman (ISU) dec. over No. 1 Aaron Brooks (PSU)  9-7, ISU 12 PSU 13
197 No. 5 Max Dean (PSU) dec. over No. 2 Yonger Bastida (ISU) 4-1, ISU 12 PSU 16
285 No. 1 Greg Kerkvliet (PSU) inj. forfeit No. 10 Sam Schuyler (ISU) , ISU 12 PSU 22