No. 1 Penn State Wrestling cruises past Clarion 40-6 on Sunday afternoon for their final dual meet of the 2022-2023 season
The Penn State Wrestling Team hosted Clarion in Rec Hall on Sunday afternoon for their final regular season dual meet of the 2022-2023 season. At this point in the season, it’s easy for most Nittany Lion fans to turn their gaze towards the postseason with the Big Ten Championships and NCAA Championships merely weeks away.
But Penn State still had to take care of business at home before they could turn the page onto the last few chapters of the season. And keeping your wrestlers healthy and in peak form are paramount for this time of the year.
Which is exactly what Cael Sanderson and his incredible coaching staff have done because the Nittany Lions looked simply brilliant on the mat this afternoon. Penn State was focused, they were prepared, and they kicked some butt to the tune of 40-6 over the overmatched Clarion Golden Eagles.
The win capped a perfect 16-0 dual meet season, pushed their dual meet winning streak to 44, and is yet another achievement on the year to go along with being crowned the Big Ten Wrestling Dual Meet Champions.
Now onto the action!
The dual meet started out at 125 where Gary Steen was coming off a tough 1-0 defeat last week against No. 15 Braxton Brown of Maryland. And Steen was once again locked in a tight battle as he snagged a first period takedown and led the match 2-1 going into the second.
From that point on Gary was laser focused and he ultimately won a 5-1 decision over his Clarion counterpart. Maybe this is the optimism talking, but between these last two matches I think Steen has really gained some confidence in his wrestling. I wouldn’t be shocked if he surprises someone in the upcoming Big Tens.
Next up at 133, Roman Bravo-Young took to the mat for the final time in Rec Hall as a Penn State wrestler. And there was no better or more fitting way for RBY to close out his final home wrestling match than this …
The fall for Bravo-Young was his fourth of the season and it pushed his bonus point percentage on the season to a staggering 86% (a career high). With the results of the first two matches, Penn State flew out to a 9-0 lead.
In the next three matches the talented Nittany Lion lineup continued to pour it on as Beau Bartlett won a 12-4 major decision, Shayne Van Ness walked through his opponent for a 17-1 technical fall, and Levi Haines crushed his Clarion foe with an 18-3 technical fall.
At the intermission Penn State held a commanding 23-0 lead.
Alex Facundo took to the mat following the break and while he didn’t win any bonus points in his match, it was still a dominating win. Facundo won a 16-10 decision and the Nittany Lions kept the train rolling by leading the dual meet 26-0.
Then at 174, it was Carter Starocci’s turn to embarrass a highly tuned athlete and wrestling machine. And I would say he did a pretty good job of that.
Starocci piled on the points in the opening period and then turned his opponent’s back to the mat late in the second to earn the near fall points and the 19-3 technical fall.
Giving Aaron Brooks a breather, Donovon Ball got the call again at 184. And Ball was going to have his hands full with No. 21 ranked Will Feldkamp standing across the mat from him.
Donovon has proven he’s a tough wrestler and he can go toe-to-toe with anyone. Heck, I don’t think I’d being going out on a limb to say he would start at most collegiate wrestling programs across the country.
But today was not Ball’s best day on the mat as Feldkamp caught him early in the first period. Donovon fought to get out, but he was in a bad position and Feldkamp ended the match with the pin a minute and 20 seconds into the match.
Well, you can’t win them all and with two matches remaining in the dual the Nittany Lions held a 31-6 lead.
And in his final collegiate wrestling match in Rec Hall, Max Dean pulled out the 9-5 decision over a feisty Clarion opponent. While the result wasn’t as dominant as some of the other bouts today, a win is a win.
The final match of the afternoon saw Greg “Kerk Kong” Kerkvliet take to the mat, and he was looking to add to his preposterous 76-0 near fall point advantage on the season.
Well, he tried to turn his foe on many occasions, however Chapman wanted no part in wrestling against Kerkvliet today. Time to cue the “Get him a pillow” chant.
Kerkvliet got what he wanted in the end as he caught Chapman early in the third period and immediately got him flat on his back. The fall slammed the door on the 40-6 win and was a perfect way to close out the afternoon dual meet.
Next up for Penn State is a trip to Ann Arbor, Michigan for the 2023 Big Ten Championships on March 4th and 5th. The first session of the Big Tens kicks off at 10:00am EST.
Clarion 6 No. 1 Penn State 40
125 Gary Steen (PSU) dec. over Joey Fischer (CU) 5-1, CU 0 PSU 3
133 No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young (PSU) fall over Mason Prinkey (CU) 4:31, CU 0 PSU 9
141 No. 5 Beau Bartlett (PSU) major dec. over Seth Koleno (CU) 12-4, CU 0 PSU 13
149 No. 13 Shayne Van Ness (PSU) tech. fall over Kyle Schickel (CU) 17-1, CU 0 PSU 18
157 No. 8 Levi Haines (PSU) tech. fall over Trevor Elfvin (CU) 18-3, CU 0 PSU 23
165 No. 9 Alex Facundo (PSU) dec. over Cam Pine (CU) 16-10, CU 0 PSU 26
174 No. 1 Carter Starocci (PSU) tech. fall over John Worthing (CU) 19-3, CU 0 PSU 31
184 No. 21 Will Feldkamp (CU) fall over Donovon Ball (PSU) 1:20, CU 6 PSU 31
197 No. 3 Max Dean (PSU) dec. over Ty Bagoly (CU) 9-5, CU 6 PSU 34
285 No. 2 Greg Kerkvliet (PSU) fall over Austin Chapman (CU) 5:21, CU 6 PSU 40