The next weight class is 79KG, where we are represented by current Penn State Wrestling great Carter Starocci.
Starocci was slotted in as the #2 seed. As I mentioned in the preview article, 79KG was seen as the deepest weight class at the tournament so the run to the finals would be a challenging one.
But Starocci had different ideas. The current Penn State Wrestling national champion won his first three matches without giving up a single point to his opponents. This included a victory over the very tough Michael Kemerer in the quarters. Starocci won that bout 9-0 which was a little surprising because Kemerer is an accomplished wrestler and not your typical 7-seed.
Carter Starocci was onto the semifinals where he faced #3 Alex Dieringer. Dieringer is a very accomplished freestyle wrestler and won a silver medal on the 2021 US Team Trials. Dieringer would start the match with a takedown on Starocci which unfortunately led to an apparent injury for Starocci.
Starocci wrestled in this tournament with a big wrap around his knee. When he got taken down, his knee hit the mat and the Penn State wrestler quickly started writhing in pain, grabbing his knee. After a couple of minutes of injury stoppage time, Starocci surprisingly continued the match. I was shocked because Starocci seemed to be in a lot of pain. Unfortunately, Starocci could not overcome the early deficit and whatever injury he was wrestling through, and he fell to Dieringer 7-1.
Starocci will continue in the consolation bracket and can go for third place. He is currently in the consolation semifinals where he will face the winner of Marinelli and Skatzka.