Penn State wins Cael Sanderson's 11th wrestling national title with record-setting performance

Penn State wrestling inevitably claimed gold in Kansas City, and four Nittany Lions captured championships at their weight classes on Saturday, March 23rd, 2024.
Penn State Wrestling Head Coach Cael Sanderson
Penn State Wrestling Head Coach Cael Sanderson / Hunter Martin/GettyImages

Head Coach Cael Sanderson and his Penn State Nittany Lions won their 11th National Championship since 2011 over the weekend at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City. They scored a record 172.5 points across the competition, clearing second place Cornell by 100 points. 

Aaron Brooks captured the Most Outstanding Wrestler award at the Championship after his spectacular 6-1 victory over North Carolina State’s Trent Hidlay at 197 pounds. Brooks is now a four-time NCAA champion and will leave Happy Valley as one of the best wrestlers In Penn State history.

Penn State’s Carter Starocci, Greg Kerkvilet, and Levi Haines also seized individual National Championships in their respective weight classes. Starocci defeated Ohio State’s Rocco Welsh at 174 pounds, Kerkvilet defeated Michigan’s Lucas Davison at 285 pounds, and Haines defeated Arizona State’s Jacori Teemer at 157 pounds. 

The Nittany Lions under Cael Sanderson are undoubtedly a dynasty and are the premier wrestling school in the nation. They will seek a four-peat when the Division I Men’s Wrestling National Championship comes to Philadelphia in 2025.

Penn State has now won 11 of the last 13 national titles dating back to 2011, all under Sanderson. The program's only other national title came back in 1953 under Charles Speidel.

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