Penn State Wrestling Star Carter Starocci Chasing History, 4th NCAA Championship Bid

Penn State Wrestling, Carter Starocci
Carter Starocci of Penn State Wrestling (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Carter Starocci has a chance to do what no other Nittany Lions grappler has ever done in their storied history as he and fellow teammate, Aaron Brooks, could become the first ever four time NCAA champions for Penn State Wrestling.

It’s crazy to think all-time greats like Ed Ruth, Zain Retherford, Jason Nolf, and Bo Nickal ended their Penn State careers stuck at three NCAA titles each.

Heck, one of the best, if not THE best, Nittany Lion to ever slap on a singlet, David Taylor, finished his collegiate career with two. Only Bubba Jenkins and Kyle Dake stood between the Magic Man and four individual titles.

Speaking of four NCAA titles, there have only been five wrestlers in history to pull off this incredible feat:

Pat Smith Oklahoma State 1990-1994
Cael Sanderson Iowa State 1999-2002
Kyle Dake Cornell 2010-2013
Logan Stieber Ohio State 2012-2015
Yianni Diakomihalis Cornell 2018-2019 & 2022-2023


Both Starocci and Brooks could add their names to this illustrious list if they suit up for the Nittany Lions next year.

But, what’s even more incredible is the fact Carter Starocci has the ability to become the first five time NCAA champion thanks to the shortened 2020 season and subsequent extra year of eligibility given to all collegiate athletes.

During his career in Happy Valley, Carter has already racked up an 80-2 record which includes two Big Ten titles, the aforementioned three NCAA titles, and he currently has the sixth best win percentage in Penn State Wrestling history (96.8%).

But, only Carter Starocci knows what lies ahead in his future.

With the Olympics coming into focus next season and with the temptation of the MMA circuit, I wouldn’t really be shocked if Carter doesn’t compete in college wrestling for two more seasons.

I mean did you hear his interview after he pummeled Mikey Labriola in the 2023 NCAA finals?

Starocci has his sights set on some big things in the future. And for good reason as he has an amazing work ethic and drive to get better every day.

Carter’s mother, Starla, has always been impressed by the Nittany Lions’ star’s competitive nature.

“Carter doesn’t like to lose at ANYTHING,” Starla said recently. “S,o his daily routine is to work on getting better, faster and stronger.

“He is dedicated to eating clean, staying healthy and working out while looking for ways of improving in other areas to become a better version of himself on and off the mat.”

And if there’s anyone who can win five NCAA titles, an Olympic gold medal, and have a UFC belt, my money would be on Carter Starocci.

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Chris Snyder
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Chris Snyder

Expertise: College Wrestling, College Football, Lays Chips Education: Penn State University Location: State College, PA Even though he had no prior journalism experience, Chris has now covered Penn State Wrestling and Penn State Football for the past three years, including as the Penn State Wrestling Beat Writer for, part of the FanSided network. And it's clear he also likes constant torture as he's been a PSU Basketball fan for way too long. Several years back, Chris made the seamless transition from PGA Professional to computer programmer and thoroughly enjoys following and writing about all things related to Penn State sports during his spare time.