Penn State Wrestling finishes on top at the Big Ten Championships for the first time since 2019.
The Nittany Lions will send representatives from 9 of the 10-weight classes to NCAA’s.
Additionally, Four wrestlers won the Big 10 Title at their respective weight classes and 7 finished top 3. Penn State Wrestling will be heavy favorites to win their 2nd consecutive NCAA Title and their 10th title in 12 seasons when the tournament kicks off March 16th.
How Penn State Wrestling Finished at Big Ten Championships
Final Big Ten Standings:
#1 Penn State 147.0
#2 Iowa 134.5
#3 Nebraska 104.5
#4 Ohio State 99.0
#5 Michigan 84.5
#6 Minnesota 79.0
#7 Northwestern 78.5
#8 Wisconsin 55.5
#9 Purdue 47.0
#10 Illinois 46.5
#11 Rutgers 32.0
#12 Indiana 30.0
#13 Michigan State 28.0
#14 Maryland 24.0
Results from each Weight Class:
125: Gary Steen – 10th
There wasn’t a whole lot of expectations for Steen heading into this tournament and he finished where he was seeded.
Optimistic Penn State Wrestling fans were hoping for a top 8 finish for an automatic bid or even a 9th place finish for a potential at large. The struggle to find a solid option at 125 to send to the NCAA Tournament continues for Cael Sanderson for another year.
133: Roman Bravo-Young – 1st
The defending national champion lived up to expectations and cruised through the conference tournament to add another Big 10 title to his already full trophy case.
Bravo-Young took care of Aaron Nagao for a 5-2 decision and was in control from start to finish. Penn State will be counting on RBY to make a return to the NCAA Finals and garner a lot of bonus points along the way when the national tournament kicks off in less than 2 weeks.
141: Beau Bartlett – 3rd
Bartlett entered the tournament as a number two seed and expected to be a contender for the championship. He was upset in the semifinals by #3 Brock Hardy of Nebraska but wrestled strongly in consolations to bring home 3rd.
Bartlett will have a chance to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament and at minimum should finish as an All American.
149: Shayne Van Ness – 4th
Van Ness entered as a 5 seed so finishing 4th was a little bit of an overachievement for the young redshirt freshman. It will be a little more of an uphill battle for Van Ness at nationals as although seeded 5th in the Big Ten, the national ranking is around 13. Wrestling in the Big Ten Tournament will give some good experience heading into NCAA’s.
157: Levi Haines – 1st
The only Nittany Lion to win the conference championship who wasn’t a top seed. Haines took down #1 Peyton Robb who was not only the top seed in the tournament but also undefeated and #1 in the country.
Haines has established himself as a true national title contender and will provide another spot for potential bonus points at NCAA’s. The true freshman has been a pleasant surprise after the coaches debated on whether to redshirt earlier in the season. With a few top wrestlers out of eligibility after this year expect Haines to be a key wrestler in 2024 for the Nittany Lions.
165: Alex Facundo – 7th
Facundo was the biggest underachiever for Penn State by seeding. The freshmen entered the tournament as a 4 seed but was upset in the quarterfinals and never seemed to really get momentum back. He will have an opportunity to redeem himself in the NCAA Tournament against Non-Big 10 competition.
Facundo was a fringe All-American based on his #9 National ranking so the upside is still there to get the Nittany Lions some team points.
174: Carter Starocci – 1st
Starocci continued his run of dominance and took care of undefeated and #2 nationally Mikey Labriola in an easy 6-1 decision. The defending national champion continued his undefeated season and looks poised for another deep NCAA run.
Starocci will be another wrestler that Penn State will lean on to pick up bonus points through the early rounds of NCAA’s.
184: Aaron Brooks – 1st
Brooks won by a major decision over #2 Kaleb Romero from Ohio State and was in control from wire to wire. Brooks will be the favorite to win the national title at 184, although most of his competition will come from outside of the Big 10. Brooks lone loss this season was to #4 Marcus Coleman 9-7 early in the season. A matchup that we could very well see in 2 weeks.
197: Max Dean – 2nd
Dean came up short against the 2 seeded Silas Allred from Nebraska falling 6-3 in a tough match. Dean came into the tournament as a heavy favorite and ranked #3 nationally with the closest ranked opponent coming from Allred at #10.
Like many Penn State wrestlers in the past, he will have an opportunity to avenge his Big Ten loss by winning an NCAA Title.
HWT: Greg Kerkvliet
Greg Kerkvliet matched up for the 2nd time this season with #1 Mason Parris and fell in sudden victory in overtime. The all-time series is now knotted at 3-3 and it is setting up for a decisive 7th meeting in the National Championship as these two are a step above everyone else at heavyweight.