DETROIT — Saturday night in Motor City was one to remember for Penn State fans across the country, as Cael Sanderson’s squad resoundingly proved it was the top team in all the land and one of the best in history.
Despite clinching the team title before the title matches even began, the Nittany Lions didn’t take their foot off the gas, crowning five individual champions and putting up 131.5 total team points.
The blue and white’s five crowned wrestlers tied its own record for most individual champions in a season.
Here’s how things shook out across Saturday’s action for the Nittany Lions.
Roman Bravo-Young, 133 pounds
Kicking off the action on Saturday night for the blue and white, Bravo-Young came away with his second national title of his career.
In a rematch of last year’s NCAA finals, Bravo-Young reassured everyone that he is the top dog at 133 pounds.
In what could potentially be his final match at the collegiate level, Bravo-Young defeated Oklahoma State’s Daton Fix 3-2 to win his second consecutive national title.
Nick Lee, 141 pounds
Following Bravo-Young’s performance, a second Nittany Lion took home yet another individual title.
A five-year starter at Penn State, Lee ended his storied Nittany Lion career with his second national title in as many years.
Lee battled No. 15-seed Kizhan Clarke who played the role of spoiler against a number of higher seeded wrestlers throughout the tournament, taking No. 2-seed Jaydin Eierman and No. 6-seed Cole Matthews of Pitt.
Lee wouldn’t suffer the same fate, winning by way of a X-X decision in what was his final match in a Penn State singlet.
Carter Starocci, 174 pounds
The third Nittany Lion on Friday to earn the privilege of donning the blue and white singlet in a championship match, sophomore Starocci represented its history well.
Taking on Virginia Tech;s Mekhi Lewis, things were deadlocked at four through three periods of action and things remained that way through sudden victory.
Starocci was able to escape in the first tiebreaker round and recorded 0:15 in riding time to earn the win.
The Erie, Pennsylvania, native capped off a perfect tournament thanks to the overtime win over the Hookie.
In just his second NCAA tournament, Starocci earned the second NCAA title of his career.
Aaron Brooks, 184
In what may have been the most anticipated match of the entire tournament, Brooks completed his trilogy with Michigan’s Myles Amine on top.
The Nittany Lion scored a first period takedown on Amine and would not look back.
Brooks earned his second career national title at 184 pounds by besting an Olympic bronze medalist, cementing his place at the top of the 184-pound hierarchy.
After falling to Amine in the final round of the Big Ten tournament, the Nittany Lion got the best of the Wolverine when it mattered the most, coming away with the win 5-3.
Max Dean, 197 pounds
After an already extremely successful first season with his new team, Dean capped off his inaugural season at Penn State with his first national title.
The title came with a win against a familiar opponent in Iowa’s Jacob Warner.
In what was a rematch from earlier this season, Dean trailed 1-0 after two periods, but the junior scored an escape of his own.
With 32 seconds remaining in the match Dean followed that up with the first and only takedown of the bout, winning by way of a 3-2 decision and earning his first national title.
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Greg Kerkvliet, heavyweight
After one win on Saturday, Penn State’s Kerkvliet finishes fourth overall at his second national tournament.
Kerkvliet defeated Michigan’s Mason Paris earlier in the day, winning by way of a 6-1 decision with just over three minutes of riding time after a full third-period rideout.
The blue and white heavyweight then medically forfeited in his third-place bout against Lehigh’s Jordan Wood.
The fourth-place finish comes after he finished seventh in the tournament a year ago.
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