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No. 1 Penn State Wrestling Cruises Past Oregon State 31-3

No. 1 Penn State wrestling (4-0) rolled against Oregon State (2-2) 31-3 on Sunday afternoon at Rec Hall.

The Nittany Lions won nine of 10 bouts while wrestling all of their regular lineup with the exception of 184 pounds, where Donovan Ball picked up his second dual meet victory of the season filling in for Aaron Brooks. The dual was highlighted by major decisions from two of Penn State’s top-ranked wrestlers and a technical fall from another. Defending 197-pound national champion Max Dean rebounded from consecutive losses with a decision over No. 11 Tanner Harvey.

How It Happened

Penn State’s Gary Steen took on No. 12 Brandon Kaylor at 125 pounds to open the afternoon. Steen started the match with tremendous defense, sprawling out of multiple takedown attempts from Kaylor in a scoreless first period. Steen started the second period on the bottom, where he remained for the entire period after being unable to escape, allowing Kaylor to accumulate two minutes of riding time.

Kaylor made a quick escape from the bottom in the third period for the bout’s first point. A takedown by Kaylor effectively ended the match as he controlled Steen on the ground again, winning the match 4-0 with a riding time point to give the Beavers a 3-0 lead.

At 133 pounds, Oregon State’s Gabe Whisenhunt got a quick takedown of No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young, but the Nittany Lion answered emphatically. Bravo-Young took down Whisenhunt three times and carried a 7-5 lead into the second. He then started the second period on top, again playing cat and mouse with Whisenhunt by allowing him to escape, only to easily take him down again for a 13-8 lead after two. Bravo-Young added an escape, countered a Whisenhunt shot for another takedown and tacked on a riding time point to win by major decision 17-8, making the team score 4-3 in favor of Nittany Lions.

No. 9 Beau Bartlett squared off against Oregon State’s No. 24 Cleveland Belton at 141 pounds. Bartlett broke an even battle as he converted a high single into a takedown midway through the first period, which ended with a score of 2-1 after a Belton escape. The Nittany Lion started the second period on bottom, and escaped after 15 seconds. The rest of the period was nothing but a pushing match with a score of 3-1. A quick escape from Belton on bottom tightened the score to 3-2 early in the third, but Bartlett used a low single to work toward his second takedown of the bout and claimed a 5-3 decision, increasing Penn State’s lead to 7-3.

At 149 pounds, No. 17 Shayne Van Ness used an efficient double-leg for a takedown of Oregon State’s Noah Tolentino halfway into the first period, which the Nittany Lion rode out for the remaining 1:28. He remained on top for the majority of the second period and another added minute of riding time. Van Ness controlled the third period, escaping, snagging another takedown and adding riding time for a final score of 6-1, further extending Penn State’s lead to 10-3.

No. 30 Terrell Barraclough and Oregon State’s Isaiah Crosby spent much of the first period of the 157-pound bout neutral until the Nittany Lion converted on a low-single for a late takedown to end the first with a score of 2-0. In the second period, Barraclough quickly escaped from bottom position then took down Crosby with a minute left in the frame to boost the score to 5-0 while eclipsing a minute in riding time. Barraclough countered a Crosby shot for another takedown to open a 7-1 lead in the third. Crosby battled to the end and got a takedown in the final seconds, but Barraclough won the bout 8-4 to take the Nittany Lions into intermission with a 13-3 lead.

After the break, No. 15 Alex Facundo and the Beavers’ No. 23-ranked Matthew Olguin battled evenly early on at 165 pounds until Facundo got in on a low single for a takedown and ended the period with a 2-1 lead. An Olguin escape was the only point in the second, sending the bout into the final period tied 2-2. Facundo quickly escaped from bottom to start the third and fended off Olguin for the remainder to the third to win a 3-2 decision, boosting the Nittany Lions’ lead to 16-3.

At 174 pounds, top-ranked Nittany Lion Carter Starocci (3-0) scored two takedowns and finished the first period on top to take a 4-1 lead over No. 28 Aaron Olmos. Starocci escaped to start the second and added two more takedowns to finish off the second period with a score of 9-2. Another pair of takedowns in the third and 2:32 in riding time gave Starocci an easy major decision with a final score of 14-3. The dual score now stood at 20-3 in Penn State’s favor.

Donovan Ball filled in for Penn State’s No. 1-ranked Aaron Brooks to take on Jackson McKinney at 184 pounds. After a scoreless first period, McKinney escaped to start the second and though Ball set the tempo, McKinney took a 1-0 lead into the final period. Ball started the third on bottom and escaped halfway into the period. With about 10 seconds remaining, Ball used a low single for an exhilarating takedown that brought the Rec Hall crowd to their feet, as Ball took the match 3-1 and extended the Nittany Lion lead to 23-3.

Coming off of consecutive losses last weekend, No. 5 Max Dean squared off against Oregon State’s No. 11 Tanner Harvey at 197 pounds. After fighting off a near takedown by the Beaver, Dean took Harvey to the mat and worked for a control and a takedown of his own. Harvey escaped and Dean led 2-1 after the first. Dean escaped to start the second period, immediately putting pressure back on Harvey. The Nittany Lion converted on a low single for another takedown with under a minute left and took a 5-2 lead into the third. Harvey escaped 30 seconds into the third to narrow the lead. Dean fended off a Harvey shot with under a minute remaining and added a riding time point for a 6-3 win. Penn State held 26-3 in the dual heading into the last bout.

No. 1 Greg Kerkvliet immediately went on the offensive against Oregon State’s J.J. Dixon in the heavyweight bout. Kerkvliet piled on a takedown and four-nearfall points all before the one-minute mark in the first. Kerkvliet bagged two more nearfall points and went into the second period up 8-0. Two more takedowns from Kerkvliet in the second made the score 12-1 heading into the final period as the Nittany Lion racked up 3:48 in riding time. Kerkvliet took down Dixon twice in the third and finished things off with two nearfall points at the 6:08 mark for 19-2 technical fall, giving Penn State a 31-3 victory.

What’s Next?

Penn State will compete in the Collegiate Wrestling Duals in New Orleans starting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 19, when the Nittany Lions take on Central Michigan.