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Penn State Wrestling Shuts Out Michigan State for 50th Consecutive Dual Meet Victory

No. 1 Penn State wrestling (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) took care of business Sunday, sweeping Michigan State (7-3, 0-3 Big Ten) 35-0 in East Lansing. It was the Nittany Lions’ 50th straight dual meet victory dating back to 2019.

Highlighting the dual was a thrilling win by No. 1 Levi Haines, who managed a reversal with one second left in the second tie breaker round to defeat No. 21 Chase Saldate and remain undefeated.

How It Happened

125 Pounds

Kicking off the dual was No. 14 Braeden Davis taking on Michigan State’s Tristan Lujan. A quick takedown in the opening seconds gave Davis an early 3-1 lead over the Spartan as the action rolled into the second period. The only point scored in the middle period was an escape from Lujan, narrowing Davis’ lead to 3-2. After escaping from bottom position to start the third period, Davis put the match away with his second takedown of the bout and took a 7-3 decision.

133 Pounds

No. 4 Aaron Nagao was in control from the start against Michigan State’s Andy Hampton. Quickly bouncing back from a sudden victory loss in his last match, Nagao opened up a 12-3 lead with four takedowns in the first three minutes of the bout. Nagao continued to add to his point total with an escape and a takedown during the middle period, carrying a 16-3 lead heading into the final two minutes. Working from the top position to start the third, Nagao turned Hampton for two nearfall points to secure the 18-3 tech fall victory.

141 Pounds

At 141 pounds, No. 2 Beau Bartlett met No. 33 Jordan Hamdan. Despite a good shot from Bartlett, effective takedown defense from Hamdan fended off any scoring in the first. Hamdan’s escape in the second gave the Spartan the first point of the match and a slim 1-0 lead heading into the final two minutes. Bartlett quickly escaped from bottom position to start the third, then countered a Hamdan shot with a takedown and three nearfall points to jump into the lead. That proved to be enough for Bartlett, who won a 7-3 decision.

Penn State led the dual 11-0 after the first three matches.

149 Pounds

Getting the start for the second consecutive dual, Penn State’s David Evans took on Braden Stauffenberg. Evans started strong with a fast takedown to kick off the bout, riding a 3-1 lead heading into the second. Evans took the only point in the second after he escaped from bottom position to extend his lead to 4-1. After allowing an early escape in the third, Davis displayed stellar takedown defense to hold on to a 4-2 decision victory.

157 Pounds

In action next were No. 1 Haines and No. 21 Saldate. The Spartan countered a Haines shot midway through the first and took a 3-1 lead heading into the second period. Haines began to chip away at the Spartan’s lead with an early escape to start the middle period, cutting the deficit to 3-2 heading into the final period. Saldate escaped to a 4-2 lead to open the third. After finding himself in a precarious position, Haines turned the tables on an aggressive Saldate and countered for the Nittany Lion’s first takedown of the bout to move ahead 5-4. Saldate’s escape with a minute left leveled the match at 5-5 and sent it into sudden victory.

A deep shot from Saldate didn’t result in points for either wrestler in the first sudden victory round, pushing the match into the first tie-breaker period. A tension-filled review overturning a locked hands call on Haines kept the bout tied through the first tie-breaker and the second sudden victory period. In the second tie-breaker, Haines fell behind by one point after a stalling call, however, Haines scrambled to a reversal with less a second remaining for a thrilling 7-6 decision.

165 Pounds

Penn State’s No. 9-ranked Mitchell Mesenbrink and No. 10-ranked Spartan Caleb Fish wrestled an action-filled, back-and-forth first period that resulted in Mesenbrink holding a narrow 7-6 lead after the opening three minutes. Mesenbrink took control in the the second period, escaping to start and then turning on the pressure to record another takedown for an 11-6 lead heading into the third. Mesenbrink kept the pedal down throughout the third two minutes, scoring two more takedowns and handing Fish his first loss of the season with an 18-9 major decision.

The dual score stood at 21-0 in favor of the Nittany Lions.

174 Pounds

With top-ranked Carter Starocci out due to illness this weekend, Terrell Barraclough once again filled in at 174 pounds for Penn State, taking on DJ Shannon. After a scoreless first period, Barraclough escaped from bottom position and secured his first takedown of the match as he rode out the remainder of the second with a 4-0 lead. Another takedown in the third and a riding time point gave Barraclough the 8-1 decision.

184 Pounds

Next to the mat was No. 5 Bernie Truax taking on Michigan State’s Layne Malczewski. After a long feeling-out period to open up the first, Truax scored the opening takedown to lead 3-1 heading into the second. The only point scored in the second went to Malczewski for his escape from bottom position, tightening Truax’s lead 3-2. An escape from Truax was the only point scored in the final period, giving the Nittany Lion the 4-2 decision.

The dual score stood at 27-0 in favor of Penn State with two matches remaining.

197 Pounds

No. 1 Aaron Brooks once again did not need the full seven minutes to put a bout away, this time battling No. 29 Kael Wisler. An impressive six takedowns in the first period from Brooks followed up by an additional takedown in the second period gave the Nittany Lion the 21-6 tech fall at 4:00. In eight bouts this season, Brooks has won five by tech fall and three by pin.


In the last match of the dual, Lucas Cochran moved up to heavyweight to fill in for top-ranked Greg Kerkvliet against Michigan State’s Josh Terrill. Cochran scored the first takedown of the match halfway through the first period, taking a 3-0 lead into the second. After riding out the entire middle period in top position, Cochran quickly escaped to start the third, leading 4-0 with more than 2:30 of riding time. Terrill couldn’t break down Cochran’s takedown defense, and with the riding time point Cochran claimed the 5-0 decision.

The Nittany Lions won the dual 35-0.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will continue their three-match road trip as they take on Maryland on Sunday, Jan. 28, in College Park. The dual will begin at noon and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.