Penn State’s wrestling schedule is rather unique due to it being an Olympic qualifying year.
The Nittany Lions don’t have a dual until December, but their season got underway on Sunday with a unique format of a tournament.
Twenty Penn State wrestlers made a near three-hour trek to Freedom High School in Bethlehem for the Journeymen Collegiate Classic. It wasn’t a typical double elimination bracket setup.
Instead, each wrestler was part of a pool at their weight and took part in a round robin style event. Each Nittany Lions wrestler had three matches on the day.
Eleven of those 20 were a perfect 3-0. As a team, Penn State gathered 30 bonus point victories — 10 pins, 11 technical falls and nine major decisions, and were 45-15 on the day.
Braeden Davis (125 pounds), Beau Bartlett (141), Shayne Van Ness (149), Levi Haines (157), Mitchell Mesenbrink (165), Terrell Barraclough (165), Carter Starocci (174), Bernie Truax (184), Josh Barr (184), Aaron Brooks (197) and Greg Kerkvliet (285) were those wrestlers to have a perfect day. Davis, Van Ness, Haines, Starocci, Barr and Brooks all collected bonus points in their victories.
Van Ness was the most dominant, pinning all of his opponents. His quickest came in his final bout of the day when he stuck Lehigh’s Kelvin Griffin in 1:30.
Starocci wrestled just two matches as his first opponent on the day medically forfeited. He had a pin and a 21-5 technical fall over No. 14 Nick Incontrera of Penn.
Davis, who is a true freshman, had a pair of technical falls to start the day. He outscored his opponents 35-5. In his final bout, Davis took on teammate Gary Steen, and racked up an 11-3 major decision.
Haines gave up just three points all day. He opened with an 18-0 technical fall in 4:35 of Lehigh’s Luca Frinzi. The NCAA runner-up built up a 9-1 lead on Harvard’s Cael Berg before sticking him in 4:22.
In his final bout of the day, Haines took out another Mountain Hawks wrestler in No. 27 Max Brignola, 10-2.
Barr got his first taste of college wrestling, and was impressive by outscoring his opponents, 51-18. The true freshman opened with a 24-9 technical fall of Penn’s Jake Stefanowicz in 7:00.
He followed with a pair of major decisions over Long Island University’s Anthony D’Alesio (13-5) and Lehigh’s Jack Wilt (14-4).
Brooks opened and closed with a pin. He took care of Arizona State’s Jacob Meissner in 4:43.
The three-time NCAA champ flattened Penn’s Martin Cosgrove in 2:33. In the middle of those pins, Brooks hung a 19-3 technical fall on Franklin & Marshall’s John Crawford in 6:11.
Other Penn State wrestlers to secure wins on Sunday included Robert Howard (125), Steen (125), Sean Wang (133), David Evans (141), Connor Pierce (149), Matt Lee (165), Aurelius Dunbar (174) and Donovon Ball (184).
Evans had the one of the best wins of the day as he upset Penn’s CJ Composto, 4-1, in sudden victory. Composto is ranked No. 6 in the nation.
Fans in attendance also got to see another upset when Lehigh’s Ryan Crookham topped No. 1 Vito Arujau of Cornell, 8-4, in their 133-pound match.
Centre County represented well
While there were 20 Penn State wrestlers on the mat, including Penns Valley alum Baylor Shunk, there were three other former county athletes competing too. All of them donned a Penn singlet.
Bellefonte graduate Jude Swisher, and State College graduates and brothers Lance and Cole Urbas were those Quakers wrestlers.
Swisher and Cole Urbas each collected two wins with Swisher tallying bonus points in both of his.
Swisher opened his day by pinning Arizona State’s Michael Killic in 1:56. After falling 15-0 to Cornell’s Meyer Shapiro, he rebounded by racking up a 17-0 technical fall on Army’s Oscar Aranda in 4:12.
Urbas began his day by pinning Army’s Wolfgang Frable in 1:36. He suffered an 18-1 loss to Lehigh’s Michael Beard, and then bounced back by using a strong top game to shut out Harvard’s Max Agresti, 2-0.
Shunk and Lance Urbas were unable to taste success.
Lance Urbas was getting his first taste of college wrestling. One of his losses came to Dunbar.
Shunk suffered tough two-point losses — one to start the day and the other to close the day. His other was a 16-8 defeat, which at one point he was down 16-2 in that match, but his rally came up short.
Journeymen Collegiate Classic
Sunday at Freedom High School, Bethlehem
Team key: Army (A), Arizona State (ASU), Bloomsburg (BB), Buffalo (B), Cornell (C), Franklin & Marshall (FM), Harvard (H), Hofstra (HF), Lehigh (L), Long Island University (LIU), Lock Haven (LH), North Carolina State (NC), Penn (P), Penn State (PSU), Pitt-Johnstown (PJ), Purdue (PD), Sacred Heart (SH)
Round Robin Style
125: Max Gallagher, P, dec. Robbie Howard, PSU, 8-5; Braeden Davis, PSU, major dec. Gary Steen, PSU, 11-3; 133: Daniel Uhorchuck, A, dec. Baylor Shunk, PSU, 9-7; Sean Wang, PSU, major dec. Colt Schrader, A, 16-7; 141: Beau Bartlett, PSU, major dec. Malyke Hines, L, 15-3; David Evans, PSU, med. forfeit Vince Cornella, C; 149: Shayne Van Ness, PSU, pinned Kelvin Griffin, L, 1:30; Connor Pierce, PSU, dec. Cole Handlovic, C, 8-1; 157: Levi Haines, PSU, major dec. Max Brignola, L, 10-2; Meyer Shapiro, C, tech. fall Jude Swisher, P, 15-0 (4:52); 165: Mitchell Mesenbrink, PSU, tech. fall Cooper Noehre, PD, 20-5 (5:37); Terrell Barraclough, PSU, dec. Matt Lee, PSU, 4-0; 174: Carter Starocci, PSU, tech. fall Nick Incontrera, P, 21-5 (6:52); Blake Bahna, LIU, dec. Aurelius Dunbar, PSU, 4-1; Corey Connelly, LIU, major dec. Lance Urbas, P, 19-6; 184: Bernie Truax, PSU, major dec. James Conway, FM, 13-4; Tony Negron, ASU, dec. Donovon Ball, PSU, 5-1; Josh Barr, PSU, major dec. Jack Wilt, L, 15-4; 197: Aaron Brooks, PSU, pinned Martin Cosgrove, P, 2:33; Cole Urbas, P, dec. Max Agresti, H, 2-0; 285: Greg Kerkvliet, PSU, dec. Owen Trephan, NC, 7-2
125: Dylan Ryder, HF, major dec. Howard, PSU, 13-3; Steen, PSU, tech. fall Bronson Garber, BB, 17-2 (6:15); Davis, PSU, tech. fall Eric Howe, FM, 20-5 (4:00); 133: Jameson Garcia, H, major dec. Baylor Shunk, PSU, 16-8; Conor Collins, A, dec. Wang, PSU, 8-1; 141: Bartlett, PSU, dec. Cornella, C, 4-1 (SV); Hines, L, dec. Evans, PSU, 6-4; 149: Van Ness, PSU, pinned Cade Balestrini, BB, 2:58; 157: Haines, PSU, pinned Cael Berg, H, 4:22; Swisher, P, tech. fall Oscar Aranda, A, 17-0 (4:12); 165: Mesenbrink, PSU, tech. fall Eric Shindel, HF, 19-3 (6:06); Lee, PSU, pinned Nicholas Franzen, SH, 4:19; Barraclough, PSU, dec. Cole Spencer, P, 5-0; 174: Carter Starocci, PSU, pinned Luke Rada, H, 2:15; Dunbar, PSU, dec. L. Urbas, P, 7-3; 184: Truax, PSU, major dec. Cael Valencia, ASU, 17-4; Ball, PSU, injury def. Brock Delsignore, NC, 4:34; Barr, PSU, major dec. Anthony D’alesio, LIU, 13-5; 197: Brooks, PSU, tech. fall John Crawford, FM, 19-3 (6:11); Michael Beard, L, tech. fall C. Urbas, P, 18-1 (4:43)
141: Hines, L, dec. Evans, PSU, 6-4; 149: Ethan Fernandez, C, dec. Pierce, PSU, 8-2; 174: Benny Baker, C, major dec. L. Urbas, P, 9-1; 197: C. Urbas, P, pinned Wolfgang Frable, A, 1:36; 285: Kerkvliet, PSU, dec. Nathan Taylor, L, 6-1
125: Howard, PSU, pinned Ashton Jackson, PD, 4:45; Steen, PSU, tech. fall Noah Tonsor, A, 16-1 (3:18); Davis, PSU, tech. fall Ariel Waldman, LIU, 15-0 (2:15); 133: Jake Staud, A, dec. Shunk, PSU, 3-1; Daniel Miranda, ASU, pinned Wang, PSU, :55; 141: Bartlett, PSU, pinned Dante Frinzi, H, 1:29; Evans, PSU, dec. CJ Composto, P, 4-1 (SV); 149: Van Ness, PSU, pinned Eddie Hummel, ASU, 2:06; Pierce, PSU, major dec. Owen Reinsel, L, 13-3; 157: Haines, PSU, tech. fall Luca Frinzi, H, 18-0 (4:35); Swisher, P, pinned Michael Kilic, ASU, 1:56; 165: Mesenbrink, PSU, dec. Nicco Ruiz, ASU, 14-10; Barraclough, PSU, major dec. Kaya Sement, P, 9-0; Lee, PSU, major dec. James Johnston, LIU, 16-4; 174: Starocci, PSU, med. forfeit, Max Wilner, ASU; Baker, C, major dec. Dunbar, PSU, 8-0; 184: Truax, PSU, dec. James Rowley, PD, 7-4; Barr, PSU, tech. fall Jake Stefanowicz, P, 24-9 (7:00); Caden Rogers, L, dec. Ball, PSU, 2-0; 197: Brooks, PSU, pinned Jacob Meissner, ASU, 4:43; 285: Kerkvliet, PSU, tech. fall Tristan Ruhlman, PD, 17-1 (5:16)