While many, including Penn State fans this year, were tuning in to watch March Madness, the NCAA held the pinnacle event for college wrestling in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Cael Sanderson and his Penn State wrestling squad once again put on a show, securing the team’s 10th national championship since 2011 on Saturday morning – before the team had their own bouts that secured them a seventh-place and two third-place national finishes and an entire session before they were set to have five of their wrestlers compete to win the title at their respective weight classes.
It is Penn State’s 11th overall title.
Penn State had a total of nine wrestlers qualify for this year’s event and eight of them earned All-American status at this year’s event.
Behind Sanderson, Penn State wrestling has entered a dynasty. There have been only 12 championships since 2011 due to the cancelation of the 2020 event as a result of COVID-19. Penn State has now won 10 of those and finished second place in one of the other two instances.
By now, wrestling fans are well aware of the dominance that Graduate Student Roman Bravo-Young and seniors Carter Starocci and Aaron Brooks have in their respective weight classes, but PSU also threw out redshirt freshmen Alex Facundo, who did not have the showing he wanted, and Shayne Van Ness (third place, 149lbs) along with freshman Levi Haines (second place, 157lbs).
While RBY is out of eligibility and the team may lose their senior pair in Starocci and Brooks, there are signs of new top contenders emerging from the program and Cael Sanderson is sure to coach up the guys in his squad.
Penn State’s 2023 NCAA Championship results: