3 Penn State wrestling takeaways from the Military Black Knight Invitational

Penn State wrestling competed in its second occasion of the 2023-2024 season on Sunday. The No. 1 Nittany Lions took 17 rivals to the Military Black Knight Invitational particular person match in New York. As anticipated, head coach Cael Sanderson’s staff thrived. That was true even when starters Shayne Van Ness (149), Levi Haines (157), Carter Starocci (174), Bernie Truax (184), Aaron Brooks (197) and Greg Kerkvliet (285) didn’t compete. That’s as a result of all however Haines are in Tuesday’s NWCA All-Star Basic in State School. Haines was purported to be, too, however his opponent backed out as a consequence of damage.

We’ll preview the NWCA exhibition on Tuesday. First, although, right here’s a more in-depth have a look at our three Penn State wrestling takeaways from Sunday’s occasion after the Nittany Lions topped 5 champs whereas inserting 12 of 17 rivals general.

1. Aaron Nagao made his Penn State debut

After a quick damage scare earlier this 12 months, first-year Penn State wrestler and 2022-2023 All-American Aaron Nagao is able to roll. The Nittany Lions starter at 133 kilos didn’t compete two weekends in the past within the Journeymen Collegiate Basic. He made his debut in a blue and white singlet this previous weekend, nevertheless. And, he stormed by the sphere as anticipated. Nagao completed first with a pin, two technical falls, and a significant resolution victory. He decked No. 33 Braden Basile of Military within the ultimate. It took simply 52 seconds.

“He’s labored actually onerous,” Sanderson informed PennLive earlier than the Black Knight Invitational. Nagao didn’t compete final week.

“He’s persevering with to attempt to get higher and work on approach and does the whole lot you ask. He’s very disciplined and humble however very grateful. Needs to be good. He’ll be able to roll this weekend.”

2. Different Nittany Lions relish likelihood to flourish

With a few of the starters out, different Penn State wrestlers who don’t normally get to compete had been in a position to take action. Some didn’t waste their alternative to face on the rostrum on the finish of the occasion, both.

Freshman Braedan Davis took first at 125 kilos (extra on that beneath) and was hardly threatened alongside the best way. Freshman Tyler Kasak seemed good and completed second at 141 kilos behind starter Beau Bartlett, who beat him 4-1 within the title bout. Stater Mitchell Mesenbrink beat backup Terrell Barraclough 8-5 within the 165-pound ultimate. However, it was a pleasant match for each. Final however not least, freshman Josh Barr took first at 184 kilos. He beat No. 13 Jacob Nolan of Binghamtom 3-2 within the semifinals earlier than scoring a 6-1 sudden victory overcome Chase Kranitz of Buffalo within the finals.

Penn State scored a complete of 108 factors and had essentially the most top-two finishers with seven. In different phrases, not having a handful of starters was no drawback for the Lions at this occasion.

3. Checking again in at 125

As we wrote in an area just like this one final week, we weren’t prepared to surrender on the concept of Robbie Howard being the starter at 125 kilos this winter regardless of his 1-2 efficiency on the Journeymen Collegiate Basic. Are we altering our minds now?

The reply might be.

Davis has seemed nice throughout his first two tournaments with the Nittany Lions. Howard, who was 2-1 on the mat this previous weekend with a win over Gary Steen, medically forfeited out of the third place match. What we don’t know is that this: Did Howard achieve this as a result of his long-injured shoulder is bothering him once more? Or, was it simply typical bumps and bruises that generally trigger medical forfeits to occur? We’ll need to collect extra data earlier than making any definitive statements. However, Davis has completed all he can thus far when it comes to constructing a case for profitable the job and taking the 125-pound beginning spot in opposition to Lehigh subsequent weekend.

Taylor Mitchell

Taylor Mitchell grew up with a deep love for sports, inspired by her family's tradition of watching games together. Hailing from a small town, Taylor's journey into sports journalism began with local high school games and community events.
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