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Wrestling Nationals Session 2 Recap & Session 3 Preview

Session 2 saw Penn State extend the lead using 1-point Advancement Points & more Bonus Points. What will they do with today’s introduction of Placement Points for Quarterfinals winners?

Shayne Van Ness had a wild first two matches at his first Nationals, and advanced to the Quarterfinals.
Scott Pilutik, Black Shoe Diaries

In Round 1 of the 2023 Nationals, Penn State went 8-1, with four of those wins via Bonus Points that consisted of 2 Major Decisions and 3 Pins and resulted in 8 Bonus Points for the team. Added to the 8 Advancement Points earned from each Round 1 win, Penn State’s 16 total team points led the nation:

via Penn State Wrestling Club

In Round 2, the Lions went 7-2, with 5 Decisions, 1 Major and 1 Pin, and added 10 points to their Round 1 team score. They finished the day with a total of 11 Bonus Points, which itself would be good enough to tie Northern Iowa for 15th place in the country.

via the Penn State Wrestling Club

Penn State’s Session 2 Results

  • 133 #1 Roman Bravo-Young DEC #17 Brayden Palmer (CHAT), 5-2. No cut & release strategy here from RBY, but lots of mat wrestling work, with over 2 minutes of RT.
  • 141 #6 Beau Bartlett DEC #11 Clay Carlson (SDSU), 3-2. Bartlett secured the first & only TD in the second and held on from there.
  • 149 #12 Shayne Van Ness DEC #5 Paniro Johnson (ISU), 14-8 in a very wild bout. SVN looked like he had Paniro decked about 3 times in the first, held on through a comeback-attempting barrage, nearly still secured a Major, but gave up a last-second takedown to finish with a Decision. And now, SVN is 2-0 in his first Nationals tourney.
  • 157 #2 Levi Haines DEC #15 Jacob Wright (WYO), 8-2. One takedown in each period solidified this victory and left Haines one TD away from the Major.
  • 165 #4 Julian Ramirez (COR) MD #13 Alex Facundo, 12-2. In a rare phenomenon for Cael Sanderson-coached wrestlers, Facundo has been wrestling like he’s lost some confidence as his RSFR season has worn on. In both the Big Ten Tourney and again here in Tulsa, he’s successfully gotten in on opponents’ legs, but agonizingly has been unable to finish. His season is now over and he’ll have plenty to work on this offseason.
  • 174 #1 Carter Starocci DEC #17 Donnell Washington (IND), 4-0. This strategy looked similar to RBY’s: score first in neutral, then dominate on the mat.
  • 184 #3 Aaron Brooks WBF #14 Will Feldkamp (CLAR), 4:59. PSU’s first Bonus Points of Round 2! Brooks, the 3-seed, looks great.
  • 197 #8 Silas Allred (NEB) DEC #9 Max Dean, 7-2. This was a tough matchup, style-wise, for Dean. Allred is more fluid on his feet, and scored takedowns in all 3 periods. Dean was close to earning TDs of his own multiple times, but was unable to capitalize. We’ll now see what kind of fortitude a past National Champion decides to exhibit, as he hits the Consolation bracket.
  • 285 #3 Greg Kerkvliet MD #14 AJ Nevills (SDSU), 14-2. Kerk scored in all his various ways: takedowns in multiple periods, a reversal, some nearfall. He looked great against the former Nittany Lion Nevills.

Penn State Round 3 Matchups

Quarterfinal winners begin the Big Boi Scores: Placement Points. A win in this round guarantees a wrestler of finishing at least in 6th Place; as such, those 6th-place Placement Points (6 of them) are sent to the team immediately. Add in the 1 Advancement Point, and a 1, 1.5 or 2 Bonus Points available, and a single pin win here could send a whopping 9 points to the team.

via BubbaPage23Nationals

These are all quite favorable. Dean has beaten Gavin Hoffman multiple times. If he continues to win, he’ll have two bouts in this session, each earning .5 Advancement Points, along with whatever Bonus he manages to earn if Archery Season opens up.

RBY had no trouble with Nagao in the B1G Tourney finals, gassing him from bottom to earn a Stall Point that negated Nagao’s Riding Time point. Expect a similar strat from RBY in this rematch: score early, ride well, choose neutral at his choice, and wait to see what Nagao chooses with his.

Bartlett & Matthews will be many, many minutes of non-scoring in neutral, and will likely come down to rideout tiebreakers. Beau can win, but it will be grit and toughness that advances him if he does.

SVN has Majored Rooks twice this year, 17-5 & 12-4. A big opportunity for 7 or 8 points here.

Haines has Va Tech’s Andonian, who is famous for being a dangerous risk-taker. Could be an opportunity for a fundamentalist like Haines to drop down on top of an ill-advised granby.

Starocci, Brooks & Kerk each have Bonus-candidate opponents.

Overall, I’ll guess we’re looking at, at the very least, 5 Quarterfinal winners and 35+ points from RBY, SVN, Starocci, Brooks & Kerk. If Bartlett & Haines stay solid & tough, that could jump to 49+ points.

This is the round Penn State usually first asserts its dominance of the team scoreboard.

Schedule + How to Watch

2023 Wrestling Nationals Schedule

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