Happy Valley—Penn State (15-0, 8-0 B1G) capped off a dominate win over Maryland (9-8, 1-7 B1G) 44-3 in sold out Rec Hall on Sunday to claim the 2023 Big Ten regular season title.
The victory against Maryland clinches an undefeated 8-0 Big Ten record. With one dual meet remaining, the Nittany Lions are now 15-0 on the year.
It is the ninth time they have won (or shared) the Big 10 conference’s regular season championship (all under head coach Cael Sanderson). Penn State’s regular season conference title list includes 2012 (co-), 2014 (co-), 2016 (co-), 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021 (co-), 2022, and now 2023. This marks the eighth time that Penn State has finished the Big Ten dual season without a loss or tie, the seventh under Sanderson.
The match began at the 125 weight class freshman Gary Steen wrestled tough with No. 15 Braxton Brown down to the wire before hard a tough 1-0 decision. No. 1 ranked Roman Bravo-Young at 133 dominated King Sandoval, beating him 28-13 for a technical fall (6:45). Beau Bartlett ranked No. 6 at 141lbs got a nice reversal and a takedown to prevail in a 5-2 win over Kal Miller, giving the Lions an early 8-3 lead in the match.
The 149-pound dual between No. 13 Shayne Van Ness and No. 18 Ethan Miller was the most closely contested match of the day by ranking.
Van Ness took a big lead and extended it in the third period, using a last second six-point move (and riding time) to seal a 19-4 technical fall at the 7:00 mark.
No. 8 Levi Haines continued the Nittany Lions’ series of wins at 157 pounds versus Maryland’s Kevin Schork.
Haines went to work as soon as the whistle blew. Haines put Schork on his back early in the first period, but was denied by being on the edge of the mat. On the ensuing reset, Haines took Schork down with a single leg takedown, which he transitioned into a cradle for the first-period pin
The fall extended Penn State’s lead to 19-3 at the break.
The dual resumed at 165 pounds with No. 9 Alex Facundo wrestling the Maryland’s Lucas Cordio.
Facundo put on a takedown clinic through the first two periods of the match. Going into the third period, Facundo led Cordio 15-5.
Cordio elected to start on the bottom to start the third period, which finished him off. Facundo pinned Cordio to add six more points to Penn State’s team total.
Penn State increased their lead to 38-3 after Maryland forfeited at the 197-pound weight class, giving Max Dean the victory.
Seth Nevills wrestled in place of Greg Kerkvliet to close out the dual match at heavyweight and faced Maryland Jordan Gabriel.
Nevills dominated from the start to finish. After taking down Gabriel in the first period, Nevills put the Maryland heavyweight on his back and secured the pin.