No. 1 Penn State dominated the Keystone Classic on Sunday and won by a resounding margin at the Palestra. Those on hand saw the Nittany Lions win eight individual titles, and a barrage of bonus point victories. Penn State had 11 wrestlers in the semifinals, including two all-Penn State matches, and nine wrestlers in the final. The top three for the team race standings was:
- Penn State - 192.0
- Drexel - 109.5
- Pennsylvania - 108.0
Penn State's eight champions surpassed their seven from last season's Keystone Classic. The Nittany Lions' champions on the day were Roman Bravo-Young, Nick Lee, Jason Nolf, Vincenzo Joseph, Mark Hall, Shakur Rasheed, Bo Nickal and Anthony Cassar.
They could even have had nine champions, but Brady Berge medically forfeited out after his semifinal victory over teammate Jarod Verkleeren. Berge was wearing a pretty prominent knee brace as well, so perhaps the team's decision to pull him was precautionary. The match with Verkleeren was very tight, and Berge was trailing 2-1 due to an injury stoppage that involved his knee. However, Berge came up big in the dying seconds by getting a two-point takedown via the Dean Heil exposure rule to win 3-2. Both guys wrestled incredibly hard, and showcased very strong defense in this one. Expect another rematch to be a tight contest as well.
The other big wrestle-off was between Anthony Cassar and Nick Nevills. Cassar won in emphatic fashion via a 7-2 decision. Cassar's athleticism and speed were just too much for Nevills, who really struggled to get anything going on their feet. Cassar scored three takedowns and even accrued a riding time point as well. This win should put Cassar in the driver's seat to win the starting spot.
Roman Bravo-Young continued his impressive start to the season by winning the 133 pound title. He scored a 38-second fall against Jon Guevera (Pennsylvania), and won a 24-9 technical fall against Chandler Olsen (Drexel) in the final. Bravo-Young is now 4-0 on the season, and his first real test should come up against Scott Parker of Lehigh in a couple of weeks.
Nick Lee was as dominant as usual, winning all of his matches by bonus to secure the 141 pound title. Jason Nolf did Jason Nolf things, he won three of his four matches by fall on his way to winning the 157 pound title. At 165, Vincenzo Joseph was more like Pincenzo Joseph, he had the most falls on the day for Penn State with four. He won his final 21-6 over Ebed Jerrell (Drexel).
Mark Hall did not rack up as much bonus as he probably would have liked. He won his first two matches by fall, but could not get a bonus point victory over Neal Richards (VMI) or No. 18 Matt Finesilver (Duke). Hall's next big match will be against Lehigh's Jordan Kutler. Shakur Rasheed did some pinning, what else is new. He had three first period falls on the day. Bo Nickal is still pinning dudes too, he won two of his three matches by a first period fall before an 18-4 major decision over No. 10 Stephen Loiseau (Drexel).
No. 1 Penn State will look to keep their strong start to the season going on Friday, November 30 at Bucknell.