Penn State leads Sun Devils entering NCAA wrestling quarters

Mar 17, 2022, 4:17 AM | Updated: 8:01 pm

DETROIT (AP) — Penn State led the team race after two rounds of the NCAA wrestling championships Thursday, with six of its nine wrestlers moving to the quarterfinals.

The Nittany Lions will head into Friday with 27.5 points, 5 1/2 ahead of Arizona State, which had five of its seven wrestlers advance.

North Carolina State was a half-point behind the Sun Devils and has four of its 10 wrestlers in quarters. Michigan was fourth with 21 points and seven of its nine in quarters. Defending national champion Iowa was a half-point behind in fifth and six of its 10 in quarters.

All four of Penn State’s top seeds advanced: Roman Bravo-Young at 133, Nick Lee at 141, Carter Starocci at 174 and Max Dean at 197.

Penn State has won eight of the last 10 national titles.

There were two major upsets in the second round.

Iowa State’s David Carr, who had a 55-match win streak and was going for his second straight title at 157, lost in a tiebreaker against Oregon State’s 17th-seeded Hunter Willits.

North Carolina’s 15th-seeded 141-pounder Kizhan Clarke scored a takedown to win in sudden victory over No. 2 Jaydin Eierman of Iowa, who was national runner-up to Penn State’s Lee last year.

Cornell’s Yianni Diakomihalis remained on track in his bid for a third NCAA individual title, winning both of his matches by decision.

No. 1 Nick Suriano of Michigan easily won his first two matches at 125 and will face a surprise opponent in No. 24 Sam Latona of Virginia Tech on Friday. Latona upset No. 9 Devin Schroder of Purdue in the first round and then beat No. 25 seed Caleb Smith of Appalachian State.

Stanford’s Shane Griffith, the No. 5 seed at 165 after winning the title at that weight last year, easily won his matches to advance to quarters.

Bravo-Young, the defending champion at 133, and Oklahoma State’s Daton Fix won their matches and stayed on track for a second straight meeting in the finals.

Minnesota heavyweight Gable Steveson, the 2020 Olympic gold medalist and defending NCAA champion, won both his matches by technical fall.

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Penn State leads Sun Devils entering NCAA wrestling quarters