Penn State defends NCAA wrestling crown, clinches 10th title under Cael Sanderson

For the 10th time in the last 12 years, the NCAA wrestling title will be coming back to Happy Valley.

Penn State had an impressive quarterfinals run Friday afternoon that saw it put seven wrestlers into the semifinals Friday night. Five of those semifinalists reached Saturday night’s finals.

The Nittany Lions opened the day with a 39.5 point lead on Iowa, which was the only other team having a shot to top them. They needed just 9.5 points to seal the deal. It dropped to one point when Iowa’s Spencer Lee medically forfeited before wrestling began on Saturday morning.

The title clinching win came when Beau Bartlett beat South Dakota State’s Clay Carlson, 12-3.

“That’s the reason I came back, to get that team title. I’m glad my decision paid off,” Roman Bravo-Young said Friday night after his semifinals’ win.

This marks the program’s 11th overall title, and 10th under coach Cael Sanderson. Penn State collected its first title under Sanderson in 2011, and proceeded to win the next three. After taking a year hiatus from the top of the team podium, it won four more consecutive titles from 2016-2019.

Now, it appears as though the Nittany Lions could be in the midst of another run of winning multiple NCAA titles in a row, since they’ve won back-to-back crowns.