Penn State Tops Lehigh Amid Slew of Wrestlers Being Out

Story posted December 5, 2021 in CommRadio, Sports by Jordan Mansberger

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — After defeating Penn on Friday, Penn State wrestling improved to 5-0 on the year with a 23-16 win over No. 22-ranked Lehigh University Sunday afternoon at Rec Hall.

The Nittany Lions picked up the victory despite being short handed, due to an illness that has circulated around the team recently. In Friday’s match, defending NCAA champions Aaron Brooks and Roman Bravo-Young did not wrestle due to sickness, as well as Greg Kerkvliet, and Brooks did not wrestle again on Sunday.

Head Coach Cael Sanderson chose to forfeit Kerkvliet’s match on with the win already mathematically secured since he was recovering from an illness as well in both Friday and Sunday’s matches. A big reason why they were able to do so was because returning national champion Nick Lee wrestled despite not feeling his best while recovering from the illness.

The No. 1-ranked and defending national champion, Lee picked up his 100th career victory with a dominant 13-6 performance over freshman Connor McGonagle in the 141 weight class. McGonagle started the second period off strong but ultimately was overpowered as Lee posted a 3:20 riding time.

“To be honest, I didn’t even know that I had wrestled 100 times,” Lee said. “My favorite is probably the one that last year ended with, though.”

The Mountain Hawks’ Jaret Lane defeated Jake Campbell to start the non-conference dual in the 125-pound division with a dominant 11-3 major. Campbell came into the match ranked No. 14.

Nittany Lion superstar Roman Bravo-Young made his return to the mat in a big way by posting a 19-7 major of his own to even the score. He posted nine takedowns throughout the match against Sheldon Seymour.

Lehigh took a 10-7 lead into halftime, though, as Manzona Bryant IV and Josh Humphreys defeated Beau Bartlett and Tony Negron in two closely contested matches.

Manzona got the 6-5 win after a controversial review that did not give Bartlett a point after it was not ruled an escape late in the third.

Negron celebrated his victory momentarily in the ring until a review took away takedown points that he was unable to get back with just 9.5 remaining in the match.

“Those are judgement calls and are tough to make,” Sanderson said. “Those first five matches had a lot of tough calls in them.”

Penn State took control after halftime with a minor win by Creighton Edsell at 165 2-1 over Brian Meyer. Once the team score was tied 10-10, Carter Starocci busted through with a 13-3 major win over the Mountain Hawks’ Jake Logan, and the Nittany Lions never looked back.

Donovan Ball filled in at 184 pounds for Brooks with a 5-3 victory over sophomore A.J. Burkhart, followed by a Max Dean pin of J.T. Davis that sent Rec Hall into a frenzy. The No. 10-ranked heavyweight Jordan Wood for Lehigh was gifted the forfeit by Penn State, who was content with not wrestling the 285 pounder.

Penn State will have some time off until they travel to Niceville, Florida, on Dec. 20, to take on the University of Northern Iowa and Cornell University at the Collegiate Wrestling Duals. Lehigh will also travel to the dual, where it is set to face Central Michigan and Iowa.

Jordan Mansberger is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email