DETROIT – Cathedral Prep grad Carter Starocci is a national champion for the second time.
Starocci, the No. 1 seed at 174 pounds, earned a win over No. 2 Mekhi Lewis of Virginia Tech for the individual crown as the Nittany Lions, under the guidance of head coach Cael Sanderson, added five individual champions to its 2022 NCAA Wrestling Championship team title.
The Nittany Lions amassed 131.5 points, nearly 40 more than second-place Michigan’s 95.0. Penn State has now won nine of the last 11 national championships.
After a scoreless first period, Starocci chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. Lewis used a quick shot to take Starocci down and take a 2-1 lead with 1:38 on the clock. Starocci worked his way to an escape and a 2-2 tie at 1:05.
Lewis chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 3-2 lead. Starocci bulled in on a high double and worked Lewis down for a takedown and a 4-3 lead at the 1:20 mark. Starocci controlled Lewis until the :49 mark when Lewis escaped to a 4-4 tie.
The duo battled for the last seconds and the match went to sudden victory tied 4-4. Starocci forced Lewis into a stall warning as the clock hit 1:00. Starocci was in on a double as the period ended but time ran out, sending the match to sudden victory. Starocci was down first and escaped in :06, taking a 5-4 lead. Lewis was down next and Starocci controlled Lewis until the last seconds.
Lewis escaped but not in time and Starocci posted the 5-5 (TB-2 RT) victory to become a two-time NCAA Champion. Starocci went 5-0 with a pin to win. He ends his season with a 23-0 record and leaves Detroit as a two-time All-American, two-time NCAA Champion.