2023 NWCA All-Star Classic

Penn State Wrestling Finishes 4-1 At NWCA All-Star Classic

Penn State Wrestling Finishes 4-1 At NWCA All-Star Classic

Penn State wrestling hosted the NWCA All-Star Classic and got victories from Aaron Brooks, Carter Starocci, Greg Kerkvliet, and Shayne Van Ness.

Nov 22, 2023 by David Bray
Penn State Wrestling Finishes 4-1 At NWCA All-Star Classic

Penn State wrestling hosted the 2023 NWCA All-Star Classic inside Rec Hall. Penn State is coming off its 10th NCAA team title since Cael Sanderson took over in 2009, and their chase for #11 got off to a hot start Tuesday night as four out of five Nittany Lions notched victories against top-three ranked opponents, three of those victories coming by bonus points.

Complete NWCA All-Star Classic Results

Shayne Van Ness was last year's 3rd place finisher at 149 lbs. He enters the season ranked 2nd. He picked up right where he left off at the end of the 2022-23 season on Tuesday by beating #3 Kyle Parco, his opponent in the 3rd place match at NCAAs. Parco secured a match-winning feet-to-back takedown late in the second period. That plus an escape and a riding time point were enough to give Van Ness a decisive 5-1 victory.

Shayne Van Ness Is Excited To Compete At Senior Nationals


At 174 lbs, #1 Carter Starocci, a three-time NCAA champion, wrestled a familiar opponent in Virginia Tech's 2010 NCAA champ #2 Mekhi Lewis. Starocci won their previous two meetings, the first in overtime tie-breakers in the 2022 NCAA Championships, and the second 2-0 at last year's All-Star Classic. This was a different story. After a scoreless first period, Starocci rattled off 11 straight points including a takedown with 4 seconds left in the match. His dominant performance reinforced Starocci's #1 pound-for-pound ranking and left many wrestling fans wonder how anyone has a chance stopping Starocci from joining the four-time NCAA champion club in March. 

Carter Starocci's Employing A New Mentality On Top


Recent Cal Poly transfer #2 Bernie Truax was the lone Nittany Lion to lose at the NWCA All-Star Classic. The 184-pounder fell to UNI's #1 Parker Keckeisen 7-5 in the third match of their rivalry. Truax beat Keckeisen in the 2022 NCAA quarterfinals, but Keckeisen won the next day in the 3rd place match then followed it up Tuesday night in Rec Hall. Truax scored the opening takedown in that match, but it was all Keckeisen from there. After taking numerous attacks throughout the match, Keckeisen earned a match-tying stalling point before securing a hard-fought takedown on the edge of the mat to notch the victory.

Three-time NCAA champion #1 Aaron Brooks took on South Dakota State NCAA finalist #2 Tanner Sloan. He used three takedowns and tough top wrestling to haul in an 11-2 major decision over the Jackrabbit. Like Starocci, Brooks is looking for his fourth NCAA title.

Aaron Brooks On Fine Tuning In Final Season At Penn State


Last year's NCAA runner up, #1 Greg Kerkvliet, wrestled #2 Wyatt Hendrickson of Air Force in a rematch from last year's NCAA semifinals. The match was highly anticipated among wrestling fans as it would establish the clear favorite to win NCAAs this year. Kerkvliet emerged as the that favorite with an unexpected 18-2 technical fall. Kerkvliet took a 7-0 lead just 30 seconds into the match and never looked back.

Penn State Results From The 2023 NWCA All-Star Classic

149 Shayne Van ness (Penn State) DEC Kyle Parco (Arizona State), 5-1

174 Carter Starocci (Penn State) MD Mekhi Lewis (Virginia Tech), 11-0

184 Parker Keckeisen (Northern Iowa) DEC Bernie Truax (Penn State), 7-5

197 Aaron Brooks (Penn State) MD Tanner Sloan (South Dakota State), 11-2

285 Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State) TF Wyatt Hendrickson (Air Force), 18-2 4:48