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Penn State's head coach Cael Sanderson answered an urgent lineup question after their regular-season dual meet finale with American University.
Luke Gardner got the win in that dual meet for the Nittany Lions at 157 pounds, and he would appear to be the frontrunner to start for Penn State at the Big Ten Championships in two weeks, as Coach Sanderson confirmed that Brady Berge is done for the year.
As reported by the Centre Daily Times, Coach Sanderson said this with regards to Berge:
I would say he’s definitely done for the season.
Berge can petition the NCAA to be granted an extra year of eligibility due to medical hardship, which will likely be granted should he elect to do so.
Gardner wrestled all but two of his nine matches this season at 149. He has a 7-2 record on the year and is 0-1 in the Big Ten at 157, having lost to Minnesota's Ryan Thomas earlier this month. The Nittany Lions also have junior Bo Pipher as an option at 157. He is 9-11 on the year and is 3-6 in the conference.
That would seem to solidify the Nittany Lions lineup; however, there has been speculation that Greg Kerkvliet could get the nod at heavyweight. Kerkvliet is 9-0 on the year, having won the Shorty Hitchcock Open in January and the Mat-Town II Open today; 18th-ranked Seth Nevills got the win today over Niko Camacho of American.
FloWrestling has confirmed that Kervliet is a registered student at Penn State; however, it is unknown at this time whether he is eligible to compete per Big Ten and/or NCAA rules. It is likely that we all find out together what PSU's postseason lineup will be after weigh-ins of the Big Ten Championships.
Speaking of Big Tens, Berge being done for the year wasn't the only big news Cael revealed in the post-meet press conference. It appears that Penn State will host the 2021 Big Ten Championships.
Penn State wrestlers thump American 40-3 and coach Cael Sanderson announced that 157-pound sophomore Brady Berge is out for the season and that the 2021 Big Ten tournament will be held at Penn State. More to come...stay tuned on https://t.co/PuwNxGctZb and Twitter.— James R. Carlson (@JamesRCarlson) February 23, 2020
That would keep the Championships in the East for the second year in a row, as the 2020 tournament will be hosted by the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in Piscataway, NJ. Wrestling at the RAC beings Saturday, March 7 at 9:00 AM ET.