Blue White Illustrated

December 2023

Penn State Sports Magazine

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 43 of 67

4 4 D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 3 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M E ven without Carter Starocci in Penn State's wrestling lineup, the Nit- tany Lions were going to be heavy favorites to capture their third consecu- tive NCAA championship in March 2024 in Kansas City, and their 11th title in the past 13 tournaments. With Starocci's public announcement on Oct. 26 confirming his return for one final year of collegiate wrestling, those odds increased to monumental at the very least. While wrestling assuredly is a team sport, it's the various individuals such as Starocci that fans continue to crave to watch and — because of his flamboyant personality — hear as well. He has been supremely confident in his abilities since his arrival on the Penn State campus in the fall of 2018. Starocci redshirted that season, suf- fered one of only two career defeats in the 2021 Big Ten finals and since then has rung up 52 consecutive victories, the longest current collegiate streak by some 35 matches. That includes three con- secutive NCAA individual titles, which means that Starocci can become Penn State's first four-time NCAA champion if he successfully navigates a challenging 174-pound weight class this season. He will begin the 2023-24 campaign ranked as the best college wrestler in the coun- try by FloWrestling. Interestingly, super senior teammate Aaron Brooks would become the pro- gram's second four-timer just about 20 minutes later in Kansas City if he can WRESTLING J I M CA R L S O N | B L U E W H I T E C O N T R I B U T O R Starocci has compiled a 61-2 record and hasn't lost a match since he was a redshirt freshman. This sea- son, he has a chance to become the first four-time national champion in school history. PHOTO BY MARK SELDERS/PENN STATE ATHLETICS Carter Starocci opts to return for one final season at Penn State, bolstering a championship-caliber lineup Major Decision

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue White Illustrated - December 2023