Pennsylvania Takes Over Iowa City Tonight on BTN

Fans tuning in to the most anticipated College Wrestling dual meet of the year will see at least 7 Keystone State wrestlers compete. If Max Murin was healthy or, if Cael pulls a fast one and yanks Michael Beard’s redshirt at 197 pounds, we could see 9 wrestlers who hail from Pennsylvania. Remember, crazier things have happened like that one time he pulled Mark Hall’s redshirt against Iowa inside Carver.

Let’s meet the Pennsylvania Players who are going to compete tonight in Iowa City.


Brandon Meredith – 125 Pounds/Penn State

High School: Spring-Ford

Year: Redshirt Freshman

Rank: Unranked


The next man up for Cael Sanderson at 125 pounds is District 1 wrestler Brandon Meredith. He was a 3-time PIAA State qualifier and took 4th as a sophomore at 106 pounds. He had a career record of 150-33 for the Rams before heading to Penn State. He is 12-8 on the season and is on a four match losing streak. His marquee win of the year was against Michael Colaiocco of Penn inside Rec Hall.


Spencer Lee – 125 Pounds/Iowa

High School: Franklin Regional

Year: Junior

Rank: #1


The face of Iowa Wrestling has been Pennsylvania native Spencer Lee. The 2-time National Champion has scored bonus points in 100% of his matched this season. Sitting at 10-0 for the Hawkeyes, Spencer has dominated Penn State in his two years against the Nittany Lions. He will look to continue that streak against fellow Pennsylvanian Brendon Meredith. The two never met in high school where Spencer was a 3-time Pennsylvania State Champion who went 144-1 in his career.


Austin DeSanto – 133 Pounds/Iowa

High School: Exeter Township

Year: Junior

Rank: #2


Austin DeSanto, the wrestler who stopped Spencer Lee from becoming a 4-time undefeated Pennsylvania State Champion, will be in a fight tonight against Roman Bravo-Young of Penn State. DeSanto was an All-American last season taking 5th at 133 pounds in his first season in Iowa. At Drexel he was an NCAA Qualifier at 133 pounds before transferring to Iowa. He is 12-1 on the season and split matches with #1 Seth Gross of Wisconsin. DeSanto has wrestled and defeated RBY twice. The first meeting was a 12-8 win at Big Tens and the next was a 7-2 win at NCAAs. This should be fun.


Jarod Verkleeren – 149 Pounds/Penn State

High School: Hempfield Area

Year: Redshirt Sophomore

Rank: Unranked


An integral piece in the Penn State puzzle the Pennsylvania State Champion from District 7 started his career at Belle Vernon where he was 4th in the State as a sophomore before transferring to Hempfield Area where he won a State title at 145 pounds. He is 12-3 on the season but hasn’t had an opponent in the Top 25. Last year he nearly defeated Micah Jordan against Ohio State but hasn’t looked quite the same this season. He will have Pat Lugo of Iowa on Friday who he has never wrestled.


Kaleb Young – 157 Pounds/Iowa

High School: Punxsutawney Area

Year: Redshirt Junior

Rank: #4


The Punxsutawney product is one of District 9’s best wrestlers and has been a steady competitor for Tom Brands and the Hawkeyes. He is ranked #4 in the Nation at 157 pounds with an 11-2 season record including a title Midlands. It’s highly unlikely we see him against Brady Berge for Penn State and instead back-up Bo Pipher. Young was a 3-time Pennsylvania State Medalist finishing 5th, 4th, and 1st in Class AAA. Last season Kaleb took 5th at 157 pounds in Pittsburgh. Pipher is good enough to keep it close with Young who scores bonus points in only 12% of his matches.


Vincenzo Joseph – 165 Pounds/Penn State

High School: Central Catholic

Year: Redshirt Senior

Rank: #1


The Pittsburgh kid comes to Carver for a date with one of his all-time foes – #2 Alex Marinelli. Despite having two National Championships to his name, Vincenzo Joseph is 0-2 against The Bull. A 2-time Pennsylvania State Champion from the WPIAL, Vincenzo is ranked #1 in the Nation and looking for his first win against Marinelli who beat him 9-3 in the BIG 10 finals last year and upended him inside the Bryce Jordan Center 9-6 in a wild match at the BJC. No doubt these two are going to put on a show.


Michael Kemerer – 174 Pounds/Iowa

High School: Franklin Regional

Year: Redshirt Senior

Rank: #3


Arguably the most anticipated match-up in Carver will be at 174 pounds when #1 Mark Hall and #3 Michael Kemerer clash. Kemerer was a 4-time Pennsylvania State finalist (losing to Vincenzo Joseph his junior season) and a 2015 State Champion. Mark Hall was a 6-time State Champion in high school and a 3-time NCAA Finalist with one National title. Kemerer and Hall have not wrestled previously largely in part to the Hawkeye jumping up from 157 pounds to 174 pounds after a medical year last season. A clash of styles as both wrestlers are technicians from their feet. Hall is more physical but don’t under estimate Kemerer ability to score from his feet. Mark Hall is not known as a tough rider but he may want to show he can against Kemerer who, like most Pennsylvania wrestlers, can rack up riding time.


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