Might Carter Starocci come back to Penn State aiming for a fifth NCAA championship?

Should Carter Starocci decide to return to Penn State for a fifth season, as he hinted at this weekend, he has outlined his motivations clearly. Speaking to reporters at the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials in State College, he emphasized that his decision wouldn’t be driven by academic pursuits. Instead, he expressed a single-minded determination to pursue his wrestling ambitions, particularly aiming for a fifth national title and another team championship for Penn State.

Starocci’s statement has opened up the possibility of achieving an unprecedented feat in collegiate wrestling: winning five NCAA championships. Despite initially leaning slightly against returning, he now states he’s leaning more towards it, citing a newfound perspective after the trials. While focused on the trials, he deferred deeper contemplation of his decision until after the event.

Having competed at 174 pounds for the past four seasons, Starocci’s recent participation in the 86 kg weight class at the trials signifies a significant competitive shift. He mentioned his weariness of cutting weight to maintain the lower weight class, suggesting a potential move up in weight if he returns to Penn State. His final decision is expected within a few weeks, with implications for the team’s composition and future success.

In addition to his collegiate aspirations, Starocci continues his freestyle wrestling pursuits, eyeing the 2025 World Championships and the 2028 Summer Olympics. However, whether he will return to Penn State remains uncertain for now.

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