Penn State Wrestling Star competes at U23 Worlds

One of the biggest stars of the Penn State wrestling team is competing on the world stage.

In October, as he prepares for the 2024-25 Big Ten wrestling season, Mitchell Mesenbrink will be in Albania with the U23 version of Team USA, formally accepting his World Team spot.

Mesenbrink had earned his place because he was U20 freestyle champion last year. He had until June 17 to accept the position, and although there was a delay, he announced his acceptance on social media late Tuesday afternoon.

Mesenbrink entered the college wrestling scene last season.

Mesenbrink came in after a redshirt season at Cal-Baptist, in which he wrestled just two matches, and became not only one of Penn State’s best wrestlers, but one of its most exciting. He went 26-1, won the Big Ten title at 165 and suffered his only loss to Iowa State’s David Carr in a classic national title fight.

Whether he stays at 165 or goes to 157 – the odds seem to be in favor of one of those two choices – Mesenbrink will certainly be one of the favorites to win his first national title next season.

Perhaps the highlight of Year 1 was the Big Ten title game against Wisconsin’s Dean Hamiti, who has since transferred to Oklahoma State, where he will wrestle for new head coach and Penn State legend David Taylor.

Second-seeded Mesenbrink trailed No. 1 and defending Big Ten champion Hamiti 9-2. He eventually won 13-11.

Toward the end of the victory, Big Ten Network play-by-play announcer Shane Sparks referred to the comeback as “Mesenbrink Magic.”

The wrestling world will expect more of that magic in the coming years.