First Place Penn State Advances Five to National Finals

DETROIT, Mich. – Five Penn State Nittany Lions will be competing for NCAA individual glory on Saturday night after claiming victories in their NCAA semifinal contests.  Head coach Cael Sanderson will once again have multiple Lions in the national finals Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena.  Penn State leads the team race with 108.0 points, head of second place Michigan (84.5).
 
The Nittany Lions will leave Detroit with six more All-Americans (all six semifinalists). Since 2011, Penn State went 5-1 in the semis this session and is 45-5 in the NCAA semifinals, a gaudy .900 win percentage. Penn State now has 238 All-Americans in its storied history, with 75 of them coming under Sanderson’s tutelage.
 
Senior Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.), the No. 1 seed at 133, met No. 5 Austin DeSanto of Iowa in the first of Penn State’s six semifinal bouts. The duo battled through a scoreless first two minutes with Bravo-Young fighting off to solid DeSanto scoring efforts. The first period ended in a scoreless tie and DeSanto chose down to start the second period. Bravo-Young got in on a low single and nearly took DeSanto to his back but the Hawkeye scrambled out of trouble and forced a reset with :45 on the clock. Trailing 1-0, Bravo-Young chose down to start the third period and worked hard for an escape, getting the point at the 1:14 mark to knot the score. Bravo-Young stalked the mat and struck quickly, using a low single to force a scramble on the outside circle to take DeSanto down. The takedown gave Bravo-Young a 3-2 win (with a late Iowa escape) and a trip to the NCAA finals.
 
Senior Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), the No. 1 seed at 141, took on No. 4 Real Woods of Stanford in the semis at 141. The duo worked the center of the mat for the first minute-plus with each man taking slight shots on the NCAA logo. Lee broke through as action moved to the outside circle, using a low shot and finishing off a takedown to take a 2-0 lead at 1:04. Woods escaped to a 2-1 score at the :34 mark and action resumed in neutral. Leading 2-1, Lee chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-1 lead. Lee continued to press on offense, forcing Woods backwards and getting a stall warning called on him at the :15 mark. Woods chose down to start the third period trailing 3-1. Lee maintained control for the first minute, nearly turning Woods in the process. But the Cardinal scrambled out of control and escaped to a 3-2 Lee lead. Lee maintained pressure for the final seconds of the bout and rolled to the 3-2 victory, advancing to the NCAA finals once again.
 
Sophomore Carter Starocci (Erie, Pa.), the No. 1 seed at 174, battled No. 4 Hayden Hidlay of North Carolina State in his semifinal bout. Starocci and Hidlay worked the center of the mat for the first minute, working in neutral. Starocci took a fast low single and connected for a takedown and a 2-1 lead after a quick Hidlay escape. Starocci kept pressing and blazed through a late low shot for another takedown and a 4-1 lead after one. He chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 5-1 lead. Starocci forced Hidlay into a stall and then scored on a low double to open up a 7-1 lead at the :45 mark. Hidlay managed an escape late and Starocci led 7-2 with :53 riding time after two. Hidlay chose down to start the third period and escaped to a 7-3 score, but Starocci had 1:08 in riding time. Starocci controlled the center of the mat for the remainder of the match, tacked on a final takedown and 1:09 in riding time to post a dominant 10-3 win. The victory sends Starocci to the NCAA title bout once again.
 
Junior Aaron Brooks (Hagerstown, Md.), the No. 2 seed at 184, took on No. 3 Trent Hidlay of North Carolina State in the semis. Brooks and Hidlay worked neutral for the opening minute. Brooks pressured Hidlay backwards and then slid down on a fast low double for the bout’s first takedown and a 2-0 lead with 1:48 on the clock. A quick Hidlay escape cut the lead in half. Leading 2-1, Brooks took down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-1 lead. Brooks nearly locked up a cradle at the 1:15 mark but Hidlay worked his way out of bounds to force a reset. Brooks forced Hidlay into a stall warning before the period ended. Hidlay chose down to start the third period and escaped to a 3-2 score. Hidlay countered a Brooks shot for a takedown and, after a quick Brooks escape, the bout was tied 4-4 with 1:16 left. Brooks nearly scored as the bout ended but Hidlay fought off the move and the bout went to extra time. Brooks took care of business in overtime, notching a takedown to secure the 6-4 (sv) win and advance to the NCAA finals once again.
 
Junior Max Dean (Lowell, Mich.), the No. 1 seed at 197, met No. 21 Gavin Hoffman of Ohio State in his semifinal bout. Dean scored in the opening minute, connecting on a low single and finishing off the takedown for an early 2-0 lead. Dean controlled the action from the top position and killed the first period clock with a rideout. Leading 2-0, Dean chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-0 lead with 1:57 in time. He quickly added another takedown and built his lead up to 5-0. The Lion maintained top position as his riding time neared 3:00. Dean finished on top and led 5-0 after two with clinched riding time (3:23). Hoffman chose neutral to start the third and countered another Dean shot for his first takedown. Dean led 6-2 at 1:15 and added one more takedown to post a 9-3 win with 3:25 in riding time, heading back to the NCAA finals again, his first time as a Nittany Lion.
 
Sophomore Greg Kerkvliet (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.), the No. 4 seed at 285, met No. 1 Gable Steveson of Minnesota in Penn State’s final semifinal bout. Kerkvliet and Steveson battled through an even opening minute, with Kerkvliet sliding away from a low shot at the 1:50 mark to keep the bout scoreless. Kerkvliet connected on a low shot that Steveson defended it and then the Gopher took a 2-0 lead at the 1:10 mark. Kerkvliet escaped to a 2-1 score and trailed by one after one. Kerkvliet chose down to start the second, but Steveson maintained control as the clock hit 1:00. Kerkvliet escaped to a 2-2 tie, but Steveson had 1:22 in riding time. Kerkvliet kept shooting, forcing Steveson into a stall warning before Steveson added another takedown. Kerkvliet ended up dropping a tough 8-3 decision, moving into the third-place bracket.
 
Senior Drew Hildebrandt (Granger, Ind.) went 1-2 at 125, sophomore Beau Bartlett went 1-2 at 149 and senior Brady Berge (Mantorville, Minn.) went 2-2 with a pin at 157 for Penn State, with all three ending their tournament runs in Friday’s third session.
 
The Nittany Lions went 5-1 in the semifinals and are 27-7 overall after two days of action.  Penn State has 16.5 bonus points off seven majors, one technical fall and four pins.
 
Penn State has won eight of the last ten contested NCAA Championships (all since Sanderson’s arrival at Penn State and he is in his 13th season this year). The Nittany Lions have won nine NCAA titles overall, owning a championship from 1953.  The Nittany Lions won four-straight titles in 2016, ’17, ’18 and ’19 and again in 2011, ’12, ’13 and ’14.
 
The tournament continues on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. (ESPNU) with the conclusion of the consolation bracket and all placing bouts.  The national finals are then at 7 p.m. (ESPN).
 
The 2021-22 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by the Family Clothesline. Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at @pennstateWREST, on Penn State Wrestling’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/pennstatewrest. This is PENN STATE. WRESTLING lives here.
 
Penn State at 2022 NCAA Wrestling Championships – Session 4
March 18, 2022 – Detroit, Mich.  – Little Caesars Arena
 
Team Standings (Top 5)
1: PENN STATE – 108.0
2: Michigan – 84.5
3: Arizona State – 63.5
4: Iowa – 62.0
5: Nebraska – 54.0
 
Weight-by-weight agate (RANKINGS LISTED ARE OFFICIAL TOURNAMENT SEED):
 
125: #16 Drew Hildebrandt, Sr.
Rd. 1: #17 Anthony Noto, Lock Haven – L, 2-4 (sv)
Cn. 1: #33 Logan Ashton, Stanford – W, 3-1 dec.
Cn. 2: #15 Brody Teske, Northern Iowa – L, 4-8 dec.
 
Hildebrandt was Penn State’s first competitor of the day against No. 17 Anthony Noto of Lock Haven. Hildebrandt and Noto battled through a scoreless first period and Noto chose neutral to start the second. Noto notched a takedown with :46 on the clock but Hildebrandt quickly escaped to a 2-1 score.  Trailing by one, Hildebrandt chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 2-2 tie. The bout moved to sudden victory where Noto notched a quick takedown to post the 4-2 (sv) win and send Hildebrandt to consolation action.
 
He took on No. 33 Logan Ashton of Stanford in the first round of consolation action. Hildebrandt and Ashton battled through a scoreless first period. The Lion senior took a 1-0 lead with a quick escape to start the second. After Ashton chose neutral to start the third, Hildebrandt iced the bout with a takedown. The 3-1 win keeps the Nittany Lion alive in consolation action.
 
Hildebrandt met No. 15 Brody Teske of Northern Iowa in the second round of consolation action. Hildebrandt gave up two takedowns to trail 4-1 after the first period and escaped to start the second, cutting the lead to 4-2.  Hildebrandt then tied the match with a takedown of his own. Teske escaped to a 5-4 lead with :30 left in the period. Teske escaped to start the third period and added a final takedown to post an 8-4 win. The loss ended Hildebrandt’s tournament with a 1-2 mark.
 
133: #1 Roman Bravo-Young, Sr.
Rd. 1: #32 Dominic LaJoie, Cornell – W, 16-4 maj. dec.
Rd. 2: #16 Josh Koderhandt, Navy – WBF (4:45)
Qtrs: #25 Brian Courtney, Virginia – W, 13-6 dec.
Semis: #5 Austin DeSanto, Iowa – W, 3-2 dec.
Finals: #2 Daton Fix, Oklahoma State – tomorrow night
 
Bravo-Young met No. 32 Dominic LaJoie of Cornell in the first round. Bravo-Young took a big lead with three first period takedowns.  He added another takedown and an escape to lead 9-2 after two.  Bravo-Young dominated the third period and rolled to a 16-5 major decision with 2:59 in riding time.  
 
He met No. 16 Josh Koderhandt of Navy in the second round. Bravo-Young scored quickly, taking Koderhandt down in the opening seconds. He added a two-point turn and finished on top to lead 4-0 with over 2:00 in time after one. Koderhandt chose down to start the second and Bravo-Young made him pay for the decision. The Nittany Lion worked the Midshipman over to his back after riding for a minute-plus and picked up the fall at the 4:45 mark, advancing to the quarterfinals and picking up big bonus points for Penn State.
 
Bravo-Young faced No. 25 Brian Courtney of Virginia in Penn State’s first quarterfinal match. Bravo-Young took Courtney down quick, just seconds into the match and kept control of the Cavalier until cutting him loose at the :30 mark. He led 2-1 after one, chose down to start the second, and quickly reversed him to lead 4-1. After another cut, Bravo-Young added two more takedowns to lead 8-3 after two.  After a Courtney escape, Bravo-Young tacked on two more takedowns and posted a 13-6 win, becoming a four-time All-American and advancing to the semifinals.
 
See above story for bout-by-bout recap.
 
141: #1 Nick Lee, Sr.
Rd. 1: #32 Josh Mason, Bloomsburg – W, 15-3 maj. dec.
Rd. 2: #16 Quinn Kinner, Rider – W, 9-2 dec.
Qtrs: #8 Grant Willits, Oregon State – WBF (3:45)
Semis: #4 Real Woods, Stanford – W, 3-2 dec.
Finals: #15 Kizhan Clarke, North Carolina – tomorrow night
 
Lee took on No. 32 Josh Mason of Bloomsburg in the opening round. Lee took control of the match quickly, taking Mason down and to his back for a six-point burst in the opening :15.  He upped his lead to 8-0 in the second and added four more back points to lead 12-0 after two. The Lion senior advanced to the second round with a 15-3 major including 3:58 in riding time.
 
He battled No. 16 Quinn Kinner of Rider in his second-round match-up. Lee took a quick 2-1 lead with a takedown and added a second takedown and rideout to lead 4-1 with 1:58 in riding time after the first period. Lee added two more takedowns in the second and led 8-2 after two. With riding time clinched in the third, Lee worked his way to a 9-2 win to advance to the quarterfinals.
 
Lee met No. 8 Grant Willits of Oregon State in the quarters. Lee took Willits down midway through the first period and controlled the action on offense for the rest of the period to lead 2-0 with 1:18 in riding time after one. Lee chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-0 lead. He then pressed in on offense, turned a high double into a scramble and worked Willits’ back to the mat. After a bit of work, Lee got the fall at the 3:45 mark, moving to the semifinals and becoming Penn State’s first five-time All-American.
 
See above story for bout-by-bout recap.
 
149: #13 Beau Bartlett, So.
Rd. 1: #20 Colin Realbuto, Northern Iowa – W, 5-4 dec.
Rd. 2: #4 Sammy Sasso, Ohio State – L, 4-6 dec.
Cn. 2: #19 Yahya Thomas, Northwestern – L, 3-5 dec.
 
Bartlett took on No. 20 Colin Realbuto of Northern Iowa in his first NCAA tournament bout. Bartlett and Realbuto battled through an even first period and Bartlett chose down to start the second. He escaped to a 1-0 lead but not before Realbuto built up 1:41 in riding time. Realbuto escaped to a 1-1 tie to start the third and then took a 3-1 lead with a late takedown. Bartlett picked up a point on a second Panther stall, then escaped with :28 left to tie the bout at 3-3 (but Realbuto had clinched riding time). Bartlett scrambled through a low shot and finished off a takedown with just :09 left to grab a thrilling 5-4 win.
 
He met No. 4 Sammy Sasso of Ohio State in the second round. Bartlett and Sasso battled through two scoreless minutes before the Buckeye countered a Bartlett move and took the Lion down to lead 2-0 after the opening stanza. Bartlett tied the bout with a reversal, but Sasso escaped and led 3-2. Sasso worked his lead to 5-2 before Bartlett cut it to 5-4 with a late takedown but ran out of time after cutting Sasso loose and dropped a 6-4 decision. The loss moved Bartlett into consolation action.
 
Bartlett battled No. 19 Yahya Thomas of Northwestern in the second round of consos. Bartlett defended a solid Thomas single for nearly a minute in the opening period and fought off the move to keep the bout scoreless after one. Thomas chose down to start the second and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. He added a takedown and led 3-1 after two after a Bartlett escape. Bartlett escaped to start the third period, but Thomas added another takedown to up his lead to 5-2. Bartlett escaped quickly and went to work on offense, but Thomas was able work the clocks down and grab the 5-3 victory. The loss ended Bartlett’s tournament at 1-2.
 
157: #16 Brady Berge, Sr.
Rd. 1: #17 Hunter Willits, Oregon State – L, 1-2 dec.
Cn. 1: #33 Derek Holschlag, Northern Iowa – W, 15-7 maj. dec.
Cn. 2: #15 Johnny Lovett, Central Michigan – W, 4-3 dec.
Cn. 3: #10 Peyton Robb, Nebraska – L, 3-8 dec.
 
Berge met No. 17 Hunter Willits of Oregon State in the first round. Berge and Willits battled through a scoreless first period with Berge defending two quick Willits shots.  Willets escaped to a 1-0 lead to start the second period and carried that lead to the third. Berge chose down in the third and escaped to a 1-1 tie, but Willets built up over 1:00 in riding time and that edge gave the Beaver the 2-1 victory, sending Berge into consolation action.
 
He battled No. 33 Derek Holschlag of Northern Iowa in the first round of consolation action. Berge took Holschlag down quickly to open up a 2-0 lead. He added another takedown and two back points to lead 6-1 after one. Berge notched two quick takedowns in the second period to up his lead to 10-3. Holschlag was able to take Berge down and cut the lead to 10-5. Berge rolled up three more takedowns in the final minute and, with a rideout and 2:28 in riding time, posted the 15-8 major. He moved into the second consolation round with the win.
 
Berge battled No. 15 Johnny Lovett of Central Michigan in the second consolation round. Berge led 2-1 after the first period thanks to an early takedown.  He chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-1 lead, the only points in the second. Lovett chose down to start the third and reversed Berge to tie the bout at 3-3. Berge escaped quickly to lead 5-4 as the clock hit 1:00. Berge held off Lovett’s late offense and posted the 4-3 win, advancing to the third round of consolation action. In his second conso bout of the session, Berge took on No. 10 Peyton Robb of Nebraska. Robb took an early lead with a takedown and Berge escaped in seconds to set the score at 2-1 a minute in. Robb added a second takedown and Berge trailed 4-2 after the opening period. Robb added a takedown in the second and another takedown in the third to post the 8-3 win. The loss for Berge ended the Lion’s tournament with a 2-2 mark.
 
174: #1 Carter Starocci, So.
Rd. 1: #33 Connor O’Neill, Rutgers – WBF (6:38)
Rd. 2: #16 Adam Kemp, Cal Poly – W, 10-4 dec.
Qtrs: #9 Mike Labriola, Nebraska – W, 6-1 dec.
Semis: #4 Hayden Hidlay, North Carolina State – W, 10-3 dec.
Finals: #2 Mekhi Lewis, Virginia Tech – tomorrow night
 
Starocci battled No. 33 Conner O’Neill of Rutgers in the first round. Starocci dominated the opening stanza, rolling up an 8-2 lead off three takedowns and two back points. He increased that lead to 11-4 with over 3:00 in riding time after two periods and then ended the match late in the third, rolling O’Neill to his back for the fall at the 6:38 mark.
 
He met No. 16 Adam Kemp of Cal Poly in the second round. Starocci controlled the entire bout, chasing Kemp towards the outside circle for seven minutes. Starocci led 2-1 after the opening period and upped that lead to 5-1 with a takedown and an escape in the second. Starocci continued to pressure Kemp for the next two minutes and finished off a convincing 10-4 win with two more takedowns and a riding time point. The victory moved Starocci into the quarterfinals.
 
Starocci took on No. 9 Mikey Labriola off Nebraska in the quarterfinals. Starocci and Labriola scrambled through the middle part of the opening period with neither wrestler getting a takedown. Starocci chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. He finished the period with a strong ride and led 3-0 with 1:27 in riding time after two periods. Labriola chose down to start the third period and escaped to a 3-1 score with 1:30 left in the bout. Starocci closed out the convincing win with another takedown and riding time to post the 6-1 victory, becoming a two-time All-American and advancing to the semifinals.
 
See above story for bout-by-bout recap.
 
184: #2 Aaron Brooks, Jr.
Rd. 1: #31 A.J. Burkhart, Lehigh – W, 21-7 maj. dec.
Rd. 2: #15 Hunter Bolen, Virginia Tech – W, 9-1 maj. dec.
Qtrs: #7 Kaleb Romero, Ohio State – W, 13-2 maj. dec.
Semis: #3 Trent Hidlay, North Carolina State – W, 6-4 (sv)
Finals: #1 Myles Amine, Michigan – tomorrow night
 
Brooks met No. 31 Wyatt Sheets of Oklahoma State in the opening round. Brooks opened up a 4-1 lead after the opening period with two takedowns and added to his margin in the second, bolting out to a 9-2 advantage. The Nittany Lion junior continued to pour on the offense in the third, dominating the final minutes and posting a 21-7 major decision with 4:32 in riding time.
 
He battled No. 15 Hunter Bolen of Virginia Tech in the second round. Brooks led 2-0 after one, with an early takedown and rideout. The Nittany Lion continued to control the action during the middle period, taking a 6-0 lead with an escape, a takedown and a stall point.  Brooks added a third takedown and over 3:00 in riding time with a strong third period and rolled to a 9-1 major to advance to the quarterfinals and pick up bonus points.
 
Brooks met No. 7 Kaleb Romero of Ohio State in the quarterfinals. Brooks opened up an early lead in the first period, taking Romero down early and then adding a late takedown to lead 4-1 with :51 in time after one. Brooks chose down and quickly escaped to a 5-1 lead. He took Romero down again and led 7-1 with 1:00 to go in the period. Romero chose neutral to start the third and Brooks quickly took the Buckeye down again to take a 9-1 lead. Brooks clinched the riding time point before Romero escaped to a 9-2 score. Brooks continued to pour on the offense in the third and walked away with a 13-2 major decision, becoming a three-time All-American and advancing to the semifinals.
 
See above story for bout-by-bout recap.
 
197: #1 Max Dean, Jr.
Rd. 1: #32 Will Feldkamp, Clarion – W, 16-1 (TF; 4:40)
Rd. 2: #17 Jay Aiello, Virginia – W, 4-2 dec.
Qtrs: #8 Lou Deprez, Binghamton – W, 4-3 dec.
Semis: #21 Gavin Hoffman, Ohio State – W, 9-3 dec.
Finals: #6 Jacob Warner, Iowa – tomorrow night
 
Dean faced No. 32 Will Feldkamp of Clarion in the first round. Dean came out firing on offense, opening up an early 8-1 lead with two takedowns and a four-point turn. The Nittany Lion junior took Feldkamp down quickly in the second period, turned him once for two points and then a final time to end the bout early with a 16-1 technical fall at 4:32.
 
He took on No. 17 Jay Aiello of Virginia in the second round. Dean and Aiello battled through a scoreless first period. Aiello chose down to start the second period and after getting ridden for much of the period, scrambled to a reversal to lead 2-0 after two. Dean escaped quickly to start the third period but trailed 2-1 late. The Lion forced a scramble with a late shot and worked his way to a takedown in the last :30. He finished the period on top and, with riding time, used four unanswered points to grab the 4-2 victory, advancing to the quarterfinals.
 
Dean faced No. 8 Lou Deprez of Binghamton in the quarters. Deprez notched an early takedown to open up a 2-1 lead in the first minute. Dean fought off another Deprez single and trailed by one after one. Dean chose down to start the second period and escaped to a 2-2 tie, but not before Deprez built up a 1:05 time edge. Dean nearly scored as the period ended but Deprez was able to work his way out of bounds. Dean scrambled for a takedown at the 1:00 mark but none was called. The officials reviewed the action, and the call was reversed, giving Dean the takedown and a 4-2 lead. Dean then worked the top position and killed Deprez’s riding time lead. Deprez was able to escape but Dean’s third period takedown was the difference in a 4-3 victory. The win moved Dean into the semifinals as a three-time All-American.
 
See above story for bout-by-bout recap.
 
285: #4 Greg Kerkvliet, So.
Rd. 1: #29 Brandon Metz, North Dakota State – WBF (4:17)
Rd. 2: #13 Tate Orndorff, Ohio State – W, 10-1 maj. dec.
Qtrs: #12 Christian Lance, Nebraska – W, 7-1 dec.
Semis: #1 Gable Steveson, Minnesota – L, 3-8 dec.
Cn. Semis: #8 Mason Parris, Michigan – tomorrow
 
Kerkvliet took on No. 29 Brandon Metz of North Dakota State in the first round. Kerkvliet took Metz down early in the first period and spent the rest of it on top, building up a riding time edge as he looked for back points.  Metz chose down to start the second period and Kerkvliet took advantage of the decision. Kerkvliet turned Metz midway through the second period and picked up the fall at the 4:17 mark.
 
He met No. 13 Tate Orndorff of Ohio State in Penn State’s final second round bout. Kerkvliet dominated the bout from the outset. He took Orndorff down quickly in the first and rode him for the entire period to lead 2-0 with 2:25 in riding time after one. Kerkvliet started the second period with a reversal and once again finished on top to lead 4-0 with over 4:00 in riding time. The third period was all Kerkvliet as he picked up two more takedowns, a stall point and the riding time point to roll to a 10-1 major decision. The victory, with key bonus points, advances him to the quarterfinals.
 
Kerkvliet battled No. 12 Christian Lance of Nebraska in Penn State’s last quarterfinal of the session. Kerkvliet took an early 2-0 lead with a takedown at the :40 mark of the first period. He finished on top and chose down to start the second. Kerkvliet reversed Lance to start the second period, opening up a 4-0 lead and building up well over 1:00 in riding time with strong offense on top. He led 4-0 with 2:19 in riding time after two periods. Lance chose down to start the third and Kerkvliet build up over 4:00 in time before he escaped. Kerkvliet continued his strong offense, though, and notched a final takedown to roll to a 7-1 win with 4:09 in riding time. The victory made him a two-time All-American and advanced him to the semifinals.
 
See above story for bout-by-bout recap.
 
 
 
 

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