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BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Good morning from the 2010 EIWA Championships, taking place at Stabler Arena at Lehigh University.
10:27: Penn suffers one of the first upsets of the tournament, with No. 5 Bryan Ortenzio losing to Franklin & Marshall's Jacob Bucha, 6-5. Bucha scored first with a takedown at 0:36. Ortenzio escaped quickly and added a takedown of his own at 1:55. Bucha tied the bout with an escape at the end of the period. In the second, Ortenzio scored the only points with an escape early. In the third, Bucha got that point back with an escape at 5:25. Ortenzio had riding time, but that was erased when Bucha shot in at 6:20. Ortenzio escaped at 6:30, but he couldn't get in on late shots and was defeated.
Mark Rappo knows his quarterfinal opponent. The sixth seed will wrestle the three seed, Jasen Borshoff of American. No. 4 Zack Kemmerer will take on No. 5 Casey Thome of Army in his quarterfinal. No. 7 Cesar Grajales will have another chance at No. 2 Kyle Borshoff of American in the quarterfinals as well.
13 teams are competing in the 106th EIWA Championships, with Cornell entering as three-time defending team champions. The Big Red enter the tournament with five of the top seeds and are primed to defend once more. Host Lehigh is right on the Big Red's tails along with Rutgers, American, Navy and Penn.
The Quakers enter with nine wrestlers seeded at their respective weights. Scott Giffin tops the Red and Blue with the second seed at 174 pounds. Freshman Micah Burak has earned the three seed at 197 pounds while Zack Kemmerer slides into the fourth seed at 141.
The brackets were completed last evening and the Quakers have had a night to prepare for their first matches. Let's take a look at who Penn will see when it takes the mats early in the 2010 EIWA Championships.
125: Mark Rappo has drawn the sixth seed in his first conference championships and will have a bye to the quarterfinals. He awaits the winner of No. 3 Jasen Borshoff of American and unseeded Greg Einfrank of Brown. Rappo has defeated Einfrank this season, 13-4, and has not faced Borshoff. The senior from American placed sixth last year at 133 pounds and is 19-6 this season. A quick look at the common opponents shows Rappo and Borshoff each 3-0.
133: Bryan Ortenzio is seeded fifth for the second consecutive year and will wrestle in the first round in the fifth match of the tournament. His opponent is unseeded Jacob Bucha from Franklin & Marshall. The junior is 18-4 overall, 14-4 against Division I wrestlers. A win for Ortenzio earns him a date in the quarterfinals with Bucknell's No. 4 David Marble. Ortenzio and Marble have met in the last two EIWA Championships, with Marble advancing both times.
141: Zack Kemmerer is the fourth seed and drew a bye to the quarterfinals in his first conference championships. He awaits the winner of No. 5 Casey Thome of Army and Columbia's Ryan Doyle. At the Southern Scuffle in December, Kemmerer defeated Thome, 8-3. Thome only has six losses this season and half of his 20 wins have come via fall. Ryan Doyle has seen limited action for Columbia this season, with a 1-13 record.
149: Cesar Grajales drew the No. 7 seed and a bye to the quarterfinals in his final EIWA Championships. The 2008 champ at this weight has battled injuries this season and may benefit from not having to wrestle the extra bout. Grajales will await the winner of the two seed, Kyle Borshoff of American, and Rutgers' unseeded David Greenwald. Grajales and Borshoff met in the quarterfinals last season, with Borshoff taking a 2-1 win in a tiebreaker. Borshoff is 20-3 this season and posted an 8-2 decision over Greenwald Feb. 13. Greenwald is 17-10 in his junior season, wrestling a very difficult schedule. 10 of his win have come via fall and he was the one unseeded guy most wrestlers were hoping drew to the other side of the bracket. In one of the most exciting weights at the tournament, a great match will come up very early.
157: Matt Dragon is another Penn senior who has struggled with injuries this season, but was still seeded fifth. A two-time conference champion, Dragon will wrestle in the first round against Columbia's Matt Dunn. Dunn is 12-15 this season but was second-team All-Ivy in 2008 and qualified for nationals at 149 in '07. The winner will take on No. 4 Daryl Coccozo of Rutgers in the quarters.
165: No. 5 Gabriel Burak will wrestle Harvard's Adam Hogue in the first round. Hogue has a 7-4 record in his freshman season, but the Blair Academy product is dangerous. He was 7-3 before suffering an injury at the Scuffle in December. If Burak advances, he will have a chance to avenge a 7-3 loss to No. 4 Eren Civan of Columbia in the quarterfinals.
174: Scott Giffin enters his third conference championships with his highest seed, earning the second seed. He drew a first round match and will wrestle Harvard's David Lalo. In February, Giffin pinned Lalo in 3:43 and a win with bonus points here would help Penn's team cause. Giffin's possible quarterfinal match would be against either No. 7 Matt Fullowan of F&M or Navy's Michael Billings.
184: Harrison Cook will enter his first conference championships unseeded. The freshman has drawn No. 5 Andrew Buck of Navy in the first round. Buck, another freshman, is 18-7 and riding a seven-match win streak into the EIWAs.
197: Micah Burak is Penn's second-highest seeded wrestler, coming in at No. 3. He drew a bye into the quarterfinals and will await the winner of No. 6 Jay Hahn of Bucknell and Brown's Branden Stearns. Hahn is 16-9 in his junior season, with five losses inside the top 20. He owns a win over Stearns already this season, a 6-1 decision in January. Stearns is 1-1 against Burak this year, with Burak gaining a fall in November and Stearns taking a 7-4 decision at the dual in February.
285: Tyler Blakely waited until his senior season to compete at the conference championships, and earned the eighth seed at heavyweight. He will wrestle in the first round against Harvard's Spencer DeSena. At the dual Feb. 6, Blakely pinned DeSena in 0:47 for his quickest career fall. Blakely has a chance to not only advance, but do so with bonus points. The winner will meet No. 1 Zachery Rey of Lehigh in the quarterfinals.
Weigh-ins have been completed and the Quakers all sailed through. Matches start at 10 a.m. with Bryan Ortenzio on deck on Mat 1. Throughout the day, Penn Athletics will provide updates on Penn matches here and via Twitter.
11:00: Penn gets in the win column twice at 157 and 165 with wins from No. 5 Matt Dragon and No. 5 Gabriel Burak. Dragon defeated Columbia's Matt Dunn, 8-2, with all points in the third period. Dragon reversed quickly and then Dunn got it back. At 5:50, Dragon took a lead with another reversal. He added three back points at 6:55 and a riding time point for the win.
Burak followed him on mat three with a win via fall over Adam Hogue of Harvard at 5:29. The pin was Burak's 11th of the season - tied for most by a Quaker. Burak scored first in the second period, turning a scramble from top position into three nearfall points and a full two-minute ride. In the third, Burak chose bottom and reversed Hogue to his back for the quick fall.
11:10: Scott Giffin follows suit on Mat 3 for a fall over Harvard's David Lalo at 5:22. Giffin was ahead 13-1 at the time after dominating throughout the match.
11:50: Tyler Blakely advanced at heavyweight with a 7-0 win over Harvard's Spencer DeSena.
After that, Mark Rappo was defeated in a long, arduous match by No. 3 Jasen Borshoff of America, 4-2, in a second period of sudden victory. The match went to the first overtime tied 1-1 after each man escaped once. Neither man scored in sudden victory, and Rappo took a 2-1 lead with an escape in his tiebreaker. Borshoff equaled that in the second period of the tiebreaker and we again went to sudden victory. Borshoff got in tight up top and was able to throw Rappo down at 9:37 for the win.
Grajales defeated the two seed, Kyle Borshoff, 3-2 to advance. Grajales worked hard for a takedown at the end of the first period, pulling Borshoff in and securing the legs at the buzzer. In the second, Grajales escaped at 3:14 to extend his lead. In the third, Borshoff escaped quickly to close the gap. With 10 seconds left, Grajales was dinged with his second stall warning, giving Borshoff a second point. Grajales was able to evade in the final seconds and heads to the semis to wrestle Army's Matthew Kyler.
Kemmerer advances to his first conference semifinal with an 8-1 win over Army's Casey Thome. The match was scoreless for most of the first period until Kemmerer scored a takedown at 2:30. Kemmerer chose neutral in the second and made it count with a takedown at 3:30. Thome escaped, but the match went to the third in favor of Kemmerer, 4-1. In the final period, Kemmerer escaped at 5:42 and then shot in deep again at 6:17. His riding time gave him the final score. Kemmerer will wrestle Cornell's Kyle Dake - the top seed in the tournament and the country - in the semifinals.
Giffin put together a dominating 10-2 win over No. 7 Matt Fullowan of F&M to advance. Giffin scored four takedowns, including two in the first period to secure the win.
Micah Burak advanced via his riding time advantage, 1-0. After a scoreless first period, Burak was able to put together a full two-minute ride in the second. Burak had choice in the third and went neutral. His strategy paid off as Brown's Branden Stearns could not get off of Micah's 2-on-1 and the match ended without any points except the riding time.
Matt Dragon was eliminated at 157 by a 7-4 score at the hands of No. 4 Daryl Cocozzo of Rutgers. Cocozzo scored first at 0:49, but Dragon escaped quickly. Cocozzo added a second takedown at 2:21 and Dragon again escaped at the end of the period, coming very close to a reversal. In the second, Cocozzo added to his lead with an escape. The third period saw Dragon escape at 5:24 to close the score to 5-3. At 5:32, Cocozzo scored the winning takedown, coming around as it appeared Dragon reinjured his shoulder. The score was awarded and Dragon popped the shoulder back in. The two-time EIWA champion escaped at 6:45, but couldn't mount the comeback. He will attempt to wrestle back later today.
Gabriel Burak also heads to the wrestlebacks after getting caught in a cradle by Columbia's Eren Civan at 4:04. Civan worked a reversal in the second period after taking a 2-1 lead after one and came up in the pinning position.
1:41: Bryan Ortenzio responds from a loss in the first round, defeating No. 3 seed Billy Ashnault of Rutgers, 2-0. Ortenzio escaped quickly in the second after a scoreless first. In the third, Ortenzio put together a full ride, adding a second point for the win. He will wrestle Thomas Williams of American next.
At heavyweight, Tyler Blakely was defeated by the top seed, Zach Rey of Lehigh, 3-1. Rey scored the only takedown of the match at the end of the first period, scoring with five seconds left. Rey added an escape in the second and Blakely countered with a quick out of his own. Blakely was in position to tie, going for a shot at the end but couldn't get through. He will wrestle Brown's Larry Otsuka next.
Also, Harrison Cook stayed alive at 184 with a tech fall over Franklin & Marshall's Matt Latessa, 17-0. He will wrestle the sixth seed, Rob Waltko of Bucknell next.
2:31: Matt Dragon scores a takedown at 6:47 to defeat Cornell's Derek Schreiner, 4-2. The match went scoreless through two periods before Dragon got the first point on an escape at 5:16. Schreiner got the first offensive points at 5:37 to take the lead. Dragon was not phased, and quickly escaped on a restart. Dragon then came through on a clean shot in the final 15 seconds, securing the winning takedown to move on in the consolation round.
Gabe Burak follows suit, advancing in the consolation bracket with a 6-0 win over American's Tanner Shaffer. Burak took Shaffer down seven seconds in and never let go. By the end of two periods, Burak had a 4:52 advantage in riding time. In the third period, Burak escaped quickly and then added a second takedown for the win.
3:09: Tyler Blakely with a 3-1 win over Larry Otsuka of Brown to stay alive in the consolation bracket at heavyweight. Tyler scored a takedown at 2:16 for the winning points.
Semifinals and the next round of consolation matches will begin at 3:30 p.m. Penn has nine wrestlers alive, four in the championship semifinals - Zack Kemmerer, Cesar Grajales, Scott Giffin and Micah Burak.
5:04: The semis are moving pretty quick, but the big news is a pin with four seconds left in the match by Scott Giffin to advance to his first EIWA Championships final. He was tied with No. 3 Shane Riccio, 4-4, and was working the whole period to get out from bottom. finally, in the waning seconds he was able to sit out and get Riccio's shoulders to the mat. The reversal and backs were in play, but the fall sealed the deal. He will wrestler No. 1 Mack Lewnes of Cornell tomorrow.
Zack Kemmerer and Cesar Grajales were defeated in their semifinal matches and will head to the consolation semifinals. Bryan Ortenzio, Matt Dragon and Gabriel Burak all won their consolation matches and are in the consolation semis. Mark Rappo lost and is in the seventh-place match. So far, only Burak and Giffin have locked up NCAA berths.
5:28: Add Micah Burak to the finals tomorrow as well! The freshman put together a miracle win over Army's No. 2 Richard Starks, 8-5 in a second tiebreaker. Starks had a 4-0 advantage with riding time locked up in the third period with time running out. Burak pulled out a five-point move, throwing Starks to his back with less than 20 seconds to go. There wasn't enough time to erase the riding time, but Burak's sent the match to overtime. The first sudden victory period went scoreless. As did the first run of tiebreakers. So did the second sudden victory period. Finally, Burak was able to escape with 11 seconds left in the first half of the second tiebreaker. He needed to either keep Starks down or at least hold him for 20 seconds to gain advantage time. Burak not only held on for the entire time, he added two back points, securing the win and an automatic berth at the NCAA Championships. He will wrestle Cornell's Cam Simaz tomorrow.
Also, Tyler Blakely added another win to his day, defeating Army's Orion Ross, 12-5, to stay alive. He will wrestle Navy's Scott Steele.
Penn is done for the day. Check back later for a full recap.