Wrestling Opens Dual Season at No. 3 Oklahoma State
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PHILADELPHIA - After two strong outings at tournaments to get the 2012-13 wrestling season started, Penn dives full-on into dual competition this weekend with a non-conference clash with No. 3 Oklahoma State in Stillwater.
Penn's first-ever trip to the state of Oklahoma will mark the fifth dual between the Quakers and Cowboys. Oklahoma State owns all four wins in the series, the last coming in 2008 in the semifinals of the Virginia Duals via a 20-13 score. The previous four meetings in the series have come at neutral sites as part of dual tournaments, and all have come since 1998.
The Quakers will be looking for their first win over a ranked team on the road since a 20-13 win over No. 24 Penn State in State College in 2009. Since the win over the Nittany Lions, Penn has gone six matches on the road against ranked teams without a win.
Highlighting Penn's lineup this weekend is a pair of ranked wrestlers in No. 13 Mark Rappo and No. 9 Micah Burak. In his first action in over a year, Rappo was runner-up at the Keystone Classic last weekend, edged in sudden victory in the title bout at 125 pounds. Rappo is the only grappler on Penn's roster to have a career match against an Oklahoma State wrestler, scoring an 8-4 decision over then No. 9 Jon Morrison on the first round of the 2011 NCAA Championships in Philadelphia. Both are slated to compete on Sunday, but not against each other. Rappo remains at 125, but Morrison has bumped up to 133 where he is ranked No. 10 this week by InterMat.
Burak missed last weekend's Keystone Classic, and if in the lineup this weekend is slated for the marquee matchup of the dual at 197 pounds against No. 8 Blake Rosholt. Both enter the weekend with 3-1 records.
Penn's Kyle Cowan is making a homecoming, the heavyweight returning to his home state of Oklahoma for the first time as a collegiate wrestler. Cowan, the 2011 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, was undefeated his entire varsity career at Cascia Hall Prep, winning three state championships as part of a 125-0 prep career. His return features a daunting task in No. 3 Alan Gelogaev. The Moscow native was an All-American in 2010 with a seventh-place finish. He redshirted in 2010-11, and was 24-0 in 2011-12 before an injury derailed his season in late February.
The Cowboys boast the No. 1-ranked wrestler in the country at 174 pounds in Chris Perry. The Stillwater native was third at NCAAs last season, his only loss of the season en route to a 31-1 record came in the national semifinals, and he is 5-0 to start this season.
Easton, Pa. native Jordan Oliver and 165-pounder Tyler Caldwell round out an impressive cadre of top-ranked talent for the Cowboys. A three-time All-American at 133 pounds, Oliver is 95-6 as a collegiate wrestler, and was the 2011 national champion before finishing second last season. He has bumped up to 149 pounds and is off to a 6-0 start at his new weight, earning a ranking of No. 3. Caldwell, runner-up at 165 in 2011 while competing at OSU's archrival Oklahoma, is ranked No. 3 at 165 this season. A two-time All-American, Caldwell redshirted last year to train for an Olympic run. He was 1-2 at the Olympic Trials.
Probable Matches for Penn at No. 3 Oklahoma State
125: #17 Mark Rappo, 3-1 (Penn) vs. Tyler Dorrell, 1-2 (OSU)
133: Geoffrey Bostany, 4-4 (Penn) vs. #10 Jon Morrison, 4-1 (OSU) or Ladd Rupp, 6-2 (OSU)
141: C.J. Cobb, 7-2 (Penn) vs. Julian Keikert, 6-2 (OSU)
149: Andrew Lenzi, 6-4 (Penn) vs. #3 Jordan Oliver, 6-0 (OSU)
157: Troy Hernandez, 3-2 (Penn) vs. #10 Alex Dieringer, 5-0 (OSU)
165: Casey Kent, 7-4 (Penn) vs. #3 Tyler Caldwell, 5-0 (OSU)
174: Ian Korb, 9-3 (Penn), vs. #1 Chris Perry, 5-0 (OSU)
184: Canaan Bethea, 6-2 (Penn) or Mike Steltenkamp, 0-4 (Penn) vs. Chris Chionuma, 4-1 (OSU)
197: #9 Micah Burak, 3-1 (Penn) vs. #8 Blake Rosholt, 3-1 (OSU)
285: Kyle Cowan, 4-2 (Penn) vs. #2 Alan Gelogaev, 0-0 (OSU)