PHILADELPHIA - For just the fifth time in Penn wrestling history, a Quaker has been named Ivy League Rookie of the Year as heavyweight Kyle Cowan was chosen as the outstanding freshman wrestler among Ivy schools in a vote by the League's head coaches.
With the selection as Rookie of the Year, Cowan joins Olympic gold medalist and two-time NCAA national finalist Brandon Slay (1994), NCAA national champion and two-time All-American Brett Matter (1996), two-time NCAA All-American Rick Springman (1998) and two-time first-team All-Ivy selection Mason Lehnard (2001) as Penn wrestlers to be named Ivy Rookie of the Year.
Cowan, who is 16-13 overall at heavyweight, went 2-1 in Ivy League duals this season, including a win by fall over Princeton's Bobby Grogan and a 2-0 win in Ithaca over Cornell's Stryker Lane. His only Ivy loss was a 4-3 defeat at the hand of first-team All-Ivy selection Kevin Lester of Columbia. Cowan's signature win of his rookie campaign came against No. 14 Josh Wine of V.M.I. via a 2-0 decision and helped Cowan finish the regular season with a No. 33 national ranking.
In addition to his Rookie of the Year honors, Cowan was one of eight Penn wrestlers named All-Ivy on Thursday. Zack Kemmerer was a unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection at 141 pounds for Penn's lone first-team honoree. The Red and Blue had six wrestlers named second-team All-Ivy: Mark Rappo (125), Rollie Peterkin (133), Andrew Lenzi (149), Scott Giffin (174), Micah Burak (197) and Cowan (285). Senior Gabriel Burak was named honorable mention All-Ivy. The eight All-Ivy nods were second among the six Ivy wrestling programs, trailing only Cornell with nine.
Kemmerer, one of nine wrestlers to be unanimously selected first-team All-Ivy, earned his second all-league distinction to go with a second-team berth in 2010. He ended the regular season with a team-high 31-6 overall record, tied for second in the EIWA among all wrestlers and most at 141 pounds. Including tournaments and dual meets, Kemmerer went 11-0 against wrestlers representing Ivy schools. In the final NCAA Coaches Panel, Kemmerer was ranked No. 10 in the country.
No. 15 Mark Rappo was named second-team All-Ivy for the second season in a row at125 pounds after his 25-7 regular season. The 25 wins are 10 more than his previous single-season best and included a 6-1 record against Ivy opponents. Rappo went 14-2 overall in dual meets, the most dual wins by any Quaker.
For the third time in his career, Rollie Peterkin was named second-team All-Ivy, this marking his first selection at 133 pounds. The senior, ranked No. 8 in the country, posted a 23-4 record overall and went 20-3 at 133 pounds. Inside the Ivy League, Peterkin went 5-1 at 133 pounds and he was 11-3 in dual meets.
Freshman Andrew Lenzi took over the starting spot at 149 pounds in late November and went on to go 10-10 overall at 149. Lenzi went 4-1 against Ivy opponents in dual matches, with his only loss to 2010 NCAA champion Kyle Dake.
2010 NCAA All-American Scott Giffin earned his third second-team All-Ivy selection with a 4-0 record at 174 pounds against Ivy opponents. Overall, Giffin finished 2010-11 with a 16-7 record while battling injury all season and still earning a No. 24 ranking.
Sophomore Micah Burak returns to the All-Ivy second team at 197 pounds after a 24-5 season which included a 3-1 record against Ivy opponents in duals. Burak is ranked No. 6 in the country in the latest NCAA Coaches Panel, and two of his losses came to No. 1 Cam Simaz while he has a win over then-No. 1 Dustin Kilgore who is now No. 4.
Micah's older brother Gabe, was named honorable mention All-Ivy for the second year in a row after a 15-5 season which included a 4-1 record against Ivy foes. Of Gabe's 15 wins, five came by fall, tying him with Micah for the team lead. Gabe ended the regular season ranked No. 15.
Penn begins its postseason run with the EIWA Championships at Bucknell University March 5-6