Bethea Takes 2nd at EIWAs; Wrestling 5th Overall

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The University of Pennsylvania wrestling team placed seven wrestlers at the 2015 EIWA Championships, led by Canaan Bethea, runner-up at 197 pounds. As a team , Penn finished fifth overall with 78 team points.

Three Penn grapplers have earned automatic qualifying spots to the NCAA Championships – Canaan Bethea, Brooks Martino and Lorenzo Thomas.

Canaan Bethea became Penn’s 73rd finalist in the last 25 years with a 3-1 win over the top seed at 197 pounds, Abram Ayala of Princeton. After a scoreless first period, Bethea escaped quickly in the second and added a takedown for a 3-0 lead. Ayala would escape in the third period, but Bethea held Ayala down in a scramble over the final 25 seconds for his first win in three tries against the Princeton wrestler this season.

In the championship match, Bethea was ultimately done in by his own offense as a shot attempt from him was turned into a leg cradle by No. 2 seed Jace Bennett of Cornell for a late first period takedown. In the third period, Bennett accumulated enough riding time to turn his second period escape into a two-point lead which was the final result in a 4-2 decision as Bethea could not find a late tying takedown through Bennett’s defensive separation.

No. 4 seed Lorenzo Thomas went up against No. 1 seed – and national No. 1 – Gabe Dean of Cornell in the semifinals. Much like the majority of the matchups between the two, it was a close contest. The difference this time, however, was the amount of points put on the board. The result was the same, though, a 10-7 win for Dean, who is now 5-0 all-time in official matches between the two. There was lots of scoring in the first period, Dean opening with a quick takedown before Thomas would escape and add a takedown of his own. Dean reversed Thomas, though, to retake the lead and Thomas would close the period with an escape for a 4-4 deadlock after one period. In the second period, the only scoring was a Dean escape. The third period started with a Thomas escape to tie the score at 5-5 before Dean connected on a takedown for a 7-5 lead. Thomas would escape and tie the match on the second stalling warning on Dean, but Dean had secured riding time. Thomas needed a takedown late but it was Dean who finished at the buzzer and added riding time for the three-point win.

Thomas rallied with a major decision over Binghamton’s Jack McKeever in the consolation semifinals to move on to the third place match where he once again defeated Brown’s No. 5 seed Ophir Bernstein. For the second time in the tournament and seventh time overall, Thomas secured the win over Bernstein, scoring a 13-3 major decision for third place overall in the tournament.

No. 2 C.J. Cobb was defeated by No. 6 seed Chris Perez of Princeton in the semifinals, 3-2. The difference in the match was a last-second takedown in the second period from Perez. An apparent takedown for Cobb in the third period was overturned after video review. In the consolation semifinals, Cobb was edged again, 3-2, by No. 5 seed Victor Lopez of Bucknell. Cobb had the opening takedown, but Lopez won on three escapes – the last coming in the third period after Cobb had to take injury time.

In the fifth place match, Cobb scored takedowns in the first and second period for a 6-3 decision over Drew Longo of Lehigh.

125: Jeremy Schwartz
First Round: lost to #4 Scott Parker (Lehigh), FALL 1:09
Consolation First Round: lost to Bryan Damon (Hofstra), 2-0

133: #3 Caleb Richardson – Eighth Place
First Round: def. Patrick Quinlan (F&M), FALL 4:37
Quarterfinals: lost to #6 Angelo Amenta (Columbia), 6-4
Consolation Second Round: def. Zeke Salvo (Brown), 7-3
Richardson medically forfeited to eighth place

141: #7 Jeff Canfora – Sixth Place
First Round: def. Robert Ruiz (F&M), FALL 4:44
Quarterfinals: lost to #2 Jamel Hudson (Hofstra), 3-2
Consolation First Round: def. Kyle Brady (Sacred Heart), 12-3
Consolation Quarterfinals: def. #6 Logan Everett (Army), 11-5
Consolation Semifinals: lost to #8 David Pearce (Drexel), 4-3
Fifth Place Match: lost to #2 Jamel Hudson (Hofstra), 3-2

149: #2 C.J. Cobb – Fifth Place
First Round: def. Steven Galiardo (Brown), 10-3
Quarterfinals: def. #7 Javier Rodriguez (Army), 15-6
Semifinals: lost to #6 Chris Perez (Princeton), 3-1
Consolation Semifinal: lost to #5 Victor Lopez (Bucknell), 3-2
Fifth Place Match: def. Drew Longo (Lehigh). 6-3

157: #8 Brooks Martino – Sixth Place
First Round: def. Vincent Deprez (Binghamton), 3-0
Quarterfinals: lost to #1 Brian Realbuto (Cornell), 12-2
Consolation Second Round: def. Rob King (F&M), 9-5
Consolation Quarterfinals: def. #3 Markus Scheidel (Columbia), 8-1
Consolation Semifinals: lost to #7 Noel Blanco (Drexel), 4-2
Fifth Place Match: lost to #4 Russell Parsons (Army), 10-3

165: #4 Ray Bethea – Sixth Place
First Round: def. Richard Muniz (Brown), 5-3
Quarterfinals: lost to #5 Jonathan Schleifer (Princeton), 2-1
Consolation Second Round: def. Rob Schlitt (Bucknell), 6-1
Consolation Quarterfinals: def. #7 Zack Zupan (Binghamton), FALL 4:36
Consolation Semifinals: lost to #3 Coleman Gracey (Army), 4-2
Fifth Place Match: lost to #5 Jonathan Schleifer (Princeton), 4-3

174: #5 Brad Wukie
First Round: lost to Conan Schuster (Sacred Heart), 5-3
Consolation First Round: def. Gordon Bolig (F&M), 12-3
Consolation Second Round: lost to #6 Shane Hughes (Columbia), FALL 6:30

184: #4 Lorenzo Thomas – Third Place
First Round: def. Samson Imonode (Army), FALL 2:53
Quarterfinals: def. #5 Ophir Bernstein (Brown), 10-1
Semifinals: lost to #1 Gabe Dean (Cornell), 10-7
Consolation Semifinals: def. Jack McKeever (Binghamton), 8-0
Third Place Match: def. #5 Ophir Bernstein (Brown), 13-3

197: #4 Canaan Bethea – Second Place
First Round: def. Steben Cervantes (Navy), 4-1
Quarterfinals: def. #5 Bryce Barnes (Army), 9-1
Semifinals: def. #1 Abram Ayala (Princeton), 3-1
Championship Match: lost to #2 Jace Bennett (Cornell), 4-2

285: Patrik Garren
First Round: lost to #2 Joe Stolfi (Bucknell), FALL 2:59
Consolation First Round: def. Joey Goodhart (Drexel), 5-2
Consolation Second Round: lost to #8 Ray O’Donnell (Princeton), 6-2

At-Large selections for the NCAA Championships and first-round pairings will be announced March 11thvia NCAA.com

#FightOnPenn

Download: Final brackets.pdf