Brackets Announced for NCAA Wrestling Championships

2008 NCAA Wrestling Championships Brackets

PHILADELPHIA – Seedings and brackets for the 2008 NCAA Wrestling Championships were announced on Monday. The eight Penn wrestlers who qualified for NCAAs now know who they will be facing in first round action when the tournament begins on Thursday.

Sophomore Rollie Peterkin is the only Quaker to be seeded and will start competition as the ninth seed. Peterkin qualified for his first NCAA Championships after winning the EIWA title at 125 pounds two weekends ago. His first round opponent will be Jonathan Bittinger of Duquesne. Bittinger, a senior, earned his second trip to the NCAAs after winning his conference title.

Rick Rappo (141 pounds) is another Quaker who will be making his first appearance at the NCAA Championships. He earned his bid with a second-place finish at EIWAs. His opponent is the #3-seed, Kellen Russell of Michigan. Russell is 25-5 in his freshman season and won the Big Ten conference title.

Cesar Grajales won the 149-pound championship at the EIWA Tournament and is returning to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2006. His opponent in the first round is Jordan Burroughs, the fourth-seed from Nebraska. Burroughs is making his second appearance at the NCAAs and is the Big 12 Champion at 149.

Zack Shanaman is back at the National Championships for the second time. He also qualified in 2007. The second-place finisher at the EIWA Championships at 165 pounds, Shanaman will meet the seventh-seed, Jake Dieffenbach of Oklahoma State in the first round. The two met in January at the Virginia Duals, with Dieffenbach winning an 11-2 major decision. Dieffenbach is a senior who transferred to Oklahoma State after winning to NAIA national championships at Lindenwood University.

Scott Giffin qualified for the NCAA Championships as a redshirt freshman after finishing third at EIWAs at 174 pounds. He will meet the ninth seed, Brendan Mason of Oklahoma State. Giffin and Mason wrestled earlier this season at the Virginia Duals, with Mason scoring a 6-0 win. Mason is a three-time NCAA qualifier and earned All-America status last season when he finished fifth at NCAAs.

Lior Zamir qualified for his second NCAA Championships after winning the EIWA title at 184 pounds. He drew the number one seed in his weight class, Jake Varner of Iowa State. Varner is 25-0 on the season and was runner-up at the 2007 NCAA Championships. Last year, Varner defeated Zamir, 5-0, in the first round of the NCAA Championships.

Thomas Shovlin finished third at the EIWA Championships at 197 pounds to qualify for his first NCAA Championships. He will meet the ninth-seed, Patrick Bond of Illinois, in Thursday’s first round. Bond is in his second NCAA Championships and is 26-7 on the season.

Trey McLean rounds out the Quakers who will compete at the NCAA Championships. He is the third Quaker who drew an Oklahoma State wrestler in the first round. McLean will look to avenge a 4-0 loss to fifth-seeded Jared Rosholt on Thursday. Rosholt is 29-3 and a two-time NCAA qualifier.

Matches begin on Thursday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. A full schedule of events can be found here. Penn Athletics will provide updates and insight throughout the tournament.