PHILADELPHIA – The brackets for the 2009 NCAA Wrestling Championships have been announced and the six Quakers heading to St. Louis with hopes of reaching the top of the podium know who awaits them on Thursday morning.
Rollie Peterkin, ranked No. 9 by InterMat, is seeded eighth at 125 pounds. He has a 21-5 record and finished second at the EIWA Championships by the second-ranked wrestler in the country, Cornell’s Troy Nickerson. In the first round, Peterkin will wrestle Eric Olanowski of Michigan State. Olanowski is a redshirt freshman with a record of 20-17 this season. He finished seventh at the Big Ten tournament.
Senior Rick Rappo drew the Big 12 tournament champion and the fifth seed in the tournament, Marcus Hoehn of Missouri. Hoehn is 29-8 in his senior season.
At 149 pounds, Cesar Grajales, ranked in the top 20 all season – and 14th currently – has received another difficult draw. This year, he will wrestle No. 3 seed Darrion Caldwell of N.C. State. Caldwell is ranked No. 3 in the country and is 33-1 this season. One of Caldwell’s wins was a 4-1 decision over Grajales at the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas this season. Caldwell is a returning All-America, finishing fifth last year.
Matt Dragon, ranked No. 18 by InterMat, will wrestle the eighth seed in the tournament, Adam Hall of Boise State in a pigtail match. Hall is ranked No. 7 by InterMat and owns a 14-3 win over Dragon in Vegas this season. The winner will wrestle Anthony Jones of Michigan State in the first round.
Scott Giffin heads to the NCA Championships for the second time. He will wrestle the 10th seed in the tournament, Kurt Brenner of West Virginia in the first round. Brenner is 18-4 in his redshirt-senior season and is a three-time EWL champion.
Trey McLean is the sixth Penn wrestler slated to compete at the NCAA Championships and he drew Indiana’s Nathan Everhart in a pigtail bout. Everhart is a junior who is 25-15 this season. He finished fifth at the Big Ten Championships. If McLean defeats Everhart, he will wrestle Cleveland State’s Rashard Goff in the first round.
The Quakers head to St. Louis on Tuesday. Penn Athletics will be on the road with the team and will provide updates throughout the trip as well as live updates throughout the tournament.
Full brackets can be found here.