Burak Takes Second at Midlands; Wrestling 15th

Final Brackets (PDF)

Micah Burak became Penn's first Midlands finalist since 2004 with his run at 197 pounds, but his attempt to claim Penn's third-ever Midlands crown was halted in the final by the top seed Chris Honeycutt of Edinboro, 4-0.

Honeycutt entered the match 23-0 this season and Burak, who was 9-1 entering the final, went toe-to-toe in the first minutes before Honeycutt blasted a double leg at 1:35 for what turned out to be the only takedown of the match.

In the second period, Burak chose neutral and tried to turn his Russian tie into a single, but was unable to score. In the third period, after Honeycutt escaped and locked up riding time, Burak threw caution to the wind and tried a headlock into an inside trip, but Honeycutt staved it off at the buzzer.

Micah Burak and Joe Kennedy have developed quite a rivalry over the past three seasons, and their meeting in the semifinals at Midlands added another chapter. In their most important meeting to date, Burak erased an early takedown by Kennedy and scored when it mattered most for a 4-3 decision. Kennedy opened the scoring late in the first period, but Burak's ability to quickly escape kept him in the match. First, Burak bounced up on a restart before the end of the first period, and then he did so immediately to start the second period. Those escape points tied the match, but Kennedy's own escape to start the third gave him a one-point lead. With time winding down, Burak snuck through Kennedy's defense on a double and scored with 30 seconds left to take a 4-3 lead. Twice on restarts, Burak was ready and returned Kennedy to the mat, and he finished the mat in control with a waistlock in standing position.

Zack Kemmerer was Penn's other placewinner, finishing seventh. He started his day with an 11-4 win over Avery Garner of Utah Valley in the Round of 12. Kemmerer had five takedowns in the match, scoring twice in each of the first two periods to build a wide lead. Up next, Kemmerer took on the No. 6 seed Zach Neibert of Virginia Tech. Neibert scored first, finishing off a scramble that Kemmerer started. In the second period, Kemmerer tied the match with a takedown, but after Neibert escaped, Kemmerer's own actions worked against him. Kemmerer took a very good single leg, but in the process of lifting Neibert's leg up, Neibert reached in and tripped Kemmerer to his back for a five-point move and a 9-3 lead after two. Kemmerer escaped to start the third period, but was again caught up in his own shot and taken down out of it to allow two points and go down, 12-5.

In his seventh-place match, Kemmerer wrestled EIWA foe and No. 10 seed William Ashnault of Rutgers. Kemmerer made sure to close his tournament with a dominating performance, taking Ashnault down twice, and riding out the Rutgers grappler for the final minute of the match to secure riding time to take home seventh place.

Seven of Penn's nine wrestlers entered in the tournament picked up at least one win, and the Quakers had six in the Round of 12. True freshmen Steve Robertson and Lorenzo Thomas gave a great effort in their first national-stage tests as collegians, each going 3-2 with wins in the championship bracket. Thomas also had a win by fall, sticking Stanford's Bret Baumbach in 0:56 - the fastest fall of the year to date for the Quakers.

Senior Erich Smith had a great start to the tournament, upsetting No. 11 seed Cameron Croy of Harvard and No. 6 seed Tony Dallago of Illinois to reach the quarterfinals. Smith's classmate Bryan Ortenzio was 3-2, including a win by fall in 1:16.

As a team, Penn finished with 42.5 points, good for 15th place.

#5 Bryan Ortenzio
1st Round: Bye
2nd Round: Def. Kyle West (Utah Valley), 7-1
3rd Round: Lost to Joe Colon (Northern Iowa), 5-4
Consi. 4th Round: Def. Tyler Keselring (Central Michigan), 6-4
Consi. 5th Round: Def. Derek Makan (Utah Valley), FALL 1:16
Round of 12: Lost to #6 Steven Keith (Harvard), 5-3 (SV)

#2 Zack Kemmerer (Seventh Place)
1st Round: Bye
2nd Round: Def. Tyler Diamond (N. Dakota St.), 8-4
3rd Round: Lost to Luke Goettl (Iowa State), 5-3
Consi. 4th Round: Def. Pat Greco (Northwestern), 3-2
Consi. 5th Round: Def. #7 Mitchell Port (Edinboro), 7-3
Round of 12: Def. Avery Garner (Utah Valley), 11-4
Consi. Quarters: Lost to #6 Zach Neibert (Virginia Tech), 12-5
Seventh Place Match: Def. #10 William Ashnault (Rutgers), 6-0

#8 Steve Robertson
1st Round: Bye
2nd Round: Def. Alex Pellicciotti (Bucknell), 10-8 (SV)
3rd Round: Lost to Caleb Ervin (Illinois), 3-2
Consi. 4th Round: Def. Mark Erickson (N. Dakota St.), 6-3
Consi. 5th Round: Def. Anthony Salupo (Lehigh), 11-3
Round of 12: Lost to #7 Josh Wilson (Utah Valley), 7-2

Troy Hernandez
1st Round: Lost to #7 Donnie Corby (Central Mich.), 1-6
Consi. 1st Round: Lost to Ty Loethen (Northern Illinois), 2-0

#12 Lorenzo Thomas
1st Round: Bye
2nd Round: Def. Riley Branch (N. Iowa), 11-2
3rd Round: Lost to #5 Bekzod Abdurakhmonov (Clarion), 7-3
Consi. 4th Round: Def. Tyler Johnson (N. Dakota St.), 5-1
Consi. 5th Round: Def. Bret Baumbach (Stanford), FALL 0:56
Round of 12: Lost to #2 Scott Winston (Rutgers), 9-6

Ian Korb
1st Round: Def. Brandon Lintner (Rider), 6-3
2nd Round: Lost to #3 Jordan Blanton (Illinois), FALL 2:42
Consi. 2nd Round: Def. Scott Leigal (Wisconsin), 7-4
Consi. 3rd Round: Lost to #8 Phillip Joseph (Eastern Michigan), 10-4

Erich Smith
1st Round: Bye
2nd Round: Def. #11 Cameron Croy (Harvard), 6-5
3rd Round: Def. #6 Tony Dallago (Illinois), 8-5
Quarterfinals: Lost to #3 Ben Bennett (Central Michigan), 15-0
Round of 12: Lost to Joe Rau (Elmhurst), 6-4

#3 Micah Burak (Second Place)
1st Round: Bye
2nd Round: Def. Davion Willis (UW-Parkside), 3-2 (SV2)
3rd Round: Def. Jackson Hein (Wisconsin), 5-1
Quarterfinals: Def. #6 Daniel Mitchell (American), 12-4
Semifinals: Def. #2 Joe Kennedy (Lehigh), 4-3
Championship Final: Lost to #1 Chris Honeycutt (Edinboro), 4-0

Anthony DiLonardo
1st Round: Bye
2nd Round: Lost to #11 Quintas McCorkle, 5-2
Consi. 2nd Round: Lost to Matt Gibson (Iowa State), 10-2