PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Micah Burak made the most of his last chance.
After three trips to the EIWA finals in his first three seasons - and runner-up finishes each time to show for it - Burak made move up the podium to the top spot with a 6-3 decision over James Fox of Harvard at the 109th EIWA Championships held at Rutgers University.
Burak became the first four-time finalist from Penn since Matt Valenti (2003, '04, '06, '07) did so and his win gives Penn an EIWA champion for the second season in a row. Top-seeded Burak had the only two takedowns of his match with second-seeded Fox, scoring in the first and second period. Burak was in control on top, riding Fox for most of the third period, adding on riding time for the win to become Penn's 63rd EIWA champion.
The Red and Blue placed nine of ten wrestlers at the tournament, helping the Quakers to a third place finish in the team standings with 110.5 points. The Quakers were just behind Navy, which took second with 117.5 points, but clear of Lehigh which was fourth with 101.5 points. Cornell won the team crown with 142.0 points.
Second-seeded Mark Rappo had a strategy against top seed Nahshon Garrett of Cornell, looking to keep the match close and find one winning takedown. The strategy appeared to be paying off, with a tied match at 1-1 midway through the third period. However, Garrett had riding time after a full second-period ride and Rappo had to make something happen in the final seconds. His late attempt to score the winning takedown was countered by Garrett into a pair of backpoints for a 6-1 final score.
C.J. Cobb scored first in the title match at 141 against Richard Durso, connecting on a takedown 53 seconds into the match. Fifth-seeded Durso escaped quickly, and added a second escape to begin the second period. Durso would finish the middle period on top after a takedown at the edge of the mat to take a 4-2 lead to the third period. Cobb knotted the match with a reversal midway through the final frame, but couldn't keep Durso down. The escape was the difference as Cobb was edged, 5-4.
Seeded seventh entering the tournament, Jeff Canfora went 4-2 to claim fourth place. His final match was a 5-2 loss to top-seeded Vincent Dellafave, a bout decided by two Dellafave takedowns in the second period.
Ian Korb punched his first ticket to an NCAA Championships with a 4-3 win over Princeton's Ryan Callahan on Saturday morning. Korb entered the third period tied, 3-3, and was able to earn his escape with 20 seconds remaining to earn one of four automatic bids to NCAAs. To finish his run, Korb secured third place with a 2-1 win over third-seeded Greg Zanetti of Rutgers. Korb scored both his points in the third period, escaping and adding the deciding point after an illegal hold from Zanetti.
Canaan Bethea joined Korb as an automatic qualifier with his fifth place finish at 184. Bethea was defeated by Dan Rinaldi of Rutgers in the consolation semifinals on Saturday morning, 7-3, but took fifth via medical forfeit over Robert Hamlin of Lehigh who had defaulted out of the tournament after an injury on Friday.
Heavyweight Steven Graziano wrestled up from his sixth seed to take fifth place, defeating the No. 1 seed, Billy Smith, from Rutgers to close out his tournament, 3-2. Graziano scored the only takedown of the bout in the first period, and escaped in the second for the win.
Two Quakers wrapped up their tournaments with wins in the Seventh Place matches in the morning. Senior Troy Hernandez picked up a major decision in his final collegiate match, downing American's Mark Cirello, 11-2. Andrew Lenzi finally scored a win over Princeton's Zach Bintliff with a 7-5 decision for seventh place. Both Hernandez and Lenzi had entered the tournament as the eighth seed, helping the team cause by wrestling above seed.
Burak, Cobb, Rappo, Bethea and Korb are qualified for NCAAs March 21-23 in Des Moines, Iowa. The rest of the Quakers await potential at-large bids to be handed out next week.
125: #2 Mark Rappo (Second Place)
Quarterfinals: Def. Max Rogers (Princeton), 20-4 (4:46)
Semifinals: Def. #6 Billy Waterson (Brown), 7-3
Championship Match: Lost to #1 Nahshon Garrett (Cornell), 6-1
133: #7 Jeff Canfora (Fourth Place)
First Round: Def. Esteban Gomez-Rivera (American), 3-2
Quarterfinals: Lost to #2 Randy Cruz (Lehigh), 0-5
Consolation Second Round: Def. Andrew Polidore (Sacred Heart), 10-2
Consolation Quarterfinals: Def. #3 Bricker Dixon (Cornell), 6-0
Consolation Semifinals: Def. # Jordan Thomas (Army), 4-0
Third Place Match: Lost to #1 Vincent Dellafave (Rutgers), 5-2
141: #3 C.J. Cobb (Second Place)
First Round: Def. David Barbar (Sacred Heart) FALL 2:10
Quarterfinals: Def. #6 Connor Hanafee (Army), 7-3
Semifinals: Def. #2 Steven Keith (Harvard), 6-3
Championship Match: Lost to #5 Richard Durso (F&M), 5-4
149: #8 Andrew Lenzi (Seventh Place)
Quarterfinals: Lost to #1 Steve Santos (Columbia), FALL 4:06
Consolation Second Round: Def. Andrew Murano (F&M), 7-3
Consolation Quarterfinals: Lost to #5 Kevin Tao (American), 6-3
Seventh Place Match: Def. #6 Zach Bintliff (Princeton), 7-5
157: #8 Troy Hernandez (Seventh Place)
Quarterfinals: Lost to #1 Walter Peppelman (Harvard), 0-6
Consolation Second Round: Def. Vincent Favia (Bucknell), 10-3
Consolation Quarterfinals: Lost to #4 Scott Winston (Rutgers), 4-1
Seventh Place Match: Def. Mark Cirello (American), 11-2
165: #3 Casey Kent
First Round: Lost to Giuseppi Lanzi (Brown), 9-3
Consolation Second Round: Lost to #4 Paul Hancock (Army), 5-1
174: #5 Ian Korb (Third Place)
Quarterfinals: def. #4 Stephen West (Columbia), 2-1 (TB)
Semifinals: Lost to #1 Nate Brown (Lehigh), 3-1
Consolation Semifinals: Def. Ryan Callahan (Princeton), 4-3
Third Place Match: Def. #3 Greg Zanetti (Rutgers), 2-1
184: #5 Canaan Bethea (Fifth Place)
First Round: Def. Paul Allessandrini III (F&M), FALL 2:20
Quarterfinals: Lost to #4 Mason Bailey (Navy), 3-1 (TB2)
Consolation Second Round: Def. Josh Popple (Harvard), 8-2
Consolation Quarterfinals: Def. Robert Marchese (Bucknell), 4-1
Consolation Semifinals: Lost to #3 Dan Rinaldi (Rutgers), 7-3
Fifth Place Match: Def. #1 Robert Hamlin (Lehigh), Medical Forfeit
197: #1 Micah Burak (Champion)
First Round: Def. Augustus Marker (Brown), 9-0
Quarterfinals: Def. Dan Seidenberg (Rutgers), 5-2
Semifinals: Def. #5 John Bolich (Lehigh), 4-1
Championship Match: Def. #2 James Fox (Harvard), 6-3
285: #6 Steven Graziano (Fifth Place)
First Round: Def. D.J. Ingham (Brown), 7-3
Quarterfinals: Def. #3 Stryker Lane (Cornell), 5-3
Semifinals: Lost to #2 Blake Herrin (American), 7-4
Consolation Semifinals: Lost to #5 Joe Stolfi (Bucknell), FALL 4:26
Fifth Place Match: Def. #1 Billy Smith (Rutgers), 3-2
Download: Final brackets.pdf