PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania wrestling team had several strong performances at the recent USA Wrestling University Nationals, led by a seventh place finish at 86kg by Canaan Bethea C’15.
Bethea went 5-2 overall, losing only to eventual runner-up Ethan Lofthouse and sixth place finisher Brett Pfarr. Bethea reached the quarterfinals of the championship bracket with three wins – including a decision over 2015 NCAA All-American T.J. Dudley (Nebraska) and a pin of Konner Witt (Air Force). After a loss to Lofthouse in the quarters, Bethea again defeated Dudley in the Round of 12 before rallying from a loss to Pfarr in the consolation quarters with a win over Aaron Studebaker (Nebraska) in the seventh place match. Bethea defeated Studebaker, a Round of 12 finisher at 197 this March at NCAAs, 6-3.
86kg was a strong weight for the Quakers as Joe Heyob went 5-2 to finish in the Round of 12 and Lorenzo Thomas posted a 3-2 record.
Heyob won his first match before losing to Pfarr in the third round. Heyob would go on to win for consolation matches before again running into Pfarr who knocked him off in the Round of 12. Thomas had a convincing technical fall win in his first match before suffering an 8-4 loss to Patrick Downey – 2015 National Junior College champion and a former Junior World Championships silver medalist. Thomas would win two more bouts in the consolation rounds before being eliminated by Kevin Radford of Arizona State.
C.J. Cobb went 5-2 at 70kg, falling one match short of the Round of 12. After a technical fall win to open his tournament, Cobb was defeated by Iowa State’s Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer in the second round. Rodriguez-Spencer would go on to reach the semifinals before finishing fourth. Among the opponents Cobb defeated in wrestleback action was Kent State’s Michael DePalma whom Cobb defeated at NCAAs in March. Cobb eventually was knocked out of the tournament by Iowa State’s Blayne Briceno who went on to finish seventh.
Among the other Quakers who competed, Freddie Dunau went 2-2 at 65kg, while Marc Mastropietro was 0-2 at that weight. Frank Mattiace was 1-2 at 97kg while Carson Stack was 0-2. Quinton Hiles was 2-2 at 74kg, while May Bethea was 2-2 at 70kg. At 57kg, Ken Bade went 2-2, winning his first two matches on the championship side.