Feast Seeded Sixth as Wrestling Heads to NCAA Championships

Representing Penn and the EIWA at NCAAs - Four grapplers from the University of Pennsylvania will compete at the 2005 NCAA Championships. Matt Feast earned the automatic bid with his third-straight EIWA title. Mason Lenhard, Doug McGraw and Dustin Wiles earned three of 12 wild card berths. The EIWA will have 42 grapplers compete at NCAAs, which is the second-most qualifiers in Division I.

Fantastic Four - In his final championship appearance, senior Matt Feast earned a No. 6 seed at 285 lbs. and a first-round bye. Feast will match-up against Edinboro's Joe Hennis in the second round. The Cressona, Pa. native was previously seeded sixth at the 2003 NCAA Championships in Kansas City.

At 125, senior Mason Lenhard drew a first-round bye. He will face No. 7 seed Andrew Hochstrasser of Boise State in the second round of competition. Lenhard is 0-1 against Hochstrasser this season, falling, 11-7, at the Las Vegas Invitational.

Junior Dustin Wiles also drew a first-round bye at 174 lbs. He will face either Kevin Grabrielson of NC State or No. 3 seed Pete Friedl of Illinois.

At 141, senior Doug McGraw is the only Quaker who will take the mat in the opening round, drawing No. 12 seed Cassio Pero of Illinois. Pero is 21-12 on the season for the Fighting Illini.

Last Time Out - The Quakers (9-4, 4-1 Ivy League, 5-2 EIWA) finished fifth at the 101st Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championships on March 5 at the U.S. Naval Academy. Heavyweight Matt Feast captured his third-consecutive EIWA crown, while seven others placed in the top-six.

Feast’s title came after a hard-fought battle with Navy’s Tanner Garrett in which Feast walked away with the 2-1 decision in overtime. Feast opened EIWAs by pinning Brown’s Lee Beane in 1:43 and followed with a 6-3 decision over Lehigh’s Paul Weibel in the semifinals.

Senior Mason Lenhard placed fourth at 125 lbs. while senior Doug McGraw and junior Dustin Wiles placed fifth at 141 and 174, respectively. Seniors Jeff Eveleth (133), Kyle Bernholz (149), Rich Ferguson (165) and Marcus Schontube (197) each placed sixth.

Lehigh captured the EIWA team title with 133.5 points, just 2.5 points ahead of Cornell (131.0). Navy finished third with 96.5 points, its best performance since 1995, while Columbia finished fourth with 84.0 points. Penn rounded out the top-five with 77.5 points.

No. 24 Penn Among the Top-25 - The Red and Blue have been ranked among the top-25 all season long and are currently ranked 24th in the USA Today/National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) poll. The Quakers have finished ranked in the top-25 for the past eight seasons. In 2002, Penn was ranked a program-high eighth at the end of season.

Welcome Home, Wiles - Junior Dustin Wiles returns to his home state of Missouri to compete in his first NCAA Championship. Wiles, a native of Farmington, has been making the most of his opportunity at 174 lbs. since taking over the starting role this season. Wiles, 25-11 overall, 8-1 in duals, had an impressive debut at the EIWA Championships going 4-2, including three falls, en route to a fifth place finish. Wiles leads the team in falls (seven) and takedowns (69). Wiles opened the 2004-05 season with a pair of third place finishes at Brockport Oklahoma Gold and the Keystone Classic. He also earned his first national ranking of his career (19th) after a 3-1 decision over No. 10 Paul Siemon of Hofstra on Jan. 16.

Three’s Company - With his third EIWA title, Matt Feast has joined exclusive company. In the 101 years of Penn wrestling history, only three Penn grapplers have repeated as three-time champions: Yoshi Nakamura (1999, 2001-02), two-time NCAA Champion Richard DiBatista (1941-43) and the legendary Mike Dorizas (1914-1916). There have been 30 three-time champions in EIWA history, most recently, Lehigh’s Troy Letters (2003-05) and Harvard’s Jesse Jantzen (2002-04). However, Navy’s Dan Hicks is the only other heavyweight to complete the trifecta winning titles in 1992, 1994 and 1995. Brett Matter is Penn’s only four-time champion (1996-2000) and is one of only eight wrestlers to complete the feat in EIWA history.

Picking Up Where He Left Off - After nearly two years away from the mat, senior Mason Lenhard will appear in his third NCAA Championship. Lenhard qualified for NCAAs his freshman and sophomore seasons before injury put his career on hiatus.

Climbing the 100-Win Ladder - Senior Matt Feast is quickly moving up Penn’s all-time wins list as he currently stands alone in third with 114 career victories. If he is successful at NCAAs, he can eclipse two-time All-American Yoshi Nakamura 115-victory mark for second all-time. Feast has already surpassed two-time All-American Rick Springman (109) and two-time All-American and Olympic Gold Medalist Brandon Slay (110). Two-time All-American and NCAA Champion Brett Matter leads the way with 128 victories. Feast became the fifth wrestler in program history to notch 100 victories on Dec. 29, 2004, recording his historic win during the first round of competition at the 42nd Midlands Championships by defeating Chad Barkalow of Iowa, 3-1. The two-time All-American took Barkalow down in the first 50 seconds of the first period and recorded an escape in the third to secure the win.

Penn at the NCAA Championships - The Red and Blue finished 14th at last year’s NCAA Championships and have placed in the top-20 in five out of the last six season. Penn recorded its ninth-consecutive year with at least one All-American, as Matt Feast (285) and Matt Valenti (125) earned the honors in 2004.

Highest Finishes at the NCAAs
Eighth 1941
Eighth 1942
11th 1999
14th 2004

Most Points Scored at the NCAAs
45.5 pts.1999
44 pts.2000
43 pts.2002

Most NCAA Placewinners in a Championship
Three, 2002: Yoshi Nakamura (third)
Rick Springman (fifth)
Josh Henson (seventh)
Three, 2000: Brett Matter (first)
Rick Springman (fifth)
Bandele Adeniyi-Bada (sixth)
Three, 1999: Andrei Rodzianko (fourth)
Brett Matter (fifth)
Bandele Adeniyi-Bada (seventh)

Penn and the Ivy League - The Quakers posted their 12th-straight winning season in the Ivy League with a 4-1 record and finished second in the Ancient Eight. Cornell clinched its third-consecutive Ivy League title on Feb. 12 by defeating Harvard, 36-6. For the past 12 seasons, the battle for Ancient Eight supremacy has been fought between the Big Red and the Quakers. The Red and Blue have been a prominent force in the League, earning a 55-6-1 record, six outright titles and two shared. Cornell is next on that list going 51-8-1 with three outright and two shared titles.

Penn and the EIWA - The Red and Blue has had success in the EIWA with four team titles. Since 1996, Penn has produced the most EIWA individual champions with 31, and has had 63 NCAA qualifiers. Lehigh is next with 24 EIWA champions and 63 NCAA qualifiers.

Download: NCAA NOTES.pdf