LANCASTER, Pa. - With only tonight's finals left at the EIWA Championships,five Penn wrestlers have gained berths into the final of their weight class -- Rollie Peterkin at 125, Rick Rappo at 141, Cesar Grajales at 149, Zack Shanaman at 165, and Lior Zamir at 184.
In the team chase, the Quakers have 121.5 points and sit in second behind only Cornell (126.0); both teams continue tooutdistance the field, as Army is third with88.0 points and Navy is fourth with 78.0.
However, adding to the drama tonight, the Big Red enter the finals with only three competitors left, two fewer than Penn. Of particular note is the final at 165, where Shanaman and Cornell's Mack Lewnes will square off.
“Yesterday we went 19-3, and it is obviously hard to keep up that type of record throughout a weekend, but winning-percentage wise we had a nice number today,” said head coach Zeke Jones. “We have five guys in the final, so there is still unfinished business. But the way we see it, we control our destiny asfar as theteam title is concerned.”
In Sunday afternoon's consolation finals, freshman Scott Giffin (174) and sophomoreThomas Shovlin (197) punched their NCAA tickets with third-place finishes, while Trey McLean (285) put himself in position for a wild-card spot by finishing fifth. The only loss during that round came at 157, as Rob Hitschler fell 9-6 in his fifth-place match.
"We havemade a great run to this point,” said Jones. “We came into the day about 15 points out of it, andweenter the finals tonightwithin five. I was really proud of the effort, we got on a roll at the start of the day and kept it going.”
In consolation final action Sunday afternoon...
157 - Chris Stout (American) def. Rob Hitschler, 9-6
An energetic first period ended with the duo tied, 4-4. Stout gained the edge with an escape early in the second period, but Hitschler matched it from down in the third period. However, Stout scored a takedown with 1:10 left, and after Hitschler got one of the points back on an escape Stout completed the match with another pin as time expired.
174 - Scott Giffin def. Alex Caruso (Lehigh), 9-6
Yet another redemption match for the Quakers, as Giffin avenged a regular-season loss and gained third place in his weight class with his second win over Caruso in this tournament. Giffin was up, 4-1, after one period, and after escapes in the second and third periods it was 5-2. Caruso briefly brought life to the match with a takedown, making it 5-4, then allowed Giffin to escape so he could make another takedown effort. That backfired, and Giffin scored on a takedown to make the score 8-4. Caruso got two points back on a reversal, but Giffin held him off the rest of the way and added a point with riding time.
197 - Thomas Shovlin def. Richard Starks (Army), 6-4
Another entertaining match for the crowd, as Shovlin used a late move to secure third place in his weight class. He scored the first two points of the match on a first-period takedown, but Starks came back to tie it in the second period from the down position. In the third, Shovlin went back on top with a quick escape, but Starks again used a pair of points and gained the lead. However, with mere second remaining, Shovlin regained the lead with a reversal, and combined with his ride time allowed him to gain the two-point win.
285 - Trey McLean def. Maciej Jochym (Cornell), 4-2 sv
McLean gained fifth place and put himself in position to earn an NCAA wild-card berth with this win. After a scoreless first period, Jochym took the lead early in the second with an escape from the down position. For awhile, that looked like it might hold, but with just over a minute left in the third McLean pulled a reversal from the down position and took a 2-1 lead. Jochym got an escape late to tie things up and send the match to overtime, but just 10 seconds in McLean scored a takedown for the victory.
In semifinal action Sunday morning...
125 Rollie Peterkin def. Mike Rodriguez (Cornell), fall 5:54
Peterkin had a chance at redemption against Cornell’s Mike Rodriguez, and got it with a pin in a highly entertaining and energetic match. Peterkin was down, 3-2, after the first period, but used an escape and reversal to go up 5-3 in the second. Rodriguez tied it with a reversal of his own, and after a near pin Peterkin scored two more points to make the score 7-5 heading into the final period. At the 54-second mark of the third, Peterkin gained the pin to earn a spot in the final. He will face Army’s Fernando Martinez, the No. 2 seed.
141 Rick Rappo def. Kyle Borshoff (American), 6-4
The sixth seed, Rappo scored another upset Sunday morning with his victory against No. 2 seed Kyle Borshoff (American). He will face the top seed, Army’s Matt Kyler, in the final Sunday night.
149: Cesar Grajales def. Trevor Chinn (Lehigh), 3-2 sv
Another revenge match for Penn, as Grajales avenged a regular-season loss. The score was 0-0 after one period, and then a Grajales escape in the second made it 1-0 after two. In the third, Chinn knotted the score with his own escape, and then scored a late point to take a 2-1 lead; however, Grajales had enough riding time to send it to sudden victory. In the extra periods, Grajales earned an escape point, and then held Chinn at bay when he was up to gain the win.
165 Zack Shanaman def. Michael Cannon (American), 5-1
Another strategic match for Shanaman, during which points were hard to come by until the end. After a scoreless first period, Shanaman scored two on a takedown in the second before Cannon got one back on a late escape. In the third, Shanaman scored an escape in the final minute to go up 3-1, then finished the match with a takedown as time ran out. Shanaman will face Cornell’s Mack Lewnes, the top seed, in the final.
174 Steve Anceravage (Cornell) def. Scott Giffin, 3-1
Anceravage is looking for his third EIWA title this year, and he is in the final after his decision over Giffin. Anceravage scored two points on a takedown in the first, and allowed Giffin the escape for a 2-1 score after one period. Anceravage quickly escaped in the second, and while Giffin battled hard he was unable to make any moves against the top seed.
184 Lior Zamir def. Joshua Arnone (Cornell), injury default
Zamir scored four points late in the first period to take a 4-0 lead. In the second, Arnone’s nagging shoulder injury cropped up, forcing him to retire.
197 Josh Glenn (American) def. Thomas Shovlin, fall 1:50
The defending NCAA champion and current No. 1 in the country made swift work of the young Shovlin.
In consolation action Sunday...
Bryan Ortenzio was knocked out of the 133 race with a loss to Harvard’s Thomas Pisarsic.
Rob Hitschlerwon his first consolation matchat 157, over Brantley Hooks (Bucknell), but was eliminated with a 5-3 decision loss to No. 3 seed Spencer Manley (Navy).
Scott Giffin came back from his semifinal loss at 174 to clinch an NCAA bid with a12-4major decisionover third-seeded Justin Herbert (Franklin & Marshall). Giffin jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the first period, and clinched the win with three points in the opening minutes of the third before the wrestlers traded reversals late.
Thomas Shovlin smelled blood in the water and struck, defeating No. 7 David Williams (East Stroudsburg) by a 10-2 score to earn a spot in the consolation final at 197. Shovlin got on the board with an escape in the second, then scored a takedown midway through the period. That set the stage for a dominating performance, as Shovlin gained an 8-1 advantage by the end of the second, and quickly built on that with a reversal in the third.
Trey McLeanwon his first match of the dayat heavyweight, dominating East Stroudsburg’s Christopher Birchler andpinning him in 3:12. However, in a consolation semifinal, he allowed No. 4 seed Nathan Thobaben (Army) to pin him at 5:59.