Grapplers Compete at the 43rd Midland Championships


Evanston, Ill. - Three members of the University of Pennsylvania wrestling team competed at the 43rd Midland Championships on the campus of Northwestern last week. Senior Mike Silengo and junior Matt Herrington made their first appearances of the 2005-06 season.

Silengo cruised to a fourth-place finish at 125 lbs. The Baptist, Colo. native lost his first match, a 6-4 decision to the third seed John Velez of Northwestern, but came back to take the next six matches to earn a spot in the third-place match. Silengo defeated No. 5 seed Tanner Gardner of Stanford, 5-2, before falling to No. 6 seed Luke Smith of Central Michigan, 3-2, in the third-place bout.

At 149 pounds, sophomore Rob Hitschler won his first match against Troy Tirapelle of Illinois, 8-7, before falling to No. 5 seed Doug Withstandley of Purdue, 9-3. Hitschler rallied in the wrestlebacks to defeat Alex Grunder of Iowa and Josh Zupancic of Stanford before falling to Chris Seta of Camspville, 5-1.

Herrington made his first appearance on the wrestling mat for the Quakers since the 2004 NCAA Championships. The Cambridge, N.Y. native fell to Keith Gavin of Pitt in the first round, 15-9, but recovered with a decision over Phil Kruzel of Chicago and a major decision over Marc Bennett of Indiana, 15-3 in the wrestlebacks at 174 pounds. Herrington fell to Josh Chelf of UW LaCrosse, 5-3, to end the tournament.

The Quakers with only three wrestlers in the competition, placed 19th overall with 22 team points. Illinois won the meet with 115.5 points, followed by Central Michigan (112.5) in second, Michigan State (99.0) in third, Iowa (83.0) in fourth and Iowa State (82.5) in fifth.

No. 25 Penn returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 7 against Maryland at The Palestra. Match time is slated for 1 p.m.