Ivy League Release
PHILADELPHIA - For the second season in a row, Penn had an outstanding freshman wrestler honored by the Ivy League as Rookie of the Year with Lorenzo Thomas being chosen by the League's coaches as unanimous Rookie of the Year. Thomas becomes the sixth Penn wrestler to earn the honor, joining 2011 choice Kyle Cowan as recent honorees.
Thomas was also one of six Penn wrestlers to be named All-Ivy, and he was one of three unanimous first-team All-Ivy selections. Joining Thomas as unanimous first-team All-Ivy selections were 141-pounder Zack Kemmerer and heavyweight Steven Graziano. Second-team All-Ivy honors went to 133-pounder Bryan Ortenzio and 197-pounder Micah Burak while freshman Steve Robertson was selected honorable mention All-Ivy at 141 pounds.
Thomas joins select company of Penn wrestlers who were named Ivy Rookie of the Year. In addition to Cowan, other Penn wrestlers to be recognized as the League's top freshman include Olympic gold medalist and two-time NCAA national finalist Brandon Slay (1994), NCAA champion and two-time All-American Brett Matter (1996), two-time All-American Rick Springman (1998) and two-time first-team All-Ivy selection Mason Lehnard (2001).
Thomas is 21-8 this season at 165 pounds and is ranked No. 30 in the NCAA Coaches Panel. He has posted a 21-8 record overall in his rookie season, with a 7-1 record against Ivy opponents. In Ivy duals this season, Thomas went a perfect 5-0 with two major decisions and one win by fall.
No. 11 Zack Kemmerer followed up his All-American season in 2010-11 with another spectacular campaign this year. A unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection for the second year in a row, Kemmerer is 19-3 overall with an unblemished 10-0 record against Ivy opponents. Kemmerer was 3-0 in Ivy duals, including a major decision over Cornell's No. 15 Mike Nevinger and a 3-1 win to close the regular season against Princeton's No. 13 Adam Krop. Kemmerer will graduate this May as a three-time All-Ivy selection with second-team honors in 2010 also to his credit.
Over the second half of the season, Steve Graziano has been a revelation for the Quakers at heavyweight, posting an 8-0 mark since the calendar flipped to 2012 - all of those wins in dual meets. Along the way, he earned unanimous first-team All-Ivy honors via a 5-0 mark inside the League. He is 16-6 overall this season, including a win by fall in Penn's dual with Cornell and a 5-2 win over Columbia's Kevin Lester to clinch Penn's 19-18 win three weeks ago.
Junior Micah Burak was chosen second-team All-Ivy for the third season in a row at 197 pounds after a 16-3 overall record and a 4-1 mark inside the Ivy League. Ranked No. 10 in the country, all three of Burak's losses have come to wrestlers inside the top-11, including a 3-0 loss to No. 1 Cam Simaz of Cornell - the Ivy League Wrestler of the Year.
No. 13 Bryan Ortenzio is again a second-team All-Ivy selection, coupling this season's selection with one in 2010. 25-3 overall this season, Ortenzio went 8-2 against Ivy wrestlers (4-1 in duals) with his only two Ivy losses coming to first-team selection Steven Keith of Harvard.
Rounding out Penn's 2011-12 All-Ivy wrestlers is a second freshman in the group, Steve Robertson. Ranked No. 25 in the country at 149 pounds, Robertson is 21-6 this season with a 4-2 record in the Ivy League. Robertson was 2-1 in Ivy duals, including a major decision at Princeton to cap the regular season.
Three first-team All-Ivy selections for the Quakers are the most in a single season since 2007-08 when Rick Rappo (141), Zack Shanaman (165) and Lior Zamir (184) were named first teamers. Shanaman is also the most recent 165-pounder to represent Penn on the All-Ivy first team, while Matt Feast was the last Penn heavyweight to earn first-team honors. Kemmerer, as previously mentioned, was a first-team choice at 141 last season.
The Quakers head to Princeton this weekend for the EIWA Championships at Jadwin Gym March 3-4.