PHILADLEPHIA - Former Penn standout Matt Valenti C'07, a two-time NCAA champion and current assistant coach has been busy this season, devoting countless hours to preparing the current edition of the Red and Blue for a deep run in the national championships this March in Philadelphia while also fine-tuning his freestyle wrestling abilities with an eye toward to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. This week, Valenti was ranked No. 4 at 60 kg/132 lbs. in the United States, keeping him in line for a serious run at a spot on Team U.S.A. next summer.
The 2006 and 2007 national champion and Penn's all-time winningest wrestler wasn't the only Penn grappler in the national freestyle rankings as one of Valenti's current charges has been noticed on the international level as well in sophomore Micah Burak. He enters the men's senior freestyle rankings for the first time, coming in at No. 10 at 96 kg.211.5 lbs.
Valenti has been competing in freestyle as much as possible while working at his alma mater, training out of the Lehigh Valley Athletic Club and winning at the Sunkist Kids Open earlier this fall.
Burak, busy climbing as high as No. 6 in the nation at his collegiate weight of 197 pounds, has been off the freestyle circuit during the school year, but his efforts training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in his hometown of Colorado Springs has earned him a No. 10 ranking. He is one of two current collegiate competitors in the Top 10 at 96 kgs., joining Minnesota's Sonny Yohn who is No. 9 in the freestyle rankings and No. 4 in the NCAA rankings.
Valenti has a chance to improve his standing in the national pool at 60 kgs. this weekend, when he competes at the Dave Schultz Memorial International on Friday out in Colorado Springs. For more information on the tournament and a chance to watch live action, click here.