Nine Grapplers Earn Top-Eight Seeds at EIWAs

Bethlehem, Pa. – Nine Quakers will be seeded in the top-eight at the 2006 EIWA Championships this weekend at Lehigh’s Stabler Arena. Two wrestlers earned the top seed, while five others are top-five seeds.

Junior Matt Valenti and freshman Matt Dragon and are seeded first at 133 and 149 pounds, respectively. Valenti won the 125 pound weight class as a sophomore in 2004 and will face Dan Appello of Brown in the first round. Valenti is ranked seventh in the nation with a 27-2 record. Dragon is competing in his first conference championship and will battle Robert Latessa of Harvard in the opening round. Dragon is 15th in the nation with a 26-6 record.

Junior Matt Herrington is the No. 2 seed at 174 pounds. The Cambridge, N.Y. native has a record of 14-4 and will face Dwayne Hash of American in the first round. Herrington is ranked 17th in the latest Intermat poll. Seniors Mike Silengo and Paul Velekei are seeded third at 125 and 197 pounds, respectively. Silengo, 16-6 on the season, has a first round bye and will face the winner of Robert Benitez (Princeton)/ No. 6 Jeff Schell (Brown). Silengo is ranked as high as 13th in the nation. Velekei, who is 16-6 overall, faces Nicolas Somers of Franklin & Marshall in the first round.

Junior Gene Zannetti picked up the fourth seed at 157 pounds. Zannetti is 21-10 on the season and has been in and out of the top-20 during the season. He will wrestle Andrew Smith from Franklin & Marshall.

Pickin up a pair of fifth seeds at 141 pounds and 184 pounds are freshman Cesar Grajales and senior Dustin Wiles. Grajales is 21-9 on the season and has a bye in the first round. He will face the winner of No. 4 Sal Tirico (Columbia)/Mark Savino (Brown). Wiles also have a first round bye and will take on the winner of No. 4 Rudy Medini (Rutgers)/Richard Norley (Franklin & Marshall). The Farmington, Mo. native is 24-9 on the season.

Sophomore Lior Zamir is the No. 7 seed at 165 pounds. Zamir sports a 19-9 record on the season and takes on Dustin Tillman of Columbia in his first match.

The 102nd EIWA Championships will begin Saturday morning at 10 a.m. No. 22 Penn will look to challenge No. 14 Cornell and No. 15 Lehigh for the team title.

125 – No. 3 seed Mike Silengo (No. 13)

133 – No. 1 seed Matt Valenti (No. 7)

141 – No. 5 seed Cesar Grajales

149 – No. 1 seed Matt Dragon (No. 15)

157 – No. 4 seed Gene Zannetti

165 – No. 7 seed Lior Zamir

174 – No. 2 seed Matt Herrington (No. 17)

184 – No. 5 seed Dustin Wiles

197 – No. 3 seed Paul Velekei

285 – Jack Sullivan