No. 1 Minnesota Awaits Wrestling at Northeast Duals

Journeyman/Brute Northeast Collegiate Duals
Nov. 25, 2006 - 10 a.m.
Guilderland High School - Guilderland Center, N.Y.
Internet Radio: Takedown Radio

Weekly Notes in PDF Format(contains stats, line-ups, bios, results and more)

2006 Northeast Duals Schedule
10 a.m.vs. Binghamton
Noonvs. Bloomsburg
2:30 p.m.vs. No. 12 Central Michigan
4:30 p.m.vs. No. 1 Minnesota

No. 14 Penn travels to Albany, N.Y. for its first dual-meet action of the season in the Northeast Duals. The slate will prove to be an extremely challenging one —No. 1 Minnesota and No. 12 Central Michigan await the Quakers, along with Bloomsburg and Binghamton.

The Northeast Duals
Penn has earned its first invitation to the prestigious Northeast Duals at Guilderland High School near Albany, N.Y. In addition to Penn’s four opponents, 2006-07 dual opponents No. 11 Hofstra and Princeton, as well as American, will attend the event. The tournament features three returning national champions, 10 returning All-Americans and nearly 30 NCAA qualifiers from a year ago.

Noting No. 1 Minnesota
The Golden Gophers are ranked the best in the nation for good reason — they return nine starters from a team that finished second at the 2006 NCAA Championships. The Gophers have two national champions in No. 1 Dustin Schlatter (149) and No. 1 Cole Konrad (285), and have nine ranked grapplers overall, including No. 2 Mack Reiter (133). No. 12 Gabriel Dretsch (174) was named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week last week. Minnesota also has No. 19 Travis Lang (125), No. 10 Manuel Rivera (141), No. 6 C.P. Slatter (157), No. 20 Mitch Kuhlman (165) and No. 2 Roger Kish (184) in the line-up.

Noting No. 12 Central Michigan
Central Michigan is ranked 12th in the nation heading into its season dual debut. Six Chippewas are ranked individually in the InterMat preseason poll — No. 9 Luke Smith (125), No. 19 Travor Stewart (165), No. 15 Brandon Sinnott (174), No. 7 Christian Sinnott (184), No. 7 Wynn Michalak (197) and No. 15 Bubba Gritter (285). CMU is coming off of its eighth-straight MAC title in 2006.

Noting Binghamton
The Bearcats begin their first season under Head Coach Pat Popolizio. Binghamton is making its dual meet debut with the Northeast Duals after competing at the Navy Classic last weekend. Josh Patterson highlighted the tournament, placing second at 174 lbs., and was the Bearcats’ only placewinner.

Noting Bloomsburg
Bloomsburg returns four NCAA qualifiers from a year ago and have already gotten off to a quick start, winning a pair of individual titles each at the Oklahoma Gold tournament and the Navy Classic. No. 8 Mike Sees (125) won at the Navy Classic, as did Ricky Donald (133); Tony Curto (141) and Aric Furhman (157) won at Oklahoma Gold while the Huskies finished third as a team. Bloomsburg also has heavyweight No. 19 Mike Spaid at its disposal. He won 15 dual-meet matches last year.

NWCA All-Star Classic
Senior Matt Valenti scored a 6-5 win over No. 5 Coleman Scott of Oklahoma State, while classmate Matt Herrington fell to No. 3 James Yonushonis of Penn State, 5-4, Nov. 20 at the NWCA All-Star Classic in Dallas. It was the first participation in the event for the pair, who were both All-Americans last season. Valenti took an early lead on Scott and secured the riding time advantage to negate two late takedowns by Scott. Herrington led for most of the match until Yonushonis tied it in the third and scored a takedown. Despite getting the riding time point, Herrington still turned up on the losing end.

The Keystone Classic
Penn crowned two champions and came in second in the team standings at the 2006 Keystone Classic. Despite being without five of its 10 starters for various reasons, the Quakers turned in a very strong showing. At 125, it was all Penn as senior Matt Eveleth beat freshman Rollie Peterkin in the final, whilesophomore Matt Dragon rolled through the 157-lb. bracket to earn his first Keystone title. The Quakers turned in four second-place finishers, as well — Peterkin, Brock Wittmeyer (165), Colin Hitschler (184), and Jack Sullivan (197).

At the Michigan State Open
The Quakers turned in a successful performance at the Michigan State Open on Nov. 19, and senior Matt Herrington captured the title at 174 lbs. Herrington dominated the field, with two falls and two major decisions en route to a 5-2 decision in the final over Indiana’s Trevor Perry. All told, Penn grapplers won 64 bouts and won 11 places at the open. Matt Valenti was the second-place finisher at 133 lbs.; Rob Hitschler and Lior Zamir each took fourth; Cesar Grajales, Thomas Shovlin and Gene Zannetti grabbed fifth-place spots; and Colin Hitschler and Jack Sullivan each earned seventh-place showings. Zack Shanaman and Jeff Zannetti were set to wrestle for fifth place at 165 lbs., but the match was declared a double forfeit. Matt Dragon finished eighth at 157 lbs. No team standings were kept at the event.

Preseason National Rankings
Penn is ranked 14th in the nation in the preseason NWCA/InterMat/USA Today poll. In addition, four grapplers - Matt Valenti (1), Matt Herrington (2), Matt Dragon (4) and Cesar Grajales (19) — are ranked individually.

Preseason EIWA Poll
Penn was selected third in the preseason EIWA coaches’ poll. Cornell was picked to win, with Lehigh second. Ivy League foes Columbia and Harvard were selected fourth and fifth, respectively, behind the Quakers.

Head Coach Zeke Jones
Zeke Jones begins his second season at the helm of Penn wrestling after a wildly successful freshman campaign. Jones led the Quakers to an 11-5 dual-meet record and a 12th-place finish at NCAA championships with a program-record 51 points, while coaching a national champion and another All-America. Jones was named the 2006 Rookie Coach of the Year by Amateur Wrestling News.

Welcoming... Rob Eiter
Rob Eiter begins his first season as an assistant coach with the Quakers after serving as an assistant at Big Ten power Northwestern for the past four seasons. Eiter is a two-time Olympian who brings a wealth of knowledge to Philadelphia. Last season, he helped the Wildcats to a 13th-place finish at NCAA’s with three All-Americas. Prior to his time in Evanston, Eiter was an assistant at Clarion, where he helped Sheldon Thomas win a national title and coached four-time All-America Bryan Stout. Eiter also coached the 1999 women’s world championship team. As a wrestler, Either was an Olympian in 1992 and 1996 and is a five-time U.S. Open national champion and two-time World Cup silver medalist.

The Captains
Matt Valenti and Rob Hitschler have been selected captains for the 2006-07 season.

City of Brotherly Love
For the second year in a row, Penn has three sets of brothers on its roster — Colin and Rob Hitschler, Andy and Matt Valenti and Jeff and Gene Zannetti. Penn has had 14 sets of brothers compete on the same roster throughout its history.

Next Time Out
Penn will once again compete in the prestigious Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Dec. 1-2. The Quakers will enjoy a break for finals and the holidays before returning to dual-meet action when they host York College at The Palestra on Jan. 6.

Download: week 2.pdf