Las Vegas, Nev. - The No. 21 University of Pennsylvania wrestling team is off to an impressive start at the 24th Annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational at the Cashman Center. The Quakers are tied for 13th with 38.5 points after one day of competition. Junior captain Matt Valenti is still alive in the championships rounds, while four wrestlers advanced in the consolation rounds.
Valenti improved to 11-0 on the season with four victories on Friday at 133 lbs. The No. 3 seed opened the tournament with a win by technical fall over T.J. Dillashaw of Cal State Fullerton. Two more wins by decisions set up a quarterfinal match-up with Ivy League foe Mike Mormile of Cornell. Valenti defeated his Big Red opponent 6-2 to advance to the semifinals against Scott Jorgensen of Boise State.
Senior captain Dustin Wiles advanced deep into the 184 lbs weight class. The Farmington, Mo. native, won his first three matches of the day setting up a quarterfinal match against Ivy League foe Joe Mazzurco of Cornell. Mazzurco came out on top with a 6-3 win. Wiles will face Nate Buys of Augustana in the consolations.
At 141 lbs, freshman Cesar Grajales went 4-1 with a fall and a technical fall on the afternoon. Grajales’ first lose came against Missouri’s Chris McCormick (No. 6 seed and ranked 19th in the nation) a 4-1 decision. Grajales dominated his first two matches of the day, pinning Chris Catrella in 6:13 and winning by technical fall over Matt McDiaemid. He defeated Rick McLaughlin of Edinboro to set up a match with the no. 5 seed Ron Tarquinio of Pittsburgh tomorrow morning.
Junior Gene Zannetti battled back from an early loss to Andre Flanagan of Harvard in the pigtails. Zannetti won four-straight including a major decision and a technical fall to advance to tomorrow’s consolation match-up with Brian Stith of Arizona State, the no. 3 seed.
Sophomore Lior Zamir started off strong at 174 lbs., winning his first two matches. Zamior fell the no. 2 seed Mike Patrovich of Hofstra in the round of 8 to set up a consolation match with Cornell’s Luke Hogle. Zamir defeated the no. 7 seed 9-5 and will face Jeremy Larson of Oregon State, the no. 9 seed.
At 125 lbs., sophomore Andrew Gold lost a tough first round match to the no. 4 seed Troy Nickerson of Cornell. Gold came back to win two matches both by major decisions beforing falling to Cory Fish of Boise State in the consolations.
Rob Hitschler went 1-2 at 149 lbs. The junior from Philadelphia, Pa. lost his first match to the No. 5 seed Doug Withstandle, 6-5. In the wrestlebacks, Hitschler defeated Cody Chipperfield, before falling to Jeff Owens.
Freshmen Jack Sullivan and Jayson Bowlsby competed at 197 lbs. and 285 lbs., respectively. Sullivan lost in the first round to the no. 5 seed Tyrone Bryd of Illinois by technical fall and fell to Elliot Kelly in the consolation round. Bowlsby was pinned by the no. 7 seed Harold Sherrell. In the wrestlebacks, the Eden Prarie, Minn. native defeated Josh Robinson, 5-1 but fell to Charlie Walker in the wrestlebacks.
Michigan is leading the field of 51 teams with 86 points. Cornell is in second with 72.5 points, while Missouri is third (68), Illinois is fourth (63.5) and Edinboro rounds out the top five (60).
Wrestling action gets underway at 9 a.m. Saturday morning.
Andrew Gold at 125 lbs.
lost to Troy Nickerson (Cornell) Fall; 4:11
def. Mike Wilding (Western Wyoming), MD; 13-3
def. Chris Trampe (Augustana), MD; 10-1
lost to Cory Fish (Boise State), D; 8-1
No. 3 seed Matt Valenti at 133 lbs.
Def. T.J. Dillashaw (Cal State Fulerton), MD; 14-5
Def. Mike McPeak (Montana State), D; 10-4
Def. Mike Ciotti (Pittsburgh), D; 3-1
Def. Mike Mormille (Cornell), D; 6-3
No. 13 seed Cesar Grajales at 141 lbs.
Def. Chris Cartella (George Mason), Fall; 6:13
Def. Matt McDiaemid (Air Force), TFall; 20-4 (6:10)
Lost to No. 6 seed Chris McCormick (Missouri), D; 4-1
Def. Jason Lozier (Dana College), D;8-5
Def. Rick McLaughlin (Edinboro), 14-8
Rob Hitschler at 149 lbs.
Lost to Doug Withstandley (Purdue), D; 6-5
Def. Cody Chipperfield (Western Wyoming), D; 11-4
Lost to Jeff Owens (Cal Poly), D; 5-3
Gene Zannetti at 157 lbs.
Lost to Andrew Flanagan (Harvard), D; 5-3
Def. Matt Hill (Edinboro) Md. default
Def. Addison Nuding (Duke), MD; 12-1
Def. Ben Henderson (Dana College), TFall; 15-0
Def. Steve Sommer (Ohio State), D; 9-4
Lior Zamir at 174 lbs.
Def. Yuri Kalika (Cal Poly), MD; 10-0
Def. Tray Brawley (UNC Greensboro) Inj. Def.
Lost to No. 2 seed Mike Patrovich (Hosftra), D;
Def. Danny Dahl (San Fransisco State), D; 2-0
No. 11 seed Dustin Wiles at 184 lbs.
Def. Jeremy Colbert (N.C. State), MD; 10-1
Def. Kyle Bressler (Oregon State), D; 7-3
Def. No. 6 seed Raymond Jordan (Missouri), D; 8-3
Jack Sullivan at 197 lbs.
Lost to No. 5 seed Tyrone Byrd (Illinois), TFall: 15-0 (3:00)
Lost to Elliot Kelly (Cal Davis), F; 3:16
Jayson Bowlsby at 285 lbs.
Lost to Harold Sherrell (Buffalo), Fall; 3:20
Def. Josh Robinson (Montana State), D; 5-1
Lost to Charlie Walker (Eastern Michigan), MD; 11-0