No. 24 Penn Prepares for Princeton and No. 4 Lehigh This Weekend

Weekly Notes

This Week - The Quakers (8-3, 3-1 Ivy League), winners of seven of the last eight duals, enter the final weekend of dual meet competition as they face Princeton (5-7, 0-4 Ivy League) on Feb. 19 during Senior Day followed by a match-up with EIWA foe Lehigh (20-4) on Feb. 20.

Next Up - The Red and Blue will have a week and a half off to prepare for the 2005 EIWA Championships in Annapolis, Md. The qualifiers will then head to St. Louis, Mo. for the NCAA Championships.

No. 24 Penn vs. Princeton - Penn looks to extend its winning streak over Princeton to 14-contests. The streak dates back to Feb. 19, 1992, when the Red and Blue defeated the Tigers, 22-19, in The Palestra. The Tigers, however, hold a 50-39-4 lead in the 99-year history of the Penn/Princeton dual meet. The first meeting between these two programs came on Feb. 17, 1906 in Weightman Hall as Princeton won the match, 4-3. Last season, the Red and Blue routed the Tigers, 37-3, at Dillon Gymnasium. The Quakers took nine of 10 matches and three grapplers won by fall while one earned a major decision.

No. 24 Penn vs. No. 4 Lehigh - Penn and Lehigh have met 43 times since 1912 and the Mountain Hawks have taken the last three contests from the Quakers. The last time the Red and Blue defeated Lehigh was on Feb. 24, 2002 in The Palestra. In that match, No.8 Penn wrestling team won their seventh-consecutive dual meet of the season in defeating Lehigh, 21-12, behind the efforts of Jeff Eveleth, Joe Henson, Josh Henson, Yoshi Nakamura and Rick Springman. The Red and Blue closed its 2003-04 campaign against the Mountain Hawks in The Palestra, falling to the then-ranked No. 7 Lehigh, 24-9. Matt Valenti, Matt Feast and Marcus Schontube recorded victories for the Red and Blue.

Last Time Out - The Quakers went a perfect 4-0 over the weekend of Feb. 4 and Feb. 5 with victories over Harvard (28-15), Franklin & Marshall (40-6), Brown (19-12) and North Carolina (24-10). The Red and Blue extended their Ivy League winning streaks over Harvard to 15-straight and Brown to 12 in a row. Penn also picked up its first win over UNC in five chances. Seniors Matt Feast and Rich Ferguson went 4-0 while senior Marcus Schontube and junior Dustin Wiles went 3-0.

Penn and the Ivy League - Cornell clinched its third-consecutive Ivy League title last week defeating Harvard, 36-6. For the past 11 seasons, the battle for Ancient Eight supremacy has been fought between the Big Red and the Quakers. The Red and Blue have been a prominent force in the League, earning a 54-6-1 record, six outright titles and two shared. Cornell is next on that list going 51-8-1 with three outright and two shared titles. The Quakers finished the 2003-04 season with a 4-1 Ivy League, good for second in the Ancient Eight.

Penn and the EIWA - The Red and Blue has had success in the EIWA with four team titles. Since 1996, Penn has produced the most EIWA individual champions with 30 and 59 NCAA qualifiers. Lehigh is next with 21 EIWA champions and 56 NCAA qualifiers. Last season, the Quakers finished second at the EIWA Championships, crowning three EIWA Champions, including two-time champion Matt Feast at heavyweight. Matt Valenti won his first EIWA title after he defeated Lehigh’s Mario Stewart, 8-2, at 125 pounds and Doug McGraw defeated Lehigh’s Cory Cooperman, 10-8 in overtime, at 141, also to claim his first EIWA title.

Ancient Eight Perfection - Matt Feast sports Penn’s only unblemished record in the Ivy League with a 4-0 mark in the Ancient Eight this season. Over the last four seasons, Feast has earned a record of 18-1 in the League. His lone loss came on Feb. 9, 2002 when Bronson Lingamfelter of Brown earned a 3-1 sudden victory decision. Since then, Feast has won 15-consecutive Ivy League bouts.

Climbing the 100-Win Ladder - Senior Matt Feast is quickly moving up Penn’s all-time wins list as he currently stands alone in third with 111 career victories. The two-time All-American won all four of his matches last weekend to surpass two-time All-American Rick Springman (109) and two-time All-American and Olympic Gold Medalist Brandon Slay (110). If his success continues, Feast is poised to surpass two-time All-American Yoshi Nakamura who is second all-time with 115 wins. Two-time All American and NCAA Champion Brett Matter leads the way with 128 victories. Feast became the fifth wrestler in program history to notch 100 victories on Dec. 29, 2004 notching his historic win during the first round of competition at the 42nd Midlands Championships by defeating Chad Barkalow of Iowa, 3-1. The two-time All-American took Barkalow down in the first 50 seconds of the first period and recorded an escape in the third to secure the win.

Fantastic Four for Ferguson - During the Feb. 4 and Feb. 5 duals against Harvard, Franklin & Marshall, Brown and North Carolina, senior Rich Ferguson went a perfect 4-0, including a pin and a major decision. He opened the weekend with a 13-0 major decision over Harvard’s Nick Picarsic. He followed that performance by pinning Franklin & Marhshall’s Steve Gregory in 1:05. Against Brown, Ferguson earned an 11-4 victory over Shawn Kitchner before adding three more points for the Quakers with a 4-3 decision over UNC’s Garrett Atkinson. Ferguson is 13-10 overall this season and posts a 6-4 dual mark and has won six of his last eight bouts. For his efforts, he was named Penn Student-Athlete of the Week on Feb. 6.

Everything Eveleth - Senior Jeff Eveleth has been on a hot streak as of late, winning five of his last seven matches, including four in a row. Eveleth’s streak began during Penn’s tripleheader against No. 7 Hofstra, Wagner and Drexel on Jan. 16. The 133-pounder posted three victories, including a come-from-behind win over a nationally-ranked opponent and an overtime victory. For his efforts he was named Penn Student-Athlete of the Week. Eveleth, a 133-pounder, opened the afternoon by pinning No. 17 Charles Griffin of Hofstra with one second remaining in the match. For his second win of the day, Eveleth bumped up to 141 pounds and defeated Wagner’s Michael Tutunjian, 11-10. In his final match of the day against Zach Makovsky of Drexel, Eveleth posted a 7-5 decision in overtime. Eveleth currently tied for the team lead in falls with four.

Wiles Winning Ways - Dustin Wiles has been making the most of his opportunity at 174 lbs. The Farmington, Mo. native has won six out of his last seven matches and has a 20-8 overall record and a 7-2 mark in duals. The junior is also tied for the team lead in falls (4) and points (27) and is second on the team in takedowns with 50. Wiles earned his first victory over a ranked opponent in five chances with a 3-1 decision over No. 10 Paul Siemon of Hofstra on Jan. 16. His matches against ranked opponents have been close; three of his losses have been within one point and the other was a two-point differential.

Fastest Falls - Rookie Chris Banket has posted two falls this season, both of which came in less than 40 seconds. Banket pinned Ohio State’s Nick Harpster in 39 seconds at the Brockport Oklahoma Gold. His next pin came against Wagner’s Freddy Pontoriero which came 33 seconds into the match.

Standing Strong - In 27 bouts this season, senior Matt Feast has only been taken down seven times and his opponents have only managed to accrue 23 seconds of riding time. In comparison, Feast has posted 55 takedowns and earned more than 19 minutes of riding time.

200 Wins and Counting - Head Coach Roger Reina, the winningest coach in program history, recorded his 200th career victory on Jan. 28 at Columbia. Reina, in his 19th season, has held the position of head coach longer than any other in program history and his win totals are more than double of any of his predecessors. Reina’s guidance has produced 15 winning seasons in the past 19 years. Out of the six current Ivy League head coaches, only Dave Amato of Brown has more career victories, amassing more than 320 wins in 27 seasons, with more than 260 of those coming in 21 years at the helm of the Bears.

Download: 2-19 Notes.pdf