ST. LOUIS – Rollie Peterkin’s quest to become Penn’s 24th All-American ended one bout short at the 2009 NCAA Championships, doing so for the second-straight season.
Peterkin, who entered the tournament seeded eighth, had advanced to the quarterfinals with two wins on Friday, but Saturday was a different story.
In the quarters, he ran into 2007 national champion, Paul Donahoe of Edinboro. Donahoe, the #1 seed in the tournament and a two-time All-America, defeated Peterkin, 7-3.
In the Round of 12, Peterkin was defeated by #10 Scotti Sentes of Central Michigan, 4-0.
The All-American match was as close as the score indicated, with Sentes scoring a takedown in the first and third periods for the win. Peterkin rode Sentes the entire second period, erasing Sentes’ riding time advantage. Peterkin was close to two separate tilts in the second, but couldn’t quite turn Sentes. Unquestionably, backpoints in the second period would have turned the tide of the bout drastically.
Peterkin’s season ends with a record of 23-7.
The loss in the Round of 12 brought an end to Penn’s weekend at the NCAA Championships. Over the weekend, Penn picked up six wins, with three of its six qualified wrestlers advancing to the second day of competition.
Cesar Grajales had a solid tournament for the Quakers, finishing with a 3-2 record, falling one bout shy of the Round of 12. He had a tough draw in the first round, taking on #3 Darrion Caldwell of N.C. State, who pinned Grajales in 3:27. From there, Grajales won three wrestleback bouts in a row before bowing out to Oregon State’s Heinrich Barnes, 11-3. Barnes competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics for South Africa, his native country.
Scott Giffin was the only other Penn wrestler to win a bout at the tournament, scoring an upset at 174 in the first round with a 6-3 decision over #10 Kurt Brenner of West Virginia. Giffin was defeated by #7 Mike Miller of Central Michigan in the second round, 4-1 and was eliminated after a 5-3 loss to Wyoming’s Shane Onufer.
Rick Rappo took #5 Marcus Hoehn of Missouri to a tiebreaker at 141 before falling, 3-2. In the consolation round, he lost, 7-0, to Cory fish of Boise State.
The Broncos put a loss on Penn in a pigtail match at 157 when #8 Adam Hall defeated Matt Dragon, 8-5. Dragon was eliminated from the tournament in his next match – an 11-8 loss to Ohio State’s Jason Johnstone.
Trey McLean was Penn’s sixth wrestler in action at the tournament. He had an early lead on Indiana’s Nathan Everhart, but the Hoosier rallied for an 11-5 win. McLean was bounced from contention when he lost his wrestleback bout, 3-1, to Cornell’s Zach Hammond.