Rollie Peterkin Wins Title in Las Vegas

Final Cliff Keen Invite Brackets

LAS VEGAS – Rollie Peterkin climbed to the top of the podium after capturing the championship at 125 pounds at the 2008 Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas.

In the final, Peterkin, the top seed in the tournament, defeated sixth-seeded Zach Sanders of Minnesota by decision, 10-6.

Peterkin came out on the attack in the first period, shooting for a takedown 45 seconds into the bout for the opening points. He quickly added two nearfall points after tilting Sanders for a 4-0 lead that held at the end of the first period.

In the middle stanza, Peterkin started on bottom and escaped for one point and a 5-0 lead. He added his second takedown of the match at the 3:47 mark of the bout and a 7-0 lead which he held entering the third period.

In the third period, Sanders was up against the wall and wrestled like it. He was aggressive, scoring three takedowns to get back in the bout. It wasn’t enough, however, as Peterkin was allowed to escape after each takedown and added on a riding time point for the 10-6 decision.

After the match, Peterkin felt good about how this win prepares him for the rest of the season.

“This set’s the stage for the rest of the season,” he said. “It is still early in the season and there is a lot of wrestling to go, but this was a very satisfying win that lets me know I can wrestle with the best in my weight.”

Head coach Rob Eiter agrees.

“Anytime you win a tournament with the quality of opponents like there was in Vegas, it is a great thing for a wrestler,” Eiter said. “Especially since this may be the only time Rollie sees some of these guys until the NCAA Championships.”

Eiter was impressed with Peterkin’s poise in the tournament.

“The semifinal match and the first portion of the final was some of the best wrestling I have seen from Rollie in quite some time,” he said. “He wrestled smart and determined and has done a good job turning a negative (an early-season loss to Michigan’s Michael Watts) into a positive.”

Peterkin also feels he has turned a corner this season.

“I felt like in the match with Garnett, that I was hitting on all cylinders,” he said. What pleased coach and myself was that even though I was down I stayed composed and fought back to take the lead and the match.”

Tournaments such as the Cliff Keen Invitational and the Keystone Classic do more than just get wrestlers matches in the early goings of the season. They prepare wrestlers for the schedule that goes with conference and national tournaments – a fact not lost on Peterkin.

“In addition to the win, it was nice to get started on what it is like to prepare myself mentally and physically for a multi-day, intense tournament,” said the junior from Wellesley, Mass. “It makes you watch how you prepare, warm up, eat and all that. It is great to get the repetition.”

In addition to Peterkin, Penn had two other placewinners at the event. Cesar Grajales (149 pounds) and Matt Dragon (157 pounds) each took home sixth place. Grajales finished the tournament 3-3 after advancing all the way to the semifinals of the championship bracket. In the semis, he lost to top-seeded Darrion Caldwell of N.C. State, 4-1.

Dragon finished the tournament 5-3, wrestling back to a place after losing in the second round.

Zack Shanaman and Bryan Ortenzio also wrestled on Saturday. Shanaman lost in the consolation round to Scott Glasser of Minnesota, 7-1. He finished up at 2-2.

Ortenzio lost to T.J. Dillashaw of Cal-State Fullerton to end his tournament at 3-2.

Here are full results for Penn wrestlers

125 pounds – #1 Rollie Peterkin (1st Place)

Finals: def #6 Zachary Sanders (Minnesota), 10-6

Semis: def. #4 Jarrod Garnett (Va. Tech), 12-5

Quarters: def. #8 Ben Kjar (Utah Valley), 9-4

2nd Round: def. Akif Eren (Purdue), 7-2

1st Round: def. Cory Borges (Montana St.), 10-2

133 pounds – #11 Bryan Ortenzio

Cons.: lost to T.J. Dillashaw (Cal-State Fullerton), 14-3

Cons.: def. Marques Bravo (Western State), 7-1

Cons.: def. Cory Dunn (Sacred Heart), 3-2

2nd Round: lost to #6 Matt Fisk (Lehigh), 4-2

1st Round: def. Rick Schilley (Northern State), 12-2

149 pounds – #5 Cesar Grajales (6th Place)

5th place: lost to #8 Trevor Chinn (Lehigh), 3-1, SV

Cons Semis: lost to #4 Jake Patascil (Purdue), 7-6

Semis: lost to #1 Darrion Caldwell (N.C. State), 4-1

Quarters: def. #13 Peter Yates (Va. Tech), 4-3

2nd Round: def. #12 Matt Dunn (Columbia), 10-2

1st Round: def. Walter Peppelman (Harvard), 3-2

157 pounds - #9 Matt Dragon (6th place)

5th place: lost to #5 Chase Pami (Cal Poly), 8-3, SV

Cons Semis: lost to #4 Adam Hall (Boise State), 14-3

Cons: def. #6 Jason Johnstone (Ohio State), 6-3

Cons: def. #7 Tyler Safratowich (Minnesota), 11-10

Cons: def. Ben Jordan (Wisconsin), 9-8

2nd Round: lost to #8 Kurt Kinser (Indiana), 5-3

1st Round: def. Wade Eldredge (Utah Valley), 6-0

165 pounds - #4 Zack Shanaman

Cons: lost to #11 Scott Glasser (Minnesota), 7-1

Quarters: lost to #5 Andy Rendos (Bucknell), 4-0

2nd Round: def. Matt Epperly (Va. Tech), 6-3

1st Round: def. Christian Mory (West Virginia), 10-1

174 pounds – Andrew Coles

Cons: lost to Shane Bennet (Dickinson State), 6-4

Cons: def. Todd Noel (Cal-State Fullerton), 6-2

Cons: def. Jason Points (Cal-State Bakersfield), Fall, 2:33

1st Round: lost to #11 Travis Rutt (Wisconsin), 8-4

184 pounds – #9 Thomas Shovlin

Cons: Medical Forfeit

1st Round: lost to Eric Bugenhagen (Wisconsin), 6-3

Pigtail: def. Kyle Sand (Adams State), Fall, 1:23

197 pounds – Dan Zander

Cons: lost to Cam Simaz (Cornell), Fall, 3:48

Cons: def. Brent Fosheim (Northern State), 8-6

1st Round: lost to John Drake (Cal-State Fullerton), 9-3

Hwt - #10 Trey McLean

Cons: lost to Tyler Moore (Cornell), Fall, 2:34

2nd Round: #7 Tucker Lane (Nebraska), Fall, 2:08

1st Round: def. B.J. Stewart (Cumberland), Fall, 4:53