Six Grapplers Named All-Ivy; Valenti Wrestler of the Year

PHILADELPHIA - Senior 133-pounder Matt Valenti was unanimously named Ivy League Wrestler of the Year and five others earned All-Ivy distinctions, the Ivy League office announced Thursday.

Matt Dragon and Zack Shanaman joined Valenti as first-team honorees.Matt Eveleth earned a second-team spot, and Matt Herrington and Jack Sullivan were honorable mention picks.

Valenti followed up his 2006 national championship with an outstanding senior season, winning his third EIWA title and posting a 27-2 record. Valenti ends the season with the No. 1 national ranking at 133 lbs after going a perfect 5-0 in Ivy duals and 16-0 in duals overall and will be aiming to repeat his national title run at the NCAA tournament next weekend in Detroit. Valenti is the fifth different Quaker to win Wrestler of the Year honors and the first since Yoshi Nakamura in 2002.

Dragon won his second EIWA title and NCAA qualification, this time at 157 lbs. after moving up a weight class this year. The sophomore had a 24-8 record, with his lone Ivy loss coming to Harvard's Andrew Flanagan, a second-team choice. It is Dragon's second first-teamAll-Ivy honor.

Shanaman was a fantastic surprise for the Quakers at 165 lbs.this year, overcoming a slow start to the season to be ranked as high as 10th in the country with a 26-12 record. He placed fifth at EIWAs and earned a wild card berth to the NCAA Championships. He scored one of the biggest upsets of the year in the Ivy League when he beat then-No. 10 and eventual EIWA championSteve Anceravage in Penn's dual meet with Cornell on Feb. 9.

Eveleth capped off his senior season with an improbable 5-3upset of No. 2 Troy Nickerson in the EIWA 125-pound final, winning his first conference trophy and earning his first NCAA bid. Eveleth also had a fine regulat season, going 19-7 with a third-place finish in the Las Vegas Invitational and a Keystone Classic title. He finishes the regular season ranked 12th in the country.

Herrington had an outstanding season in a very deep 174-pound weight class, going 24-6 overall with an EIWA third-place showing and his fouth NCAA qualification. Herrington was also a first-teamer last season after his All-America run to a fifth-place NCAA finish.

Sullivan earns his first Ivy honor after wrestling at 197 pounds for Penn as a sophomore. Sullivan, who missed EIWAs due to injury, went 17-15 overall with a 5-10 dual record.

Penn's six NCAA qualifiers will be in action starting next Thursday at the Palance at Auburn Hills in Michigan.

2006-07 All-Ivy Honorees

Wrestler of the Year
*Matt Valenti, Penn

Rookies of the Year
Adam Frey, Cornell; J.P. O’Connor, Harvard

First Team
125 — Troy Nickerson, Cornell (Soph., Binghamton, N.Y.)
133 — *Matt Valenti, Penn (Sr., Newton, N.J.)
141 — *Max Meltzer, Harvard (Sr., Bethesda, Md.)
149 — *Jordan Leen, Cornell (Jr., Soddy Daisy, Tenn.)
157 — Matt Dragon, Penn (Soph., Dallas, Pa.)
165 — Zach Shanaman, Penn (Jr., Basking Ridge, N.J.)
174 — *Matt Palmer, Columbia (Sr., Germantown, Md.)
184 — Louis Caputo, Harvard (Soph., Blue Springs, Mo.)
197 — *Jerry Rinaldi, Cornell (Sr. Lodi, N.J.)
285 — *Zach Hammond, Cornell (Jr., Galloway, N.J.)

Second Team
125 — Matt Eveleth, Penn (Sr., Severna Park, Md.)
133 — Adam Frey, Cornell (Soph., Pittsburgh, Pa.)
141 — Sal Tirico, Columbia (Soph., Lodi, N.J.)
149 — J.P. O’Connor, Harvard (Fr., Oxford, Pa.)
157 — Andrew Flanagan, Harvard (Soph., Bound Brook, N.J.)
165 — Steve Anceravage, Cornell (Jr., Bloomsburg, Pa.)
174 — Joey Hooker, Cornell (Sr., Paradise Valley, Ariz.)
184 — Justin Barent, Columbia (Sr., Worland, Wyo.)
197 — Nick Sommerfeld, Columbia (Jr., Transfer, Pa.)
285 — Levon Mock, Brown (Jr., Bangor, Mich.)

Honorable Mention
125 — Brandon Kinney, Columbia (Jr., Haslett, Mich.)
133 — Robbie Preston, Harvard (Sr., Hampton, N.J.)
141 — Mark Savino, Brown (Jr., Princeton, N.J.)
149 — Matt Dunn, Columbia (Fr., Transfer, Pa.)
157 — Derek Sickles, Columbia (Soph., Rutherford, N.J.)
165 — Shawn Kitchner, Brown (Sr., Stratford, Wis.); Dustin Tillman, Columbia (Sr., Fremont, Calif.)
174 — Matt Herrington, Penn (Sr., Cambridge, Mass.)
184 — Josh Arnone, Cornell (Soph., Honesdale, Pa.)
197 — Jack Sullivan, Penn (Soph., Huntington, N.Y.)
285 — Kevin Lester, Columbia (Fr., Nampa, Idaho)

* unanimous