Valenti Headed to Semifinals; Herrington and Dragon Advance to Round of 12

Oklahoma City, Okla. – The Penn wrestling team is making some noise at the 2006 NCAA Wrestling Championships at the Ford Center. Junior Matt Valenti upset the No. 3 seed Tom Clum of Wisconsin to advance to tonight’s semifinals at 133 pounds and freshman Matt Dragon and Matt Herrington have wrestled back to the round of 12.

Valenti took Clum down with 1:14 remaining in the match and rode him out to take a 2-0 lead heading into the second. Clum chose bottom to start the second and earned an escape. But Valenti scored another takedown and held on for the remainder of the period. In the third, Valenti reversed Clum to take a 6-1 lead. Clum managed to escape, but could not rebound and Valenti advanced to the semifinals. Valenti improves to 34-2 overall and is just two wins away from tying his own single season win records.

Valenti will go against the No. 2 seed Nathan Morgan of Oklahoma State in the semifinals at 6 p.m. tonight. Valenti is guaranteed a sixth place finish or higher and has already become a two-time All-American. The semifinals will air live of ESPNU. Dragon will have a rematch with Jon Masa of Hofstra, the sixth seed, and Herrington will take on Oklahoma State’s Brandon Mason, the 11 seed.

Dragon used his signature tilt to earn a major decision over Andrew Schlaffer of Maryland, 14-4. Dragon scored a takedown and turned Schlaffer for two nearfall points and then again for three. Dragon used two more takedowns and riding time to secure the match. That win set up a rematch of the EIWA final with Trevor Chinn of Lehigh. Dragon fell behind early when Chinn took him down, but it would be the only takedown Dragon would allow in the match. Dragon escaped in the second and was awarded a penalty point for two stalling calls on Chinn. Dragon scored a takedown in the second to take a 4-2 lead. Chinn would manage an escape in the third, but the riding time point gave Dragon a 5-3 victory.

Herrington came back from a 0-4 deficit to pin Aaron Miller of Kent State with 1:15 left in the second. After getting taken down and turned for two backpoints, Herrington escaped and took Miller down. He turned him for three nearfall points and then again for two. He scored a reversal in the second to take a 10-4 lead before sticking Miller. In his second match of the day, Herrington earned an 11-2 major decision over Kurt Brenner of West Virginia. Herringto scored a take down in the first two periods and a takedown and three nearfall points for the win.

Silengo started the day off with a 9-8 win over Chard Sportelli of Kent State. Sportelli took Silengo down in the first, but Silengo reversed him to tie it. After Sportelli escaped, Silengo scored a takedown of his own to take a 4-3 lead. Sportelli tied the match with an escape, but Silengo went back out in front with a takedown. Silengo chose bottom in the third and escaped, but Sportelli fired back with a takedown and then cut Silengo loose in hopes of tying it with another takedown. He did just that, but Silengo held him off long enough to keep riding time and earn the point for the win.

In Silengo’s second and final match of the day, he fell to No. 6 seed Coleman Scott of Oklahoma State, 9-1. Scott used a takedown and two nearfall points to take a 4-0 lead and added a reversal and another takedown to seal the victory. Silengo finishes the season with a 21-10 record.

125 – Mike Silengo

First Round

Lost to No. 3 seed Joe Dubuque (Indiana) D; 5-2

Consolation Round

Def. Collin Cudd (Wisconsin) D; 10-6

Def. Chad Sportelli (Kent State) D; 9-8

Lost to No. 6 Coleman Scott (Oklahoma State) MD; 9-1

133 – No. 6 seed Matt Valenti

First Round

Def. Brandon Strong (Air Force) F; 5:45

Second Round

Def. No. 11 seed Robbie Prestion (Harvard) F; 6:57

Quarterfinals

Def. No. 3 seed Tom Clum (Wisconsin) D; 7-2

149 – No. 12 seed Matt Dragon

First Round

Def. Jeff Owens (Cal Poly) TF, 16-0 (3:16)

Second Round

Lost to No. 5 Mark Disalvo (Central Michigan) D; 4-2

Def. Andrew Schlaffer (Maryland) MD; 14-4

Def. Trevor Chinn (Lehigh) D; 5-3

174 – No. 12 seed Matt Herrington

First Round

Def. Alex Maciag (North Carolina) MD; 16-4

Second Round

Lost to No. 5 seed Mike Patrovich (Hofstra) D;8-4

Def. Aaron Miller (Kent State) F; 5:46