VALENTI REPEATS

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Matt Valenti defended his national title Saturday evening, defeating Oklahoma State’s Coleman Scott, 4-2, before a record 17,780 fans in the 133-pound final of the 2007 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Valenti fended off a desperate last shot by Scott after wrestling nearly the entire third period neutral. Valenti gave up the first points of the bout on a takedown, but like his first title last year, a reversal and riding time were the difference.

The Penn senior becomes just the second two-time national champion in Penn history, joining Dick DiBatista, who won 175-pound titles in 1941 and 1942.

Valenti reminded the Penn fans of that as he won, running across the mat to face them while thrusting two fingers in the air.

“The adrenaline is still going, so I don’t really feel anything yet,” Valenti said after the match. “It’s just as sweet this year as it was last year.”

With Scott riding Valenti after the first-period takedown, the Cowboy was called for a parallel ride. Off the restart, Valenti immediately moved behind Scott and secured the reversal, leaving the bout tied at two and Scott with only 20 seconds of riding time.

Valenti rode out in the second period to take a 1:40 riding time advantage, using several lifts to return Scott to the mat. Valenti chose bottom for the third and was cut. The two went neutral for the distance, with Valenti holding off a late shot from Scott.

“Matt exemplifies leadership in our program,” Head Coach Zeke Jones said. “He certainly showed that in his match tonight.”

It was the second meeting this year between Valenti and Scott. Valenti prevailed, 6-4, in the NWCA All-Star Classic in Dallas on Nov. 20.

With a 137-21 career record, Valenti leaves Penn as its all-time winningest wrestler.

2007 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships

133 lbs.

R1 – [2] Matt Valenti def. Bobby Pfennigs (Oregon State); D, 6-2

R2 – [2] Matt Valenti def. Andrae Hernandez (Indiana); D, 9-3

QF – [2] Matt Valenti def. [7] Mack Reiter (Minnesota); D, 4-0

SF – [2] Matt Valenti def. [6] Darrell Vasquez (Cal Poly); D, 4-2

F – [2] Matt Valenti def. [4] Coleman Scott (Oklahoma State); D, 4-2