PHILADELPHIA – First-year University of Pennsylvania wrestling coach Alex Tirapelle has named three upperclassmen — Casey Kent, Brooks Martino, and Lorenzo Thomas — as captains for the 2014-2015 season.
A junior, Casey Kent has parlayed his success on the mat into two consecutive second-team All-Ivy selections. Last year, the Norristown, Pa. product had a team-high four wins against Top-20 opponents and qualified for his first NCAA Championships after finishing fourth at EIWAs. As a freshman, he paced his fellow Penn rookie with 22 wins, and his 19 wins last season were second on the team. Off the mat, Kent has also been a leader for the Red and Blue, earning Academic All-Ivy and Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area accolades.
“Casey goes about his business in a workman-like fashion,” Tirapelle said.“He displays a persistence towards excellence in all of his pursuits, which is contagious for the rest of the program. He is a great example for both wrestlers and coaches alike.”
After not competing in 2013-2014 because of injury, Brooks Martino looks to continue his success from his freshman season, when he finished second among Penn rookies with 15 wins. The junior was a two-time Virginia AAA state champion in high school.
“I would describe Brooks as the emotional leader of the team,” Tirapelle continued. “His commitment to Penn Wrestling is unparalleled. Additionally, he brings an unbridled enthusiasm to all of his endeavors, which has a positive impact on his teammates.”
Lorenzo Thomas, from Pittsburgh, Pa., finished with a team-high 30 wins last year as he became Penn’s first NCAA All-American at 184 pounds with his sixth place finish at the national tournament. The unanimous Ivy League Rookie of the Year and first-team All-Ivy in 2011-2012, Thomas was second-team All-Ivy last season. Thomas has already unofficially begun his season, picking up a technical fall over Rider’s Clint Morrison in a Showcase Match at the NWCA All-Star Classic in The Palestra on November 1.
“Lorenzo has all the qualities of a great leader,” said Tirapelle. “He demonstrates a great work ethic to the rest of the team, and he's not afraid to express an unpopular opinion. He is very passionate about his goals for the program and himself, and he possesses the confidence necessary to achieve them.”
The Quakers will begin 2014-15 in earnest on November 16 when they compete at the East Stroudsburg Open.
Jacob Adler, Athletic Communications Student Assistant, contributed to this article.