PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania wrestling coach, Rob Eiter, has announced his wrestling recruiting class. Six grapplers will comprise the program’s Class of 2013.
The group includes wrestlers from six different states encompassing the entire United States. One hails from as close as Newton, N.J. with another residing in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The group is an accomplished one, with two state champions, multiple state placewinners, a National Prep finalist and a freestyle All-America all slated to don the Red and Blue this fall.
Micah Burak, a native of Colorado Springs, Colo., will wrestle for Penn this fall, continuing the tradition of brothers suiting up for the Red and Blue. He will join his older brother, Gabriel, who wrestled at 157 for Penn this year and is entering his junior season.
Micah spent the past two years training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado, but captured a state championship before moving on to the OTC. He finished seventh at the 2009 U.S. Senior Open, becoming a freestyle All-America. He competed unattached at the 2009 Shorty Hitchcock Classic hosted by Millersville University, and won the 197-pound championship by defeating five collegiate wrestlers. He is slated to compete at 197 for the Quakers in the fall.
“Micah, after two years at the training center, will be ready to go right away,” Eiter said. “He really solidifies our upper weights and has already proven he is capable of competing with collegiate wrestlers.”
Joining Burak in University City next season will be Harrison Cook. A native of Mount Kisco, N.Y., Cook graduated from Fox Lane School before completing a postgraduate year at Blair Academy. At Fox Lane, he was a Section 1 champion and finished his senior year with a 41-2 record. Cook will look to enter the lineup at 184 pounds.
“With Harrison, anytime you are able to land a wrestler from Blair, you know you will have a hard-working kid,” said Eiter. “Not only that, but his high school career saw him wrestle in New York, one of the most competitive states there is. We expect him to compete from day one in the room and push for match time immediately.”
Troy Hernandez is from Newton, N.J., and Kittatinny High School. If that sounds familiar to Penn wrestling fans, that is because Matt Valenti, two-time NCAA champion and 2007 Penn graduate and his younger brother Andy, a 2009 Penn grad, also competed at Kittatinny. Hernandez won more than 100 matches in high school and was a New Jersey state finalist. He placed three times at the New Jersey state meet, with finishes of fifth, third and second. He could wrestle at either 141 or 149 pounds this fall.
“We are really excited about Troy,” Eiter said. “He was one of the top recruits in New Jersey this year and he will jump right into the mix with us.”
Shane Millam recently graduated from The McDonogh School in Maryland and resides in Sparrows Point, Md. He was a National Prep finalist this year and compiled 172 wins over his high school career. His second-place finish this year gave him three places at the National Prep meet. He also finished sixth at the NHSCA Senior National Tournament. He will compete at 165 or 174 pounds for the Red and Blue.
“Shane adds immediate depth to the middle weights, but there is no reason he can’t compete right away,” said Eiter. “He comes from a good program and we are excited to have him join the Penn family.”
Reid Oshiro will make the longest trip to University City in the fall, coming all the way from Honolulu, Hawaii. He is a three-time state champion from the Punahou School, and was honored as the 2009 Dave Schultz Award winner from Hawaii. The winner is chosen by the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum based on excellence in wrestling, scholastic achievement, character, citizenship and community service. In addition to his wrestling skills, Oshiro is a two-time Hawaii state champion in judo. He will wrestle at 125 pounds for Penn.
“Reid’s ability to mesh wrestling and judo makes him a very dangerous opponent,” Eiter said. “He has proven that he can take an opponent to his back from almost any situation.”
Michael Steltenkamp completed his high school career at Seaholm High School in Michigan with more than 100 wins. He was a district champion and two-time state qualifier, and one of 13 athletes in the state of Michigan to receive an MHSAA Scholar-Athlete Award. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., he will join the lineup at 165 pounds this fall.
“Michael is an extremely hard worker in the room,” Eiter said. “Michigan is a good state for high school wrestling and he has trained well. He has loads of potential and his best years are ahead of him.”
Eiter can’t wait for these six wrestlers to join his current crop as the Quakers begin their march toward another successful season next fall.
“We did a good job adding talent across all the weight classes,” he said. “We also have set up solid competition in the room. We are all excited for these guys to arrive on campus and for the season to start.”