Penn Wrestling on Twitter | Penn Wrestling on Facebook
InterMat Rankings | W.I.N. Magazine Rankings | A.W.N. Rankings
TheOpenMat.com Rankings | WrestlingReport.com Rankings
PHILADELPHIA - As the temperatures begin to drop in Philadelphia, signaling the arrival of fall and the beginning of the collegiate wrestling season, action inside Penn's wrestling room is heating up as the Quakers begin their work for the 2011-12 season.
With All-American Zack Kemmerer leading four NCAA qualifiers returning to the roster for 2011-12, Penn has s table of veteran leaders to form the foundation of the squad that is bolstered by a recruiting class ranked No. 11 in the country by InterMat during the offseason.
In the preseason individual rankings, Penn's four returning NCAA qualifiers are featured prominently as the national pollsters expect big things from the quartet of Kemmerer, Mark Rappo, Bryan Ortenzio and Micah Burak. In the first installment of this season's "Rankings Round-Up", we take a look at this group and the team's placement overall.
W.I.N Magazine: T-16
Summary: The Quakers are firmly predicted to have a top-20 season when it comes to national tournament scoring, with four highly-ranked preseason wrestlers bringing lots of potential points ... Penn is widely-considered the fourth-best team in the EIWA in terms of national ranking, but the EIWA's preseason coaches poll has the Red and Blue third ... The poll assigns points based on predicted finishes of individuals, meaning the coaches have voted Penn to finish third at the EIWA Championships if rankings hold to finishes ... Last year, Penn was fifth at EIWAs
Zack Kemmerer - 141 Pounds
W.I.N. Magazine: 4
A.W.N Magazine: 5
Summary: Penn's 25th All-American - and first at 141 pounds - is almost a consensus choice as No. 4 entering the preseason polls in a weightclass with four seniors looking to take home the national title in their final season ... Kemmerer set Penn's single-season win total in 2010-11 with 39 wins, which was second in Division I at 141 pounds and tied for third across all weights ... Kemmerer finished eighth at the NCAA Championships and was a first-team All-Ivy selection ... The third-place finisher at EIWAs in 2011, Kemmerer was voted No. 1 in the EIWA by the coaches entering the season.
Micah Burak - 197 Pounds
A.W.N. Magazine: 4
W.I.N. Magazine: 5
Summary: A Round of 12 finisher at the NCAA Championships last March, Burak is projected to move into the upper echelon of the national scene in his junior season ... A two-time second-team All-Ivy selection, Burak defeated eventual national champion Dustin Kilgore of Kent State in December of 2010 at the Southern Scuffle ... Burak has twice finished runner-up at the EIWA Championships, with Cornell's Cam Simaz - the consensus No. 1 at 197 winning both times ... He enters the season as the No. 2 seed at 197 in the EIWA, again behind Simaz ... Burak and Simaz have quite a history in two years of collegiate competition, with seven matches between the two, but Burak is still looking for his first win in the series ... Burak was a wild card selection to the 2011 U.S. World Team Trials at 96kg/211.5 pounds where he went 2-2 as the No. 12 seed.
Mark Rappo - 125 Pounds
A.W.N. Magazine: 13
W.I.N. Magazine: 14
Summary: Perhaps Penn's most improved wrestler in 2010-11, Rappo won 28 matches and qualified for his first NCAA Championships ... At the national tournament, he defeated the No. 9 seed for his first NCAA Championships win ... A second-team All-Ivy wrestler, he took second at the EIWA Championships ... Rappo enters the season ranked No. 2 in the EIWA, sliding in behind Cornell's Frank Perrelli, the wrestler Rappo met in the conference final in 2011.
Bryan Ortenzio - 133 Pounds
A.W.N. Magazine: 18
Wrestling Report.com: 20
Summary: After a year away from the mat, Ortenzio is back looking to qualify for his second NCAA Championships ... Ortenzio won 31 matches in 2009-10, finishing fifth at EIWAs and going 1-2 at NCAAs ... He enters the season as the top-ranked EIWA wrestler in the InterMat poll ... Among EIWA coaches, though, Ortenzio was the second choice being Army's Jordan Thome.
Andrew Lenzi - 149 pounds
Summary: After a freshman season where he placed eighth at EIWA and was second-team All-Ivy, Andrew Lenzi was chosen as preseason No. 4 at 149 by the EIWA's coaches ... He is the only underclassman in the top six.
Canaan Bethea - 174 pounds
Summary: Bethea wrestled a lot early in the season at 174 and continued to back up 2010 All-American Scott Giffin during the dual season ... The only sophomore inside the top six, Bethea went 5-6 against EIWA opponents in 2010-11.
Kyle Cowan - 285 pounds
Summary: The 2010-11 Ivy League Rookie of the Year and an eighth-place finisher at EIWAs, Cowan is the lone sophomore inside the top-six of a very loaded weight ... With the defending national champ and national runner-up at the top of the weight, Cowan has his work cut out for him to improve upon his 17-15 season last year ... A second-team All-Ivy selection, Cowan went 5-7 against EIWA wrestlers and was the Keystone Classic champion.
The Red and Blue hold their Intrasquad Meet on Sunday at noon inside The Palestra before beginning the 2011-12 season in earnest at the Binghamton Open on Nov. 13.