Wrestling Has Eight Named All-Ivy

PHILADELPHIA - After posting a 4-1 record in the Ivy League, Penn picked up eight spots on the wrestling All-Ivy team as announced today. In a vote by the league's coaches, Penn had five wrestlers named second-team All-Ivy and three received honorable mention distinction.

Juniors Bryan Ortenzio (133) and Scott Giffin (174) lead the way for Penn as repeat second-team selections. They are joined as second-team All-Ivy wrestlers by 125-pounder Mark Rappo, 141-pounder Zack Kemmerer and 197-pounder Micah Burak.

Matt Dragon capped a stellar Penn career with a nod as honorable mention All-Ivy. He was joined by junior Gabriel Burak (165) and senior Tyler Blakely (285) as All-Ivy performers.

Penn's eight All-Ivy grapplers is second among the six Ancient Eight schools that offer wrestling, trailing Ivy champion Cornell's nine selections. Princeton and Columbia tied for third with three selections while Harvard and Brown each had two. Cornell's Mack Lewnes and Harvard's J.P. O'Connor shared Wrestler of the Year honors and Cornell's Kyle Dake was a unanimous choice for Rookie of the Year.

Giffin finished the regular season with a 20-4 record, going 4-1 in Ivy matches. He recorded two of his Ancient Eight wins via fall, both coming on the same day against Brown and Harvard. His four wins against Ivy foes accounted for 19 total team points. He is a two-time NCAA qualifier and is now 9-3 against Ivy opponents in his career.

Four of Ortenzio's career high 27 wins came against Ivy opponents this season. Like his classmate Giffin, Ortenzio posted two falls on the Brown/Harvard trip, needing 1:27 to deck both his opponents that day. After a tough loss against Cornell, Ortenzio rallied for a 10-0 major decision over Columbia before finishing his Ivy campaign with a 6-1 win at Princeton.

In his first season starting full-time for the Red and Blue, Mark Rappo has won 15 bouts. Four of those wins came in Ivy duals - two by major decision. On the Brown/Harvard trip, Rappo outscored his two opponents, 25-8 for a pair of major decision victories. Last weekend, he came through with a 3-2 decision over Princeton's Garrett Frey - who entered the match ranked ahead of Rappo in the NCAA Coaches' Panel. In fact, three of Rappo's four Ivy wins came against wrestlers ranked ahead of him at the time in the Coaches' Panel.

Another first-year starter who was named second-team All-Ivy was Zack Kemmerer. The junior posted a 26-10 record in the regular season, with a 4-1 Ivy mark. He capped his Ivy dual season with a gutty 8-5 win over Princeton last weekend.

Micah Burak is one of just three freshmen in the Ancient Eight to be named All-Ivy. The rookie put together a 20-7 record in his first collegiate season, going 3-2 in league matches. Six of Burak's seven losses have come to wrestlers in the top 10 - including five by two points or less. Burak showed tremendous resilience in his freshman year, bouncing back from a tough defeat at Brown with a 15-5 major decision over Harvard's Sean Murphy and then defeating Columbia's Lou Miller the day after a two-point loss to No. 5 Cam Simaz.

Senior Matt Dragon has seen his final season for the Red and Blue derailed by injury, but Penn's tri-captain was still honored by the league's coaches as honorable mention All-Ivy. He won the only Ivy match he competed in, defeating Brown's Gabriel Brotzman, 7-4. His selection makes him a four-time All-Ivy performer as he was a first-team selection in 2006 and 2007 as well as an honorable mention choice in 2009.

Junior Gabriel Burak leads Penn with 30 wins so far this season. He was 3-2 in Ivy matches, scoring 14 team points in his victories. On the Brown/Harvard trip, Burak started the day with a 13-1 major decision over Brown's Jeffrey Lemmer before ending the day with a fall at 2:14 over the Crimson's Jackson Salovaara. Last weekend at Princeton, he put up a 10-1 major decision over Mike Alvarez. Burak's 10 pins lead the Quakers and are one away from tying the all-time single-season mark held by Matt Valenti and Rick Springman.

Senior Tyler Blakely won two Ivy matches, sweeping the Brown/Harvard doubleheader to earn honorable mention All-Ivy honors in his lone season as full-time starter. His fall over Harvard's Spencer DeSena in 0:47 would be the fastest by a Penn grappler this season if his teammate Ortenzio hadn't needed 0:38 for his own fall earlier in the dual.

The Quakers are off this weekend as they prepare for the EIWA Championships March 6-7 hosted by Lehigh University.

The full All-Ivy team can be found here.