PHILADELPHIA - As the wrestling calendar moves past the mid-way point, the NCAA has released the first Coaches' Panel for the 2011-12 season which ranks the top-33 wrestlers at each weight. The Quakers have six wrestlers inside the top-33 of their weight, including three inside the top-15.
Micah Burak highlights the group, ranking No. 8 at 197 pounds. The junior is 10-3 this season, and two of those losses have come at the hands of the No. 1 and No. 2 wrestlers.
Returning All-American Zack Kemmerer is Penn's next-highest ranked wrestler, coming in at No. 11 at 141 pounds. Earlier this season, Kemmerer became the eighth Penn wrestler to reach the 100-win plateau and at one point this season he had been ranked as high as No. 2 according to InterMat.
Another senior is inside the top-33 in No. 13 Bryan Ortenzio. Penn's team leader in wins with a 20-2 record to start the season, Kemmerer is a former NCAA qualifier at 133 pounds and is the top-ranked 133-pounder among EIWA schools.
Two true freshmen are inside the top-133 in Steve Robertson and Lorenzo Thomas. At 149 pounds, Robertson is ranked No. 25, one of seven EIWA wrestlers inside the top-33 at that weight. Robertson is 19-5 this season, and 6-2 in dual matches.
Thomas is 16-7 at 165 pounds, and slots in at No. 29 at his weight. Of his seven losses, six have come to wrestlers inside the top-33, including five of the top-16.
Rounding out the six-pack of top-133 wrestlers is senior Erich Smith at 184 pounds. In his first full season as a starter for the Quakers, Smith is 13-11, including a run to the quarterfinals of the Midlands Championships.
The Quakers are 4-4 in dual meets this season, with a dual at Hofstra on the horizon next Sunday at 1 p.m. on Long Island. With six wrestlers inside the top-33, Penn is tied for fourth among the 14 EIWA schools. No. 5 Cornell and No. 15 Lehigh each have eight while No. 24 Rutgers has seven. 12 of the 14 EIWA schools have at least one wrestler inside the top-33.
Download: DI Rankings_January 19.pdf