Wrestling Heads West for Las Vegas Invitational

This Week - The Red and Blue are coming off a two-week break as they take to the mats Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 at the 23rd Annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational. Fifty-six teams from around the nation, including: No. 12 Cornell, No. 10 Hofstra, No. 5 Michigan, No. 13 Missouri, No. 3 Nebraska, No. 8 Oklahoma, No. 20 Purdue, No. 11 West Virginia and No. 18 Wisconsin, will be in attendance.

Next Up - Penn will have three weeks off before its next competition at the Midlands Open on Dec. 29-30 in Evanston, Ill. It will be the last open event of the season for the Quakers. The dual meet portion of the schedule begins on Jan. 5 against Purdue in Lowell, Ind.

Keys to Success at Keystone - The Red and Blue took second at the 10th Annual Keystone Classic held Nov. 20 at The Palestra. Penn crowned four champions with seniors Matt Feast (285), Marcus Schontube (197), Rich Ferguson (165) and Mason Lenhard (125) all winning their respective weight classes. Overall, the Quakers had nine grapplers advance to the consolation finals and 12 advance to the championship semifinals.

Feast won his second tournament title in a row by defeating Appalachian State’s Dave Hazell, 6-1. The two-time All-American won the heavyweight bracket the previous weekend at the Brockport Oklahoma Gold and has not lost a bout all season. It is also his fourth-consecutive Keystone Classic crown, making him the first wrestler in Keystone history to accomplish that feat.

Lenhard, appearing in his first competition in more than two years, won the 125 crown with an exciting victory over Rider’s Ryan Smith. In the final minute of the third period, Lenhard recorded a reversal and a near fall to overtake Smith, 8-7. Schontube, the top-seed, captured 197 with a 10-4 decision over Tim Harner of Rider. Ferguson, seeded second, captured 165 with a decisive 8-3 decision over top-seed Joe Maroney of Rider earn his first tournament crown. At 133, top-seeded Shawn Protz was edged by Rider’s Tim Harner, 3-1, in the championship final to finish second.

The Quakers had three grapplers place third in their respective classes as sophomore Brock Wittmeyer, the fifth seed at 157, took third earning a 15-4 major decision over Justin Blumenthal of Boston University. Rookie Lior Zamir, seeded fifth, continued to impress with his finish at 165. No. 5 Dustin Wiles wrestled back from a semifinal loss at 174 by defeating Levi Craig of Duke, 11-5.

Wrestling in his first event after missing most of 2003-04 with injury, senior Jeff Eveleth finished in fifth place at 133 lbs. Senior Kyle Bernholz and freshman Andrew Gold finished fifth at 149 and 125, respectively.

Standing Their Ground - Two Quakers have been tough to take down so far this season. In eight bouts senior Matt Feast has found himself on the mat just twice, while senior Rich Ferguson has only been taken down three times in six bouts.

Open Success - Senior Mason Lenhard has been outstanding in open events throughout his career. He’s picked up four tournament titles at 125lbs., including three Keystone Classic victories and the Penn State Open crown. He also notched a second-place finish at the Penn State Open as a freshman. Senior Matt Feast has also been outstanding in opens. In the last three seasons, he has never finished below fifth in those events. He’s won four-consecutive Keystone Classic crowns at 285, placed second at the Penn State and Aggie Opens, as well as fifth the Midlands last season.

History in the Making - Both coach and grappler may achieve milestones this season. Head Coach Roger Reina is just four dual wins shy of reaching the 200 mark for his career. He is the winningest coach in program history.

Senior Matt Feast could also reach a career milestone in wins. The Cressona, Pa. native currently has 95 wins and is just five away from eclipsing the 100-win plateau. Feast would be come one of just five wrestlers to have at least 100 decisions in their Penn careers - Brett Matter (128), Yoshi Nakamura (115), Brandon Slay (110) and Rick Springman (109).

Roger Reins Supreme - Head Coach Roger Reina begins his 19th season at the helm of the University of Pennsylvania wrestling program in 2004-05. After serving for two years as an assistant coach under Larry Lauchle, Reina was named head coach in 1986, making him the youngest Division I head coach in the nation at the time. Since taking over the reigns, Reina has elevated the program into one of the most consistently successful in the country.

Under Reina’s tutelage, the program has achieved unprecedented success on both a regional and national level. Reina’s teams have consistently produced nationally-ranked results and individuals who have achieved national success. The Quakers have also established multiple institutional, Ivy League and Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) records.

In developing Penn into a nationally-recognized program, Reina has brought a resurgence to Penn wrestling on all fronts, including recruiting multiple nationally-ranked recruiting classes, overall development of Penn wrestlers in both collegiate and international styles, highly successful fundraising efforts and a commitment to national and international success.

The numbers speak for themselves. Reina’s guidance has produced 14 winning seasons in the past 18 years. Reina has held the head coach position longer than any other in program history and his 196 wins is more than double of any of his predecessors. His teams have continually set school records, including most team and individual wins in a season.

Download: 12-3 Notes.pdf