2010 Keystone Classic Tournament Central
PHILADELPHIA - 11 wrestling teams will join Penn inside The Palestra on Nov. 21 for the annual Keystone Classic. Matches begin at 9 a.m. continuing through the final round scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
In addition to the host Quakers, EIWA rivals American, Brown and Princeton will be in action as well as nationally-prominent schools No. 21 Northwestern, Duke, Boston University, Edinboro, Rider, Liberty, Appalachian State and Virginia Military Institute.
Last year, four Penn wrestlers claimed championships at the Keystone Classic - Zack Kemmerer (141), Gabriel Burak (165), Scott Giffin (174) and Micah Burak (197). The four title-winners were the most of any school competing at the tournament. Liberty was the team champion with 128 points.
Examining the probably entrants in each weight class, there are a number of nationally-ranked wrestlers and former All-Americans in contention at the tournament.
125 - Northwestern's Brandon Precin is ranked No. 2 in the country and is a two-time All-American, lining himself up to be the top seed at this weight. EIWA fans are hoping to see a match between Penn's Mark Rappo and Princeton's No. 15 Garret Frey at some point during the day. The two met once last season, a 3-2 win for Rappo in the dual, and are destined to be in the mix for the top podium spot at the EIWA Championships later this season.
133 - Penn's Rollie Peterkin is set to make his debut at 133 this season after competing at 125 previously in his career. He is ranked No. 10 in the nation and a deep run this weekend will announce to the country that he is ready to compete at his new weight. No. 16 Freddie Santaite of B.U. had a great run in the 2010 NCAA Championships at 125 pounds, defeating former national champion Troy Nickerson of Cornell and is also looking to make his mark at a new weight. Brown's Cortland Choate finished fourth at EIWAs last year and is ranked third in the conference right now. Other probable Penn entrants at this weight are Marty Borowsky, Geoffrey Bostany and Zack Ellis.
141 - Zack Kemmerer is the only nationally-ranked wrestler entered at this weight, coming in at No. 18 this week after a 5-0 performance at the Binghamton Open last week. He is the defending champion at the Keystone Classic and the likely No. 1 seed. American's Matt Mariarcher is ranked No. 3 in the EIWA behind Kemmerer. Andrew Lenzi and Jordan Michelson should also compete for Penn this weekend.
149 - Northwestern and Edinboro each bring high nationally-ranked wrestlers to this weight, giving fans the probability of a NCAA Championships-caliber final. Northwestern's Andrew Nadhir is No. 10 in the nation this week and was a Round of 12 finisher at the 2010 NCAA Championships. Edinboro's Torsten Gillespie is ranked No. 12 this week and is a two-time NCAA qualifier for the Scots. American's Ganbayar Sanjaa is a two-time junior college finalist and the 2009 NJCAA national champion and is looking to make the jump to Division I. Penn will enter Troy Hernandez this weekend, a sophomore with plenty of matches under his belt, including a run to the semifinals at the Keystone Classic in 2009 before finishing fifth.
157 - Another possible marquee match could come at 157 as American enters the No. 2 wrestler in the nation Steve Fittery and Northwestern has the No. 7 grappler at 157 in Jason Welch. Fittery was an All-American last season while Welch was an NCAA qualifier two years ago as a true freshman before sitting out last season. Penn's Tom Timothy is back at 157 this season after competing in the Keystone Classic at 165 last year. Freshman Brad Wukie could also make his collegiate debut this weekend.
165 - Gabriel Burak is the defending champion at 165 and set to defend his title. Last year, he defeated Kyle Blevins of Appalachian State in the semifinals, 10-0, en route to his title. This season, Blevins finds himself in the Top 20 with a ranking of No. 17.
174 - Penn's Scott Giffin won the Keystone Classic in 2009 starting his drive to earning All-America honors. Behind him, this weight should be wide open with no nationally-ranked or EIWA ranked wrestlers entered. One person to keep an eye on is Penn freshman Canaan Bethea. He finished sixth at the Binghamton Open last weekend in his first collegiate competition and has shown the ability to wrestle a good string of matches in one day.
184 - Edinboro junior Chris Honeycutt is ranked No. 3 in the nation but is battling injury and not likely to wrestle this weekend, opening up this weight. Appalachian State's Austin Trotman is ranked No. 18 by A.W.N. and should be the top seed after advancing to the final at 174 last year. Harrison Cook is a tough competitor for Penn and won two matches by fall at last year's Keystone.
197 - Micah Burak won the title last season at the beginning of an impressive freshman campaign that saw him reach the EIWA finals. He is ranked No. 15 in the country entering the tournament after taking the No. 1 wrestler in the country to the final whistle last weekend in the final of the Binghamton Open. American's Daniel Mitchell is ranked No. 20 in the country and came on strong at the end of last season to finish fourth at the EIWA Championships.
285 - With American's Ryan Flores competing at the All-Star Classic this weekend, the likely top seed is up for grabs. If Liberty is to successfully defend its title, Josh Pelletier will have to come through at heavyweight for the Flames in what is a wide-open bracket. For Penn, freshman Kyle Cowan had his first taste of collegiate wrestling last weekend and went 1-2 with his first fall as a collegian. He could announce his presence with a win this weekend in The Palestra.