Wrestling NCAA Championships Update - SECOND ROUND COMPLETE

ST. LOUIS – Session two of the 2008 NCAA Wrestling Championships is about to begin and all eight Penn wrestlers will be in action. Two Quakers will be in Championship Round matches while six look to wrestle their way back through consolation rounds and into All-America status.

Updates of Penn matches will be provided in bold.

285 pounds – Trey McLean and John Wise of Illinois met in the final bout of the day for Penn. Wise took the lead early with a takedown 27 seconds into the bout. With the score 2-0 at the start of the second period, Wise added a point with an escape. Starting from neutral in the third, Wise added another two points on a takedown for the 5-0 win. McLean is eliminated from the 2008 NCAA Wrestling Championships.

197 pounds – Thomas Shovlin and Richard Starks of Army met for the fourth time this season in the wrestlebacks. Unfortunately for Shovlin, this bout did not go like the previous three. Starks scored a takedown 50 seconds into the bout and added an escape in the second. Shovlin was able to score two escapes of his own, but couldn’t score the winning points as Starks won the bout 3-2. Shovlin is eliminated from the 2008 NCAA Wrestling Championships.

184 pounds – Lior Zamir advances into the next round of wrestlebacks after Liberty's Christopher Dagget was unable to compete due to injury. Zamir will face Rocco Caponi of Virginia in Friday morning’s consolation second round.

174 pounds – Scott Giffin and eighth-seeded Gabriel Dretsch of Minnesota engaged in a physical match, with both men pushing each other to the edge of the mat and beyond in the first period, before Dretsch took control in the third for the win. Giffin scored the first points of the match with a takedown halfway through the first period after both men had early chances. Dretsch was able to escape for a point of his own. After one period. Giffin was up, 2-1. Dretsch chose bottom for the second period and escaped eight seconds in. He followed with a takedown 45 seconds into the second period. Giffin was able to escape with 50 seconds remaining in the second frame. Entering the final period, Giffin trailed, 4-3, and needed to score quickly in the final period to tie or win the match. In the third, Giffin chose bottom looking for the escape. The point never came as Dretsch rode him the whole period for the 5-3 win. Giffin is now eliminated from the 2008 NCAA Wrestling Championships.

149 pounds – Cesar Grajales scored the first win of the second session for Penn with a 7-5 decision over Lucas Espericueta from Stanford. Grajales scored the first points of the match with a takedown 1:25 into the match. He then turned Espericueta for three back points. Stanford’s 149-pounder was able to escpae, leaving the score 5-1 after the first period. Espericueta started the second period on bottom and reversed Grajales six seconds into the middle frame. Grajales was able to escape 12 seconds later to extend his lead. A takedown by Espericueta with ten seconds left in the second brought him within one point entering the final period. Grajales started on bottom and earned the point with an escape with 1:24 to go in the bout. Grajales was close to a score with 11 seconds to go to seal the deal, but the two went out of bounds. A stalling warning on Grajales with seven seconds to go was his first and did not score points. Grajales advances in the consolation round with a 7-5 win. He will wrestle Brandon Carter of Central Michigan Friday morning.

141 pounds – Rick Rappo was the first Quaker to have a wrestleback this evening, taking on Germane Lindsey of Ohio University. Lindsey was the aggressor early in the bout, shooting first and then scoring the first points of the match with takedown 1:50 into the period. Rappo escaped quickly. The two traded points at the end of the period with Lindsey scoring two points with 37 seconds to go in the opening period before Rappo escaped with nine seconds left. Rappo tied the match early in the second period with a reversal 20 seconds in. He was able to sweep Lindsey’s leg to get the two points. With 1:15 remaining in the second period, Lindsey scored a reversal of his own to retake the lead. Rappo was able to escape, but Lindsey took him right back down. Rappo got a point back with an escape with seven seconds left. Both men started neutral in the third period. Rappo had a leg for about 25 seconds, but couldn’t get the two points and tie the match. Neither man scored in the final period, but Lindsey’s 1:02 in riding time gave him a 9-6 win. Rappo is the first Penn wrestler eliminated from the 2008 NCAA Championships.

165 pounds – Zach Shanaman and tenth-seeded Mike Cannon of American, two rivals from the EIWA, met in the second round at 165 pounds. Cannon started the scoring with a takedown 30 seconds into the match. Shanaman evened things up with a reversal with 32 seconds left in the period. He wasn’t able to hold on to Cannon for long as he escaped just over ten seconds later. Shanaman started the second period on bottom and the period started with Cannon receiving a stalling warning 22 seconds in. At the one minute mark of the middle period, Shanaman escaped to tie the bout, 3-3. With the third period starting tied, Cannon chose bottom. Shanaman was trailing in riding time by almost three minutes, so he cut Cannon in an attempt to take him down. It was Cannon who scored the two points, however, with 1:13 left in the bout. The takedown came thirty seconds after an apparent takedown for Cannon was negated after the referees determined the wrestlers had stepped out of bounds. Shanaman managed an escape with 11 seconds left in the match, but couldn’t complete the comeback. Cannon’s 3:46 in riding time gave him a 7-4 win.

Shanaman will wrestle Friday morning in wrestlebacks. He will take on the winner of Roger Smith-Bergsund of Illinois and Matt Epperly of Virginia Tech.

125 pounds – 9th seed Rollie Peterkin and 8th seed Brandon Precin of Northwestern each took shots in the opening moments of their match at 125 pounds, with neither able to score. Precin scored the first points of the bout with a takedown halfway through the first period. Peterkin quickly countered with a reversal to tie the match. The first period ended with the score tied, 2-2. Peterkin chose bottom for the second period and tried rolling through for the reversal right away but was unable to score. He did manage the escape with 1:10 left in the middle period. Precin went right back to the leg and scored a takedown with 25 seconds left to take a 4-3 lead into the third period. Starting on bottom, Precin reversed for two points and then added two back points at the buzzer for the 8-3 decision.

Peterkin slides down to wrestlebacks on Friday morning and will face the winner of a match between Caleb Flores (Northern Iowa) and Nikko Triggas (Ohio State).

Rollie Peterkin will again be the first Quaker onto the mats, wrestling Brandon Precin from Northwestern in the second round of the 125-pound weight class. This is a matchup of the eight (Precin) and nine (Peterkin) seeds. Peterkin advanced to the second round with a 17-1 tech fall over Jonathan Bittinger of Duquesne. Precin scored an 11-0 major decision over Cornell’s Mike Rodriguez, preventing EIWA fans from seeing a rubber-match between the Ivy League foes.

Instead, Peterkin will wrestle Precin, who is in his second NCAA Championships appearance. Precin is 33-7 overall for the season with 12 of his wins coming by fall. He won 21 matches in a row to start the season and has nine wins over NCAA qualifiers.

Zack Shanaman is the second Penn grappler to advance to the second round. He avenged a loss earlier in the season to Jake Dieffenbach of Oklahoma State with a 5-4 win in the first round. Awaiting Shanaman in the second round is Mike Cannon of American. Cannon advanced with a 6-3 decision over Keegan Mueller of North Carolina. The two EIWA rivals have met once already this season, with Shanaman defeating Cannon, 5-1, in the semifinals of the EIWA Championships.

In addition to the two men in the second round, six other Quakers will have matches tonight.

- At 141 pounds, Rick Rappo looks to bounce back from his first round loss to Michigan’s Kellen Russell as he wrestles Germane Lindsay from Ohio University. Lindsey lost, 8-2, to Levi Jones of Boise St.

- Cesar Grajales lost a tough match to Jordan Burroughs from Nebraska, and meets Lucas Espericueta from Stanford. Espericueta lost to Edward McCray of Gardner-Webb by pinfall at 1:19.

- Scott Giffin will take on Gabriel Dretsch of Minnesota in the consolation first round. Dretsch, the weight class’ eighth-seed was upset by Nathan Lee from Boise St. in the first round, 3-1 in sudden victory.

- Lior Zamir lost to the top-seeded wrestler at 184 pounds, Jake Varner of Iowa State in the first round, 5-0. He moves on to wrestle Liberty’s Christopher Daggett in the wrestlebacks. Daggett was pinned by Stanford’s Zack Giesen in round one at 6:27.

- Thomas Shovlin had perhaps the closest match that resulted in a loss for the Red and Blue in round one, taking ninth-seed Patrick Bond of Illinois to sudden victory, before losing, 3-1, with eight seconds left in the overtime period. In the wrestlebacks, he will meet Richard Starks from Army. Starks lost to eighth-seeded Craig Brester of Nebraska by tech fall, 17-0, in the first round. Shovlin and Starks have wrestled three times this season, with Shovlin winning all three bouts.

- Trey McLean had a tough first round, losing to fifth-seeded Jared Rosholt of Oklahoma State by pinfall at the 2:59 mark of the match. He hopes to rebound in the consolation rounds with a win over John Wise of Illinois. Wise lost to 12th-seeded Mark Ellis of Missouri in round one.

As a team, Penn stands in 26th place after session one with 4.5 points. Iowa has the team lead with 19 points with Central Michigan right behind with 18. The Chippewas qualified nine wrestlers, and all nine of the won their first round match.