PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania wrestling team opens its 2015-16 season on Sunday at the Kaloust Bearcat Open at Binghamton University. Over 400 wrestlers from 29 different schools will compete in the tournament. Brackets and live streaming of the tournament will be available at Trackwrestling.com.
The Quakers will enter 20 wrestlers in the tournament, led by five returning NCAA qualifiers in C.J. Cobb, Casey Kent, Brooks Martino, Caleb Richardson and Lorenzo Thomas.
The last time Penn competed in the Kaloust Bearcat Open was 2012, where Micah Burak and Casey Kent reached the finals. Five wrestlers who competed that year will return to compete for Penn on Sunday – Kent, Cobb, Martino, Ray Bethea and A.J. Murabito.
Head Coach Alex Tirapelle has returning starters in line to compete at nine of ten weight classes. A quick breakdown of Penn’s lineup for the weekend…
125: Jeremy Schwartz returns after starting for the Quakers last season, and he is joined by Ken Bade who comes down after competing at 133 in 2013-14. Freshman Jon Guevara will make his Penn debut after a standout career in the Philadelphia Public League.
133: Two-time NCAA qualifier Caleb Richardson is ranked No. 17 and is coming off a 26-11 season which earned him first-team All-Ivy honors. Sophomore Marc Mastropietro was 6-4 last season at the weight.
141: Freshman A.J. Vindici is the lone entrant at this weight, coming off three placewinner finishes at the New Jersey State Tournament as a high school competitor.
149: Two-time NCAA qualifier C.J. Cobb finished in the Round of 12 last year at NCAAs and enters the season ranked No. 8 overall at the weight. He is 54-18 overall in his career and was 23-7 last season. A.J. Murabito has 35 matches of collegiate experience under his belt entering his senior season, while Joe Oliva will be making his collegiate debut after missing all of 2014-15 with injury.
157: Brooks Martino made a late-season push to the NCAA Tournament last March with a sixth-place finish at EIWAs. Sophomore May Bethea was 9-9 as a freshman last season.
165: Ray Bethea was 14-7 last season, finishing sixth at EIWAs. Joe Velliquette was 11-6 last year at 149, and is likely to start the season at 165.
174: Casey Kent missed all of last season with injury, and returns this season up a weight from his previous home at 165 pounds. In 204, Kent was a NCAA qualifier at 165, finishing with a 19-9 record. He is 41-21 overall in his career.
184: Lorenzo Thomas enters the season ranked No. 10 after two consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. After an All-American finish in 2014, Thomas was 28-7 last season before a 2-2 performance at NCAAs. Joe Heyob was 9-8 last year, wrestling mostly at 174.
197: Frank Mattiace is back after a year off the mats, looking to improve upon a 16-16 record in 2013-14 where he was eighth at EIWAs and had a championship run at the ESU Open. Carson Stack spent some time as the starter at 197 last season, while Robert Ng will begin his freshman campaign.
285: Patrik Garren was 12-15 last year as a true freshman at heavyweight, and was third at the F&M Open. Freshman Tyler Hall will open his collegiate career this weekend after a second-place finish at New York states last year.