PHILADELPHIA - If a team wants to win an Ivy League wrestling title, it usually needs to win all five of its league duals. Penn got off to a good start on the road to an Ivy title with a pair of big wins over Harvard and Brown inside The Palestra on Saturday.
Penn put up 35 team points in both duals, opening the day with a 35-0 blanking of Brown before downing Harvard, 35-7.
With the wins, the Red and Blue improve to 8-4 overall in duals and 2-0 in Ivy League competition. Harvard falls to 2-10 overall and 1-1 in the Ancient Eight while Brown is now 0-8, 0-1.
The shutout of Brown was just the 39th in the history of Penn Wrestling and the first since a 49-0 win over Franklin & Marshall on Jan. 3, 2009. The last time Penn shut out an Ivy opponent was a 47-0 whitewash of Princeton Nov. 22, 2008. The Quakers have shut out Brown once before, a 54-0 win back on Feb. 9, 1974.
The Red and Blue picked up bonus points in the first two bouts against the Bears, with No. 19 Mark Rappo working a 21-6 technical fall over Billy Waterson in 4:48 to start things off. No. 6 Rollie Peterkin followed with an 18-4 major decision over 2010 NCAA qualifier Courtland Choate for his 20th win of the season. After decisions from No. 10 Zack Kemmerer, Andrew Lenzi and Brad Wukie, Penn was able to score two more bonus-point wins starting with No. 18 Gabriel Burak at 165. He downed Jeff Lemmer, 9-1, with five points in the first followed by three more back points in the second from a top starting position.
At 174, 2010 All-American Scott Giffin returned to the mat for Penn, coming back from injury in dominating fashion with an 11-0 win over Seth Nolan. Giffin finished the match with 4:51 of riding time, taking Nolan down in the first 20 seconds and never letting him up over the first two periods while adding back points along the way. Over the course of the match, Giffin scored three takedowns to get back on the winning side after three losses before his injury hiatus.
Erich Smith scored a 6-4 decision at 184 before a pair of backups moved up in weight to seal the shutout. Harrison Cook was first, downing Brandon Schull at 197, 2-0. Then, Steven Graziano stepped in at heavyweight and knocked off Tyler Cowman, 10-3, for the final win.
Against Harvard, Rappo got Penn off to another good start with a 10-3 win over Steven Keith at 125 pounds. Keith actually scored first, finishing a scramble for the opening points in the early going. Rappo, came back with a reversal followed by two nearfall points in the final moments of the first period to take a 4-2 lead. In the second, Rappo chose neutral and made that choice pay off with a takedown. Keith went down for the third, and Rappo used that against him for three backpoints to help the junior to 3:26 of riding time.
Peterkin scored his second bonus-point win of the day with an 8-0 win at 133 over Shay Warren, followed by a fill-in win by Geoffrey Bostany at 141 after Zack Kemmerer was given the match off. Bostany came through with a 5-4 win over Joe Marino, winning on riding time with his 2:52 of advantage time bolstered by a full third period of riding.
Lenzi picked up a win via forfeit at 149 before Harvard got on the board at 157 with an 8-0 major decision for No. 8 Walter Peppelman over Brad Wukie. Peppelman scored two takedown and added three backpoints to his 6:23 of riding time in a dominant win.
Gabriel Burak picked up the first of two Burak falls at 165 with a pin of Adam Hogue at 2:17. The fall was the capper on a truly crazy - yet short - match as Burak was trailing 5-2 after being reversed to his back following his opening takedown. Burak was very close to being pinned, yet escaped and then took Hogue down to his back for the fall.
Giffin followed with his second major of the day, beating David Lalo, 12-1. Giffin had four takedowns and a reversal throughout the match, showing no signs of mat rust after more than a month away.
Erich Smith and Cameron Croy engaged in an exciting match at 184, with Croy coming out on top, 10-6. The two traded takedowns and escapes in the first period, heading to the second tied 3-3. In the second period, Smith escaped to take a lead, but Croy followed with a takedown. Off of a restart, Croy was called for fleeing the mat, awarding another point to Smith and taking the bout to the third all square at 5-5. Cory took over in the third, with two double-legs for the win.
Micah Burak followed his older brother's lead with a fall of his own in the first period at 197, but the sixth-ranked wrestler beat his older brother in time, needing just 2:01 to pin Bryan Panzano. Burak held a 4-0 lead at the time of that fall.
Graziano ended the dual with his second win of the day, escaping in the first six second of the third period to break a 2-2 tie and take home a 3-2 decision.
Penn is back in action Sunday afternoon against Princeton at 1 p.m.
Penn def. Brown, 35-0
125 - #19 Mark Rappo (Penn) def. Billy Waterson (Brown), 21-6 (4:48), (Penn leads, 5-0)
133 - #6 Rollie Peterkin (Penn) def. Courtland Choate (Brown), 18-4 (Penn leads, 9-0)
141 - #10 Zack Kemmerer (Penn) def. Grant Overcashier (Brown), 4-1 (Penn leads, 12-0)
149 - Andrew Lenzi (Penn) def. Philip Marano (Brown), 8-1 (Penn leads, 15-0)
157 - Brad Wukie (Penn) def. Patrick Labuz (Brown), 8-5 (Penn leads, 18-0)
165 - #18 Gabriel Burak (Penn) def. Jeff Lemmer (Brown), 9-1 (Penn leads, 22-0)
174 - Scott Giffin (Penn) def. Seth Nolan (Brown), 11-0 (Penn leads, 26-0)
184 - Erich Smith (Penn) def. Ziad Kharbush (Brown), 6-4 (Penn leads, 29-0)
197 - Harrison Cook (Penn) def. Brandon Schull (Brown), 2-0 (Penn leads, 32-0)
285 - Steven Graziano (Penn) def. Tyler Cowman (Brown), 10-3 (Penn leads, 35-0)
Penn def. Harvard, 35-7
125 - No. 19 Mark Rappo (Penn) def. Steven Keith (Harvard), 10-3 (Penn leads, 3-0)
133 - No. 6 Rollie Peterkin (Penn) def. Shay Warren (Harvard), 8-0 (Penn leads, 7-0)
141 - Geoffrey Bostany (Penn) def. Joe Marino (Harvard), 5-4 (Penn leads, 10-0)
149 - Andrew Lenzi (Penn) win via forfeit (Penn leads, 16-0)
157 - No. 8 Walter Peppelman (Harvard) def. Brad Wukie (Penn), 8-0 (Penn leads, 16-4)
165 - No. 18 Gabriel Burak (Penn) def. Adam Hogue (Harvard), FALL 2:17 (Penn leads, 22-4)
174 - Scott Giffin (Penn) def. David Lalo (Harvard), 12-1 (Penn leads, 26-4)
184 - Cameron Croy (Harvard) def. Erich Smith (Penn), 10-6 (Penn leads, 26-7)
197 - No. 6 Micah Burak (Penn) def. Bryan Panzano (Penn), FALL 2:01 (Penn leads, 32-7)
285 - Steven Graziano (Penn) def. Andrew Knapp (Harvard), 3-2 (Penn leads, 35-7)