PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania wrestling team will host the annual Keystone Classic on Sunday in The Palestra, welcoming 12 other teams to compete in an all—day tournament which begins with first round matches at 9 a.m.
In addition to the host University of Pennsylvania program, No. 21 (Tournament Rankings) Northwestern, Indiana, Pittsburgh, Drexel, Rider, Bloomsburg, Harvard, Franklin & Marshall, Eastern Michigan, Appalachian State, VMI, and Sacred Heart will compete in the tournament.
Last year, four teams competing at this season’s Keystone Classic finished in the Top-30 at NCAAs – Northwestern (No. 15), Pitt (No. 21), Indiana (No. 24), and Rider (No. 27).
The Quakers have three wrestlers ranked this week in the Top-20 at their respective weights by InterMat, led by No. 7 C.J. Cobb at 149 pounds. He is joined by No. 11 Lorenzo Thomas (184) and No. 16 Caleb Richardson (133) as ranked Quakers.
While he may be ranked inside the top eight, Cobb will face a stiff challenge in his weight class. Northwestern’s Jason Tsirtsis is the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the country and a two-time All-American, including a national championship in 2014. Tsirtsis won the Keystone Classic last season, defeating Rider’s B.J. Clagon, 10-8, in the semifinals. Clagon would go on to earn All-American honors last season. Cobb has never faced Tsirtsis, but is 1-1 all-time against Clagon.
Lorenzo Thomas is likely to earn the top seed at 184 pounds. The 2014 NCAA All-American has two finals appearances at the Keystone Classic in his career, winning the title in 2013 and finishing second last season. He has placed at every collegiate tournament he has entered.
Caleb Richardson has placed twice at the Keystone Classic is his time with the Quakers, taking third last year at 133 pounds after finishing fourth at 125 in 2013. Richardson is in contention to be the top seed this weekend, but will be challenged by Northwestern’s Dominick Malone and Rider’s Robert Deutsch who each have NCAA Championships experience.
Other Quakers expected to contend this weekend are Brooks Martino (157), Ray Bethea (165), Casey Kent (174), Frank Mattiace (197), and Patrik Garren (285). Each is ranked in at least one other national poll and coming off a strong start to 2015-16 with runs to the quarterfinals or semifinals at the Bearcat Open.
Also competing for the Quakers this weekend will be Jeremy Schwartz (125), Jon Guevara (125), Marc Mastropietro (141), A.J. Vindici (141), Eric Friedman (141), A.J. Murabito (149), Joe Oliva (157), May Bethea (157), Joe Velliquette (165), Joe Heyob (184), Ryan Wosick (184), Robert Ng (197), Carson Stack (197), and Tyler Hall (285). For Guevara, Vindici, Oliva, Wosick, Ng, and Hall Sunday’s Keystone Classic will be their home debuts for the Red and Blue.
Tickets are on sale now for the Keystone Classic, and are $10.00 if purchased online and $15.00 at the door on Sunday. Live streaming of the Keystone Classic will begin at 5 p.m. and continue through the championship rounds which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.