Wrestling Ready for NCAA Championships

PHILADELPHIA – The march to “March Matness” is nearly complete as the University of Pennsylvania’s four wrestlers qualified for the 2016 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships will begin their path to the podium on March 17 at Madison Square Garden.

Every match on every mat of every session of the 2016 NCAA Wrestling Championships will be streamed live online via ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App for the third consecutive year. In addition ESPNU will have extensive coverage of Sessions I-III, IV and ESPN will have live broadcasts of Friday night’s semifinals and Saturday night’s championship matches.

Quaker Notes …

Penn is sending four wrestlers to the 2016 NCAA Championships – three of which are returning NCAA qualifiers. Casey Kent, Caleb Richardson, and Lorenzo Thomas each have previously competed at the national tournament.

Only May Bethea is making his first NCAAs appearance for the Red and Blue this season. He joins his older brother, Canaan, who was a two-time qualifier for the Quakers (2013, 2015) and reached the Round of 12 last year at 197 pounds.

Lorenzo Thomas is competing at his third – and final – NCAA Championships. In 2014, he went 5-3 at 184 pounds to finish sixth and become Penn’s first All-American at 184. Last year, he was 2-2, at 184.

The seven wins at NCAAs by Thomas are tied for No. 10 all-time by a Penn wrestler at the national tournament.

Thomas enters the tournament as the No. 11 seed at 184 pounds. His seed when he earned All-America honors in 2014? You guessed it, No. 11!

In the 112 years of Penn Wrestling, Thomas is just the 10th Quaker to earn a seed at the NCAA Championships three times. Only one – Brett Matter – earned four seeds.

Caleb Richardson will also be making his third NCAA Championships appearance – doing so in each of his first three seasons. He is the fifth Quaker to reach the NCAA Championships in each of his first three seasons at Penn. The others – Micah Burak, Matt Feast, Scott Giffin, and Rick Springman – all earned at least one All-American finish during their careers.

Three of Penn’s four qualifiers – Kent, Richardson, and Thomas – are undefeated at Madison Square Garden. Each went 2-0 when Penn competed at the Grapple at the Garden in 2013. Thomas won both of his matches by fall.

Caleb Richardson – 133 pounds
2015-16 Record: 21-13 | 2015-16 vs. NCAA Entrants: 1-7
All-Time at NCAAs: 1-4 | Career NCAA Placements: None
59-35 overall career record … Three-time NCAA qualifier … Fourth at EIWA Championships ... Placed fourth at this season’s Keystone Classic and Nittany Lion Open … Eight career wins by fall … 1-2 at 2015 NCAA Championships, defeating #9 A.J. Schopp (Edinboro), 3-1 ... Two losses were both in overtime to #8 Kevin Devoy and #10 Mason Beckman.

May Bethea – 157 pounds
2015-16 Record: 22-13 | 2015-16 vs. NCAA Entrants: 1-7
All-Time at NCAAs: 0-0 | Career NCAA Placements: None
Making first career NCAA trip … 31-13 career record … Led the Quakers in dual meet takedowns with 29 over 12 bouts … Owns two wins over Rider’s Chad Walsh this season … Keystone Classic champion … Finished fourth at the Nittany Lion Open … Defeated Army’s Russell Parsons, 2-1, in sudden victory.

Casey Kent – 174 pounds
2015-16 Record: 25-7 | 2015-16 vs. NCAA Entrants: 10-6
All-Time at NCAAs: 0-2 | Career NCAA Placements: None
69-30 career record … Second-team All-Ivy ... Ranked No. 13 in final regular season NCAA Coaches Panel … Ranked as high as No. 14 by Intermat during the season … Ranked No. 9 by Flowrestling … Finished third at the Southern Scuffle … Went 7-1 at the Scuffle, defeating No. 1 Brian Realbuto, 8-5, along the way … Defeated Oklahoma State’s Chandler Rodgers, 10-0, at the Scuffle … Third at the Nittany Lion Open … Has eight wins by major decision and four wins by technical fall this season … 2014 NCAA Championships qualifier … Will return for fifth year in 2016-17 after missing all of 2014-15 with injury.

Lorenzo Thomas – 184 pounds
2015-16 Record: 30-6 | 2015-16 vs. NCAA Entrants: 9-6
All-Time at NCAAs: 6-4 | Career NCAA Placements: Sixth (2014)
111-35 career record … Ranks No. 6 all-time at Penn in career wins, and is tops among anyone to ever compete at 184 pounds … 24 career wins by fall … 28 career wins by major decision … Seven career wins by technical fall … Second-team All-Ivy ... Third at EIWA Championships ... Keystone Classic champion … Fourth at the Southern Scuffle … Second at the Nittany Lion Open, going 4-0 before illness caused him to forfeit the final … Second at the Binghamton Open … 14-2 since the Southern Scuffle … 1-1 this season against Navy’s Mat Miller … 1-2 against Lehigh’s Nate Brown ... 0-3 against Cornell’s Gabe Dean … Defeated Oklahoma State’s Nolan Boyd by fall (2:46) … Three-time NCAA Championships qualifier … All-American at 184 pounds in 2014, finishing sixth … Penn’s first-ever All-American at 184 pounds.

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Download: 2015-16 NCAA Notes.pdf