Wrestling Rolls at Keystone Classic

Final Brackets (PDF)

PHILADELPHIA - The Penn wrestling team rolled to the team title at the annual Keystone Classic, which took place all day Sunday at The Palestra. The Quakers rolled up 143.5 points to beat the 12-team field. Northwestern was second, with 138.0 points, while EIWA foe American was third with 102.0 points.

Penn was a heavy favorite in the field, boasting five No. 1 seeds in the 10 weight classes. Four of those five wrestlers held those seeds, with three of them defeating the No. 2 seed in the final. In the end, the Quakers had five champions and nine place-winners. Sophomore Micah Burak, the champion at 197 pounds, was named Outstanding Wrestler -- an honor voted on by the 10 champions at the tournament.

Rollie Peterkin did nothing to undermine his No. 1 seed at 133. In the final, he rolled out to a six-point lead on Northwestern's Levi Mele in the first period and never looked back in taking an 11-3 victory. Peterkin -- who had nearly five minutes of riding time on the unseeded Mele -- went 4-0 on the day, winning twice by major decision; his closest match came in the semis, where he defeated Edinboro's Eric Morrill, 6-4.

At 141, Zack Kemmerer needed overtime but held his top seed in gaining the title. Facing second-seeded (and EIWA foe) Matthew Mariacher of American in the final, both wrestlers were tactical and took few chances. The first point didn't come until the final minute of the second period, when Kemmerer escaped for one. Mariacher quickly returned the favor in the third to tie things up. In sudden victory, Kemmerer needed just nine seconds to gain a two-point takedown and gain the win.

(A pleasant surprise at 141 was Andrew Lenzi, who lost his first-round match but battled all the way through five consolation-round wins before finishing fourth. The unseeded Lenzi was up on Northwestern's No. 4 seed, Kaleb Friedley, in the third-place match before Friedley tied with an escape, then pinned Lenzi late in the second period.)

Penn's senior All-American, Scott Giffin, was the top seed at 184. He and second-seeded Austin Trotman (Appalachian State) engaged in a highly entertaining match in the final. Giffin got a two-point takedown late in the first period, then added another point with an escape early in the second. The third was filled with drama however -- Trotman gained one of the points back with an escape, but Giffin got another takedown. Trotman responded with another escape, then quickly took down Giffin to close the gap to one, at 5-4. Trotman then allowed Giffin to escape to try and gain the tie with another takedown, but Giffin held him off to get the title. On the way to the final, Giffin won once by major decision, then took a 5-1 win in the quarterfinals and an 8-7 victory in the semis.

Another 1-2 final pitted Micah Burak against American's Daniel Mitchell. After a scoreless first period, Mitchell gained an escape point in the second that Burak gained back in the third. From there, Burak gained two points on a throw with just over a minute to go to gain a 3-1 advantage, and that led to a pin at the 6:28 mark.

The 285 final was an unseeded affair, as Penn's Kyle Cowan and Edinboro's Ernest James matched up. Cowan gained the 4-2 win, gaining three of his points in the second period and then closing it out with an escape in the third.

At 165 pounds, top-seeded (and Micah's older brother) Gabriel Burak had little trouble getting to the final, winning three matches including a fall in the first round. However, in the final he fell behind the second seed, Rider's Jim Resnick, almost immediately -- the gap was four before the match was a minute old, and seven after two minutes. Burak took a few chances to try and get a pin after that, but Resnick was content to ride things out and gained the victory, 8-0.

Mark Rappo was the fifth seed in the 125-pound weight class, but pushed ahead and placed third. In the third-place match, he battled for points with American's Thomas Williams. After falling behind by two early, Rappo was able to get both points back with a pair of escapes, one in the first and another in the second. In the third, Rappo started up and was able to ride Williams the entire period to gain a 3-2 victory. Along the way, he won once by major decision, once by fall, and once in sudden victory.

In the 157 weight class, both Tom Timothy and Brad Wukie advanced to the fifth-place match. Wukie won by decision three times before falling in the quarterfinal round to second-seeded Jason Welch of Northwestern, while Timothy advanced with four wins in the consolation round after a first-round loss.

Other wrestlers who competed for Penn were Troy Hernandez, who won four consolation matches to go 4-2 on the day at 149 pounds; Canaan Bethea, who was 2-2 on the day wrestling as the Quakers' representative at 174; and Harrison Cook who was 2-2 at 184; Zach Ellis, who was 1-2 in the 133-pound weight class; and Karim Shafi, who went 0-2 at 125 pounds.

Download: 2010 Keystone Classic Final.pdf