Wrestling Travels to Columbia, Cornell in Ivy Opener; Reina Seeks 200th Victory

This Week - The Quakers (3-2) open Ivy League and EIWA competition as the take on Columbia (3-1) and No. 14 Cornell (5-4).

Next Up - The Red and Blue are back in action next weekend at The Palestra with a very busy schedule. Penn hosts Harvard and Franklin & Marshall at noon and 2 p.m., respectively. The Quakers then host Brown, at noon, and the University of North Carolina at 2 p.m. on Feb. 5.

Reaching the 200-Win Plateau - Head Coach Roger Reina, the winningest coach in program history, is just one dual win shy of reaching the 200 mark for his career. Reina, in his 19th season at the helm, has held the position of head coach longer than any other in program history and his 199 wins are more than double of any of his predecessors. Reina’s guidance has produced 14 winning seasons in the past 18 years. Out of the six current Ivy League head coaches, only Dave Amato of Brown has more career victories. Amato sports a 323-197-3 overall record in 27 seasons and a 261-162-3 mark during his 21 years at the helm of the Bears.

No. 24 Penn vs. Columbia - The Penn/Columbia match-up is the third oldest in collegiate wrestling history as the the two teams will take to the mats for the 101st meeting and 98th-consecutive dual meet. The Quakers have won the last 11 meetings against the Lions, including a 32-9 victory last season. Penn leads the series with an all-time record of 61-37-2. Last year, the Red and Blue fell behind 6-0 after the first two bouts, but quickly came back to win the next seven bouts. Rich Ferguson started the Red and Blue momentum with his third-straight win, topping Golden Baker, 10-4. Back-to-Back pins by Dustin Wiles at 174 pounds and senior co-captain Ethan Bullock gave the Quakers a 15-6 lead. Marcus Schontube scored bonus points with a major decision over John Grando at 197 pounds and Matt Feast added bonus points with a 9-1 major decision at 285 pounds over Bart Seeman.

No. 24 Penn vs. No. 14 Cornell - Penn and Cornell have had one of the biggest rivalries in the Ivy League over the past few seasons. Last year, the Big Red edged the No. 16 Red and Blue 17-15 en route to No. 15 Cornell’s second-straight Ivy League title. The meet came down to the last match which Cornell won by a riding time point. The Big Red’s Jerry Rinaldi edged Ethan Bullock, 2-1, at 184 pounds to seal the victory. Rinaldi held onto Bullock in the second period for 1:07 of riding time before Bullock escaped to score the first points of the match. Rinaldi came back with an escape of his own in the third to tie the score. The last time Penn defeated Cornell was on Feb. 2, 2002 at The Palestra, 21-9. Before a 16-15 loss in 2001, the Quakers were unbeaten for five-straight years (1996-2000).

Penn and the Ivy League - For the last 10 years the Quakers have been a prominent force in the Ivy League, earning a 50-4-1 record, six outright League titles and two shared. Cornell is next on that list going 46-8-1 with two outright and two shared titles. The Quakers finished the 2003-04 season with a 4-1 Ivy League, good for second in the Ancient Eight.

Penn and the EIWA - The Red and Blue has had success in the EIWA with four team titles. Since 1996, Penn has produced the most EIWA individual champions with 30 and 59 NCAA qualifiers. Lehigh is next with 21 EIWA champions and 56 NCAA qualifiers. Last season, the Quakers finished second at the EIWA Championships, crowning three EIWA Champions, including two-time champion Matt Feast at heavyweight. Matt Valenti won his first EIWA title after he defeated Lehigh's Mario Stewart, 8-2, at 125 pounds and Doug McGraw defeated Lehigh's Cory Cooperman, 10-8 in overtime, at 141, also to claim his first EIWA title.

Still Undefeated - Back in action after missing the first semester, senior Doug McGraw is back to his winning ways improving to a perfect 7-0 overall and 3-0 in duals. He opened his campaign by taking the 141 lbs. title at Wilkes and won his next three duals over Rene Hernandez of Purdue (3-1), Brandon Carter (3-2) of Central Michigan and Chris Renninger of Drexel (6-0).

Can’t Pin ‘Em Down - Five Quakers - Dustin Wiles, Marcus Schontube, Matt Feast, Jeff Eveleth, Doug McGraw - have yet to be pinned this season.

Wiley Wiles - Junior Dustin Wiles has been making the most of his opportunity at 174 lbs. The Farmington, Mo. native posts a 16-7 overall record and a 3-1 mark in duals while leading the team in falls with four. Wiles earned his first victory over a ranked opponent in five chances with a 3-1 decision over No. 10 Paul Siemon of Hofstra on Jan. 16. His matches against ranked opponents have been close; three of his losses have been within one point and the other was a two-point differential.

Trifecta - Senior Jeff Eveleth had a solid day in Penn’s triple header against No. 7 Hofstra, Wagner and Drexel on Jan. 16. Eveleth posted three victories, including a come-from-behind win over a nationally-ranked opponent and an overtime victory. For his efforts he was named Penn Student Athlete of the Week. Eveleth, a 133-pounder, opened the afternoon by pinning No. 17 Charles Griffin of Hofstra with one second remaining in the match. Trailing 5-4 in the final seconds, Eveleth took Griffin down and then pinned him for the victory. For his second win of the day, Eveleth bumped up to 141 pounds and defeated Wagner's Michael Tutunjian, 11-10. In his final match of the day against Zach Makovsky of Drexel, Eveleth posted a 7-5 decision in overtime. Trailing 5-3 with 21 seconds remaining, Eveleth took Makovsky down to tie the score and forced sudden victory period. Eveleth controlled from the start and posted another takedown for the win.

Fastest Falls - Rookie Chris Banket has posted two falls this season, both of which came in less than 40 seconds. Banket pinned Ohio State’s Nick Harpster in 39 seconds at the Brockport Oklahoma Gold. His next pin came against Wagner’s Freddy Pontoriero which came 33 seconds into the match.

100-Win Club - Senior grappler Matt Feast joined exclusive company on Dec. 29 as he became the fifth wrestler in Penn history to record 100 decisions in his career. Feast notched his historic win during the first round of competition at the 42nd Annual Midlands Championships by defeating Chad Barkalow of Iowa, 3-1. The two-time All-American took Barkalow down in the first 50 seconds of the first period and recorded an escape in the third to secure the win. Feast, with 105 decisions, currently stands in fifth place in all-time wins behind two-time All American and NCAA Champion Brett Matter (128), two-time All-American Yoshi Nakamura (115), two-time All-American and Olympic Gold Medalist Brandon Slay (110) and two-time All-American Rick Springman (109).

Quakers on TV - The Quakers heated rivalry with Ivy League foe Cornell will be shown for all to see as College Sports Television will be broadcast live on Jan. 29 from the Friedman Wrestling Center. CSTV, the fastest-growing independent cable network, is available to more than 20 million homes nationally on cable and satellite. The network is available on Time Warner, Adelphia and Insight cable systems, among others, and is also available on DirecTV (channel 610). For information on CSTV availability in particular markets, log on to www.collegesports.com/getcstv or call your cable or satellite operator.

Download: 1-28 Notes.pdf