Kemmerer carries wrestling at Binghamton
Senior takes 141-pound championship
November 15, 2010, 5:21 am · Updated November 15, 2010, 12:00 am·
After tying the 141-pound weight-class championship match at the end of regulation, senior Zack Kemmerer rallied in the second overtime to capture first place at the Binghamton Open, capping a successful day for the wrestling team.
“Zack wrestled a gutsy tournament,” coach Rob Eiter said. “He had some real close matches, but he kept his poise and kept pushing.”
In Penn’s first meet of the season, Kemmerer avenged two losses from last year when he defeated Binghmaton’s Anwar Geores in the semifinals.
He then faced his fifth Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association opponent of the tournament — and second Cornell rival — Hicks Manson, looking for his fifth win of the day.
“There were three matches today that in the past I probably would have lost,” Kemmerer said. “For me, I expect to be at the top, and I expect to be nationally recognized, and I have to go out there and prove it.”
Kemmerer wasn’t the only Quaker who impressed at Sunday’s meet in Binghamton, N.Y. Sophomore Micah Burak finished as the runner-up at 197 pounds for the second straight year. An NCAA qualifier the year before, Burak beat a wrestler from Cornell and one from Rutgers in advancing to the final.
In the final, Burak faced No. 1 Cam Simaz from Cornell in a rematch of last year’s Binghamton Open and EIWA Championships where Simaz beat Burak 1-0. Though Burak was ahead late in the match, he eventually lost to Simaz 6-4.
“I wrestled pretty well, but I made a few mistakes,” the sophomore said. “This year I want to train a little smarter. By the end of last year, I was worn out and tired, but now I hope to know when to rest and recover.”
The Quakers didn’t field a full team due to academic obligations and to allow some team members to rest from minor injuries, but Eiter was pleased with what he saw. In limited action after returning from a shoulder injury, sophomore Troy Hernandez was able to wrestle in two matches at 149 pounds.
Junior Mark Rappo also impressed, finishing in sixth place at 125 pounds. His first loss of the day, however, was controversial as the referee was quick to call a pin in the waning moments of the third overtime in his quarterfinal match with Eric Dunnet from Old Dominion.
“Mark tried to roll through, but the referee made a gutsy call for that type of match,” Eiter said. “Not taking anything away from [Dunnet], but the referee didn’t have to make that call and neither coach would have been upset. We would continue to wrestle until the best kid wins.”
Freshman 174-pounder Canaan Bethea finished the day in sixth place after losing to Ryan Callahan of Princeton. The bout was a rematch of last year’s 171-pound final of the New Jersey State Championships, which Callahan also won.
Fellow freshman Kyle Cowan, who has been battling a sinus infection, was able to win in his debut.
The team’s solid performance has Eiter optimistic for the rest of the season.
“I think this was a good weekend for us because we’ve been training really hard,” Eiter said.
“I’m excited to see the rest of the team finally get down on the mat and let them go to work.”