The Quakers look to be a lock for their sixth Ivy title in the past seven seasons. With victories over Brown and Harvard, the Penn wrestling team took a giant step toward securing its sixth Ivy League crown in the last seven years. In Providence, R.I., last Friday, the Quakers (7-4, 4-0 Ivy League) handed Brown (5-8, 1-1) a 23-16 defeat and cruised to a 24-13 win at Harvard (5-4, 1-1) on Saturday. Penn won its fourth dual meet in a row, all with a six-point handicap as 125-pounder Kevin Rucci sat out with an injured hand. Freshman Jody Giuricich (141) started out the weekend in good form, getting a major decision victory over Brown's James Casteneda, 11-2. After EIWA No. 3 Jon Gough lost a major decision to EIWA No. 4 Jason Mercado at 149 pounds, national No. 2 Brett Matter (157) recorded a technical fall over Brad Dewitt to give the Quakers a 9-4 lead. After a Tim Ortman win at 165, No. 2 Rick Springman blanked Nick Almeida for a 7-0 technical fall win to give the Quakers a commanding 17-4 lead, which turned out to be all they would need against the Bears. Heavyweight Bandele Adeniyi-Bada scored an important individual victory over EIWA No. 3 Bronson Lingamfelter, handling him 10-4. Penn's top-ranked EIWA heavyweight beat EIWA No. 2 Seth Charles two weekends ago in Penn's victory over Cornell. With the Cornell win, Harvard loomed as the Quakers' remaining threat to Ivy supremacy. "I think Harvard really might have expected to be close and possibly even thought they could win," Matter said. But the Quakers quickly erased any hopes of an upset at Cambridge, winning four of the first five matches, the loss being Rucci's forfeit. EIWA No. 1 Jason Nagle (133) rebounded from a 7-1 loss to EIWA No. 3 Livio DiRubbo at Brown in strong fashion, soundly beating EIWA No. 2 Matt Picarsic 7-2. Gough also made up for a loss at Brown with a thrilling last-second decision over Harvard freshman standout and former high school All-American Max Odom. In a frantic match that featured five lead changes, Odom took Gough down for a 9-8 lead with 10 seconds left in the bout. But just before time expired, Gough got a reversal to win the match 10-9 and put the Quakers up 12-6. "I'm usually getting ready for my match," said Matter, who normally prepares for his own match during the 149-pound bout but stopped to watch the exciting finish. "It's matches like that that take the wind out of the sails of the other team." At 174, Springman met national No. 4 Ed Moseley, whom he had pinned at the Midlands tournament earlier in the year. Once again, Springman got the best of Moseley, winning 7-1 when the match was called in the third period due to an injury to Moseley. In the first period, Springman had Moseley's leg in his grasp, and as Springman tripped him, Moseley's knee was twisted awkwardly. Moseley tried to continue, but early in the third period the referee decided to stop the bout. Springman's victory was one of many key EIWA victories scored by Penn wrestlers, with a dual meet against EIWA No. 1 Lehigh and the EIWA tournament lurking just around the corner. "You have to beat them all to win, in the end," Matter said. "But if you can make your route to the championship easier by beating people earlier, it's good." While most of the Quakers have the next two weeks to ponder upcoming dual meets against Princeton and Lehigh, Springman and Adeniyi-Bada compete tonight in the NWCA All-Star Meet at Michigan State University. Springman will take on Edinboro's No. 3 Josh Koscheck, a wrestler Springman beat at the Midlands in December. Adeniyi-Bada faces off against Minnesota's No. 1 Brock Lesnar, who lost a close match to Stephen Neal of Cal-State Bakersfield in last year's NCAA Championships. "For Bandele, it's a great opportunity to get himself back on track. He had a little bit of a slump there for a while," Matter said. "For Rick, he can send messages to everyone else in the country by beating this guy pretty good."Comments powered by Disqus
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