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The Penn wrestling team may have found a new rival in No. 17 Missouri, as the Quakers are surely sick of a Tigers squad that they faced multiple times yesterday.

Penn traveled west to Happy Valley yesterday to compete in the Penn State Open to face off against a multitude of nationally ranked teams which also included Virginia (18) and Penn State (13).

But for the most notable Penn wrestlers, it was bouts against Missouri that sealed their fates.

The highlight of the Open for the Red and Blue was junior Bryan Ortenzio’s domination of the 133-pound weight class. He defeated University City rival, Drexel’s Frank Cimato, in the semifinals, and then clinched the championship by pinning Mizzou’s Nathan McCormick right at the four-minute mark in the finals.

“Ortenzio had a nice tournament,” Penn coach Rob Eiter said. “He got a nice win under his belt, and he made some real good adjustments.”

Also starring for the Quakers was junior Zack Kemmerer, who finished second in the highly competitive 141-pound weight class. He won five bouts before finally falling to Mizzou’s Todd Schavrien — who is No. 18 in the nation — in the championship.

“Zach Kemmerer really stood out well in a very crowded, very tough weight class, which was one of the toughest weights in the tournament,” Ortenzio said. “I think he avenged some of his earlier losses [of the season] as well.”

Another grappler to note was junior captain and third-place finisher Scott Giffin, who lost a heartbreaker to No. 15 Dorian Henderson — yet another Tigers wrestler. Fellow junior Gabriel Burak took home sixth place after losing in the consolation championship in the 165-pound weight class.

The rest of the bouts were a little tougher for the Red and Blue. The squad was somewhat shorthanded for the tournament, as injuries prevented Penn from even featuring a wrestler in the 149-pound and 285-pound weight classes.

Many other divisions were headlined by freshmen, who went a combined 3-8 on the day. All three wins were comebacks.

“Some less experienced wrestlers tend to wrestle better and harder when they’re down a couple points,” Eiter said. “For some reason a light clicks on in their head. So we’re trying to start that way instead of waiting until we need a takedown.”

After holding its own against nationally ranked competition, Penn thinks its national standing will only improve.

“If we can keep our focus up and keep our training level intense, I think that were going to keep wrestling well and ultimately make some noise nationally,” Ortenzio said.

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