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02142010_WrestlingVSCornellandColumbia #18 Gabriel Burak, Eren Civan - 165lb Credit: Joe Ovelman

While the Bible instructs to do unto others as you would want done unto you, the Burak brothers often find themselves ignoring this adage when they step onto the wrestling mat.

The duo — consisting of junior Gabriel and freshman Micah — has together brought the Penn wrestling team a combined 46 victories and only 13 losses in the 2009-10 season.

But perhaps more inspiring than their performance on the mat is the way the siblings handle themselves off of it.

“They eat right, they study hard, they don’t drink, don’t smoke ­— no nothing,” Penn coach Rob Eiter said.

It is abundantly clear that the Burak brothers are not your average students.

Their strong sense of discipline and emphasis on morals are rooted in their upbringing.

Gabe and Micah were brought up in a wrestling household in Colorado Springs, Colo. As kids, they attended summer wrestling camps, which their father directed for the sports ministry group Athletes in Action.

“That was really a blessing,” Gabe said. “We got to be with our family, had tons of fun at camp and got to walk with our lord Jesus Christ too.”

And university life has not changed the brothers commitment to their beliefs. They continue to maintain the ideals that were instilled in them as children.

Last season, the older Burak began leading a Bible study after practice. While only a few teammates came to the first meeting, about half the team was attending the sessions by season’s end.

The brothers also remain actively involved with AIA around campus.

“It’s a real blessing for me,” Gabe said. “We meet a couple times a week, and we get to be around other people who love athletics and love Jesus Christ.”

The Burak brothers have been a blessing for the Penn wrestling program as well.

Gabe, who is in his third year on the squad, took a starting position for the Quakers at the beginning of this year. And he hasn’t looked back since.

“The thing you have to remember is that he’s playing up a weight class,” Eiter said. “He’s wrestling at 165, but last year he was Matt Dragon’s backup at 157.”

“The success that he’s had is a direct result of how hard he’s trained,” EIter added.

While Gabe has slowly worked his way into the top 20 this year, success came far more quickly for his younger brother Micah.

“As soon as I saw him wrestling he impressed me,” Eiter said. “For a big guy he’s got great skills, he’s quick.”

And as good as Micah has been this season, his potential might be even mightier.

“He’s not even close to what he can do. To be honest with you, he could be a four time All-American ­— potentially our next national champ. He could be that good.”

As the two head off to face Princeton and No. 8 Lehigh this weekend, you can bet there will be fans around campus saying their prayers for the Red and Blue to take down the rival Tigers.

Besides, with the way the two have been performing in their bouts this year, they might not be the only people with faith in that blocker room.

“I don’t know if we’ve ever had brothers that are All-Americans at the same time,” Eiter said. “But I think we could do that, not only this year but next year as well.”

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