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wrestling-michael-colaiocco

Freshman Michael Colaiocco proved why he was a top recruit, as he won his first colligate title at the Keystone Classic on Sunday.

Credit: Izzy Crawford-Eng

He may be only a freshman, but Michael Colaiocco has already begun to make his presence felt for Penn wrestling.

At the 2019 Keystone Classic, which the Quakers hosted on Sunday at the Palestra for the 24th consecutive year, Colaiocco made his mark by defeating Virginia redshirt freshman Patrick McCormick to claim the crown in the 125-pound weight class.

Going into the event, Colaiocco was already shouldering significant expectations for the Red and Blue, as he was the highest-ranked wrestler entered in the weight at No. 11 in the nation. He faced stiff competition within the weight class, with 2018 champion and national No. 20 Jonathan Tropea from Rider joining Colaiocco as the only other ranked wrestler in the 125-pound division.

Credit: Izzy Crawford-Eng

Last year, then-redshirt sophomore Tropea defeated then-Penn freshman Carmen Ferrante by a 7-3 decision, but Ferrante wrestled in the 133-pound weight class on Sunday. Additionally, Tropea's Rider teammate and redshirt senior Anthony Cefolo, who was an NCAA qualifier last season at 133 pounds, moved down a weight to compete at 125 pounds.

The Keystone win is the first collegiate title of Colaiocco's career. En route to rising to the top of his weight class, the freshman won three bouts, including a first round matchup with VMI freshman John McGarry, whom Colaiocco needed just 1:29 to pin. In the second round, Colaiocco went up against Harvard first-year Beau Bayless. Colaiocco proceeded to defeat Bayless, 6-1, to secure himself a spot in the finals.

The championship round saw Colaiocco squaring off against Virginia's McCormick. Colaiocco registered two takedowns in the first period, after which he led, 4-1. After two periods, Colaiocco had extended his lead over McCormick to 7-1, and it wasn't long before he had earned himself a 10-2 major decision to claim victory in his first-ever Keystone Classic.

Colaiocco was one of four wrestlers who made it to the finals for the Quakers, and he was joined at the top of the podium by sophomore Doug Zapf, who emerged victorious from the 141-pound weight class.

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