While most students spent much of their winter break relaxing with family and friends, Penn wrestling was hard at work, competing with talent across the nation in Illinois, Virginia, and right here in Pennsylvania.
To start off the winter break, the Red and Blue competed in the Midland Championships from Dec. 29-30 in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
The team ultimately finished in 12th place out of a talented field with two wrestlers standing out: freshman Michael Colaiocco and junior Anthony Artalona.
Wrestling at 125 pounds, Colaiocco dominated, finishing with a 5-1 record over the two days and placing third, the highest finish by a Penn wrestler since 2017.
Artalona was also undefeated for the first day of competition but suffered a few narrow losses on the second day to finish sixth at 157 pounds.
After New Years' Day, the Quakers headed to Lancaster, Pa. to play in the Franklin and Marshall Open on Jan. 4. Freshman Cole Urbas was the highest placing wrestler, finishing second in the 197-pound weight class.
To cap off a busy winter break, the Red and Blue competed in three matches at the Virginia Duals from Jan. 10-11.
The Quakers lost their opening match to Old Dominion by a score of 18-13, but showed grit in defeat with sophomores Doug Zapf and Ben Goldin picking up wins. Colaiocco and senior Jake Lizak scored the remaining team points in Penn's loss.
The Red and Blue's second match of the Duals was against Kent State. The match was contentious between the two teams, but the Golden Flashes used two pins and an injury defeat to pull out a 27-12 win. Freshmen Cam Connor and Urbas won their first collegiate dual bouts in Penn's second defeat of the day.
Day two of the Virginia Duals ended on a high note for the Quakers with a resounding 48-3 win over Duke to finish in seventh place at the tournament.
Sophomore Carmen Ferrante and senior Jon Errico pinned their opponents at 133 and 149 pounds, respectively, in the victory. Zapf, sophomore Jake Hendricks, and Urbas also earned wins by technical fall. Penn's 48 points in the win were the most the team had scored since 2010.
With the team's first win under its belt, the Red and Blue will hope to keep their positive momentum going when they face Army West Point on the road this Friday.