Wrestling Has Eight Named All-Ivy
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No. 21 Penn had nine of its starters named All-Ivy this week, proper recognition for 4-1 team record in Ivy League duals. A pair of Penn wrestlers highlights the Quakers' most All-League selections since 2007-08 with unanimous first-team All-Ivy honors - 197-pounder Micah Burak and 133-pounder Jeff Canfora. Five grapplers earned second-team All-Ivy honors with one more named honorable mention All-Ivy. The eight All-Ivy selections are second-most among the Ivy schools, behind just champion Cornell."We are proud to have eight wrestlers on the All-Ivy team," fifth-year head coach Rob Eiter said. "The League was very competitive this year, and we had a good deal of success. Recognition like this shows the team that hard work is rewarded and should motivate them for even more success this postseason."
Penn's seven combined first-team and second-team selections were most among the six Ivy League schools which sponsor wrestling, ahead of Cornell's six. Only two of Penn's eight All-Ivy selections were returners from last season's six All-Ivy honorees. For five of the eight, this marks their first All-Ivy selection.
After three seasons as second-team All-Ivy, Micah Burak was dominant in the Ivy League in his senior season, winning all five of his Ivy League dual matches. Burak twice had to come from behind to win in an Ivy dual, and he finished his Ivy League career with a 10-0 major decision over Princeton's Dan Santoro. Penn's active career win leader with 88 victories, Burak was an All-American in 2012 and enters the postseason ranked No. 8 in the country.
After missing most of the fall semester with injury, Jeff Canfora was forced into the starting lineup at 133 pounds in late January and has come through for the Quakers when needed. After a loss in his first career dual match at Cornell, Canfora won his final four Ivy League duals, including two by major decision. Canfora finished the regular season with 10 total wins - surpassing his career match total entering his sophomore campaign.
Penn's five second-team All-Ivy performers are the most in the League, led by senior Mark Rappo. Ranked No. 13 this week, Rappo went 4-1 in Ivy League duals to pick up his third career second-team All-Ivy selection. Two of his Ivy dual wins came by major decision, his only loss coming in a tiebreaker to first-team honoree Nahshon Garrett of Cornell.
No. 8 C.J. Cobb found himself smack in the middle of a logjam of talent at 141 pounds inside the Ivy League this year, with three wrestlers ranked inside the Top 11 this weekend. All three have wins over each other at some point in the season, and Cobb's 4-1 record in Ivy duals earned him second-team All-Ivy honors. After a 7-3 win over No. 6 Mike Nevinger - who was named honorable mention All-Ivy - Cobb was edged by first-teamer No. 13 Steven Keith, 11-4. Cobb would bounce back to win his final three Ivy duals by a combined score of 47-12, with two major decisions and a tech fall.
The only true freshman just out of high school on either the first or second team, Casey Kent was the second-best 165-pounder in the Ivy League this season, behind only three-time NCAA champion, national No. 1 and Ivy League Wrestler of the Year Kyle Dake. After a loss to Dake in January, Kent won his final four Ivy duals to finish at 4-1 inside the League. Two of his wins put up big team points, a fall against Brown and a technical fall against Princeton. Kent will enter the postseason as Penn's leader in wins with 22, 11 coming via bonus points.
Ian Korb earned his first career All-Ivy selection with second-team recognition at 174 pounds. 4-1 in Ivy duals, Korb has already set his career high with 20 wins this campaign. Overall against Ivy competition, Korb leads Penn in wins with an 8-3 record.
Heavyweight Steven Graziano was named All-Ivy for the second consecutive year, earning second-team All-League honors with a 3-1 Ivy dual record. Graziano was a unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection last season and is now 10-1 all-time in Ivy League dual matches. Graziano will enter the postseason with 17 wins, one shy of his career high set last season.
Canaan Bethea was the lone honorable mention All-Ivy selection for the Quakers, earning the honor at 184 pounds. Bethea wrestled in just three Ivy duals this season, going 2-1 in those matches. In his first full season as the starter at 184 for the Quakers, Bethea has won 21 matches - a new career high.
The Quakers will commence qualifying for the NCAA Championships next weekend at the 109th EIWA Championships at Rutgers University on March 8-9. The Red and Blue finished fourth last year, and are one of two teams to not finish lower than sixth at the EIWA Championships dating back to 1993.