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Penn leads after day one of the EIWA Championships



Day one of the EIWA Championships was filled with high drama as upsets and controversy ruled the day and most importantly a tight team race is building. Penn and Lehigh are waged in a heated battle with Harvard and Cornell right on their heels. Penn leads after day one with 62.5points and will send eight wrestlers to semi-finals when wrestling resumes on Sunday morning. Lehigh,who is second with 58 points and Cornell, who it tied for fourth with 47 points both advanced six to the semi-finals followed by Harvard's five. Harvrd sits in third place with 53.5 points. Rutgers and Navy each turned in good performances while advancing four to the semi's and stand in fourth (47 points) and sixth place (34.5 points) respectively. A controversial call at 285lbs is the difference in the team race between Penn and Lehigh. Penn's Mike Faust defeated Lehigh Shawn Laughlin 2-1 s.v. when Laughlin was hit for his second stall call with one second to go in the sudden victory period. Laughlin would have had choice had the match gone to the rideout. The loss prevented Lehigh from advancing seven to tomorrow's championship round. Lehigh was further punished when Laughlin was deducted a team point for throwing his headgear. While the team race was the big story of the day Bucknell's Jeremy Weller was making some noise on his own. The unseeded freshman came into the tournament with an 8-15 record and proceeded to upset the sixth seed Steve Popovitch 12-9 and third seed Jeff Eveleth 3-2 to advance to the semi-finals. His teammate Ryan Faschnat had the big upset in the first round when he downed Harvard's Pat O'Donnell 7-6. All the number one and two seeds advanced but three number three seeds went down. Weller defeated Penn's Jeff Eveleth and Brown's Jesse Savage upended Harvard's Max Odom 7-5 at 157lbs. The third upset took place at 285lbs with Rutgers'Tom Petko squeaking by Navy's Steve Kovatch 3-2. weight by weight summary Things have been staying true to form at 125lbs as the top three seeds in Mason Lenhard (Penn), Kevin El-Hayek (Harvard) and Mario Stuart (Lehigh) all won handily in advancing. Alejandro Alvarez (Cornell) also advanced to semi-finals with a mild upset over Andrew Unhrlass (Rutgers). Jeremy Weller (Bucknell) is the big story at 133lbs with his two upset wins. The top two seeds in Matt Picarsic (Harvard) and Juan Venturi (Princeton) have been very impressive in the early rounds with two tech falls and a major decision between them. Jon Rodriquez (Rutgers) upset the #4 seed Byron Warner (Cornell) in the first round and his hope for a second straight upset failed when he lost 3-2 Jason Homestead (Navy). The other story at this weight was Jeff Eleventh (Penn), the #3 seed being eliminated from the tournament after losing to Warner in the wrestle backs. Three of the top four seeds advanced tp the 141lbs semi-finals with only #4 David Dies (Brown) failing to do so. Dies was defeated by Tom Waldron (Cornell) 9-4 s.v. #2 seed Mark Conly (Navy) had to rally late in the third period to defeat Tom Wysocki (Rutgers) 8-6 sv. Wysocki had a 4-0 lead when Conly began his comeback. Matt Goldstein (Lehigh) and Joe Clark (Princeton) both rolled into the semi-finals with convincing victories. A late rally by Jesse Jantzen (Harvard) prevented Tom Storer (Navy) of pulling off a major upset. Jantzen scored six point in the third to win a thrilling 9-7 match, after Storer built an early lead by putting Jantzen on his back. He will meet up Joe Henson (Penn) in the morning semifinal after Henson advanced by pinning the very tough Erik Norgaard with a tight cradle in 2:30. The other semifinal will match Dave Esposito (Lehigh) and Jon Forster (Rutgers). Harvard's team title hopes were hurt when Max Odom was upset by Jesse Savage 7-6 at 157lbs. Ryan Bernholz (Lehigh) and Yoshi Nakamura remain on track for a highly anticipated rematch with each posting easy quarterfinal wins. The fourth semi-finalist is Leo Urbinelli (Cornell) who won a tight 3-1 match over Shane Engel-Folks (Rutgers). Four of the top five seeds advanced at 165lbs through to second day of competition. In a match that will have major implications on the team race, Chris Vitale (Lehigh) and Tim Ortman (Penn) will meet in the semi's. Each won convincingly to set up the match. The other semifinal will see Clint Wattenberg meet Ryan Bonfiglio (Princeton). Bonfiglio's door opened up when O'Donnell got upset in the first round and he defeated Faschnat by one. Maurice Worthy entered the tournament with a number three national ranking and he has lived up to the billing with two devastating wins at 174lbs. He will meet Mark Newman who had a mild upset over Greg Parker 5-3. The second semifinal will see Jim Stanec (Cornell) and Joe Henson (Penn) meeting up. 184lbs saw another #5 seed knock off the number #4 seed when Marcus Schontube (Penn) used a takedown with 9 seconds left to upset Karl Rittger (Brown) 4-3. Rob Rohn and Francis Volpe remain on a collision course to meet for a fourth time. Rohn had tougher than expected quarters match but was still able to pull out a 4-2 win. The fourth semi-finalist will be Tom Tannis (Rutgers). 197lbs was one of only two weights were the top four seeds all advanced. Mike Fickell (Penn), Mike Bigrigg (Navy), Corey Anderson (Cornell) and Rick Romero (Rutgers) all won easily to set up tommorow's semi's. Fickell was the most impressive when he scored a fall in a scant: 19 seconds. David Rechul and Bronson Lingamfelter will be looking to resume their rivalry in the finals when wrestling resumes on Sunday. Each turned in impressive victories in a weight class that had a lot of excitement. They will meet Faust and Kovach respectively.
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