IU Travels to Philly for Keystone Classic
Nov. 16, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Fourteen Hoosier wrestlers will represent Indiana University on Sunday (Nov. 18) at the 18th Annual Keystone Classic, held in Philadelphia and hosted by Penn. Action is set to begin at 9 a.m. ET. The one-day event is tentatively slated to wrap up with the 6 p.m. Finals.
Indiana is one of 15 schools competing in the team-scored tournament. The complete list of participating institutions includes: #13 Northwestern (2011 champion), Indiana, Penn (8x champion), American, Brown, Harvard, Princeton, Cal Poly, Bloomsburg, Boston, Rider (1999, 2004 champion), North Carolina State, Duke, VMI and Appalachian State.
Donning the Cream and Crimson IU singlets will be:
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Twitter: @2012Keystone; @IUWrestling1
Live Video (will mainly show Penn wrestlers)
According to the Intermat rankings, 14 nationally-ranked grapplers are expected to be in the field this year, including six wrestlers slotted in the top-10 of their respective weight class. Five finalists from the 2011 Keystone Classic went on to earn All-American honors at the 2012 NCAA Championships.
PennAthletics.com put together a short preview of each weight class based on the Intermat rankings. See below:
Keystone Classic Weight-by-Weight Preview
133: Northwestern's No. 10 Levi Mele is the likely top seed at this weight and will look to return to the top spot at the Keystone Classic after winning the crown at 125 pounds last season. Appalachian State's Jake Smith was runner-up at the Wolfpack Open last weekend, while Indian's Quinton Murphy has a recent fifth-place finish at the Hokie Open to his credit. Princeton's Garrett Frey is another name to watch out for at this weight as he bumps up from 125.
141: Harvard's Steven Keith is ranked No. 13 after earning All-American honors at 133 last season. He was a Keystone finalist in 2011 at 133, and enters as the likely top seed this weekend at his new weight. Keith was fifth at the Binghamton Open last weekend, defeating Penn's C.J. Cobb along the way. Cobb and Keith are two of four Binghamton Open quarterfinalists in the field this weekend, joined by Princeton's Nicholas Masselli and Rider's Vinny Fava. Cal Poly will be in the mix here, bring Brandon Rocha in fresh off a win at the Roadrunner Open last weekend.
149: Perhaps the most wide-open weight at the tournament, 149 will feature no wrestlers ranked inside the Top-20, but plenty looking to make that next step. Princeton's Zachary Bintliff was fifth last weekend at the Binghamton Open, while Appalachian State's Dylan Cottrell is coming off a second-place finish at the Hokie Open and a fifth-place run at the Wolfpack Open. Penn will enter three wrestlers at this weight, with sophomore Charlie Lynch expected to make his Penn debut after battling injury all of last season.
157: Depending on final entrants and if seeds hold to form, the title bout at 157 could pit national No. 3 Jason Welch of Northwestern against No. 7 Frank Hickman of Bloomsburg. Welch is a two-time returning All-American after a fourth-place finish at NCAAs last season and a sixth-place finish in 2011, while Hickman advanced to the quarterfinals at NCAAs in 2012 before bowing out in the Round of 12. Boston University will also be in the mix here, with Nestor Taffur coming off a second-place finish last weekend at the Binghamton Open. N.C. State's Mardel Gabriel was fourth at the Wolfpack Open, while Indiana's Taylor Walsh was second at the Hokie Open.
165: A pair of Top-20 wrestlers headlines the field in No. 14 Pierce Harger of Northwestern and No. 20 Ryan LeBlanc of Indiana. There is potential for a rematch of the Binghamton Open final this Sunday as Binghamton champion Ramon Santiago (Rider) and runner-up Casey Kent (Penn) are expected entrants. All four Binghamton semifinalists could be in the field, with Princeton's Abe Ayala and Judd Ziegler also entered. Boston University's Mitchell Wightman won four consolation matches at Binghamton to earn third place. N.C. State's Nigel Jones was runner-up at the Wolfpack Open, with Indiana's LeBlanc finishing second at the Hokie Open.
174: Northwestern's Lee Munster was runner-up at Keystone in 2011, and enters his second Keystone Classic ranked No. 10 in the country. Rider's James Brundage was second at the Binghamton Open last weekend, and Penn's Ian Korb rattled off six consecutive wins in the wrestlebacks to claim third after dropping his opening bout.
184: The only other weight with no national Top-20 wrestlers in the field, 184 will feature plenty of wrestlers looking to get on the national radar. Duke's Diego Bencomo was second at the Hokie Open, while Indiana's Luke Sheridan was sixth. Last weekend at the Binghamton Open, Rider's Clint Morrison finished third after reaching the semifinals. Harvard's Cameron Croy was second at Keystone last year and has hovered around the national rankings and took fifth over Princeton's Scott Gibbons at Binghamton last weekend.
197: Penn's No. 9 Micah Burak has a pair of Keystone Classic championships to his credit on home mats over his career, winning the title in 2009 and 2010. He missed last year's tournament, but is prepared to complete the hat trick after earning All-American honors in 2012. Bloomsburg's Richard Perry is ranked No. 17 by InterMat this week and is a former NCAA qualifier. VMI's Urayoan Garcia was third at the Wolfpack Open, while Rider's Donald McNeill took fifth at Binghamton. Duke will Hokie Open champion Connor Hartman to the mats, who also owns a third-place finish at the Michigan State Open.
285: 2012 NCAA All-American and third-place finisher Mike McMullan of Northwestern highlights three Top-20 wrestlers in the field. He enters the tournament ranked No. 5 in the country and was runner-up at Keystone last season. Last year, McMullan was defeated by Boston University's Kevin Innis in the final. Innis is a returning NCAA qualifier and expected to contend this weekend. Indiana's Adam Chalfant is ranked No. 12 and is coming off a second-place finish at the Hokie Open. Bloomsburg's Justin Grant is No. 18 this week and is the reigning EWL Wrestler of the Week. VMI's Juan Adams took sixth at the Hokie Open and could factor into the mix here. 2011 Ivy League Rookie of the Year Kyle Cowan is expected to make his return after missing all of last season with injury and won the title at Keystone in 2010.
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