14 teams from across the country came to the Palestra yesterday for a great day of wrestling. B1G school Northwestern went home as the top team crowning 2 champions, returning national champion Jason Tsirtsis at 149 lbs and Alex Polizzi at 197 lbs. Rider University came in 2nd ahead of Eastern Michigan and Pittsburg. Rider didn’t crown any individual champions but the entire team did well placing wresters in 6 weight classes. There was a reasonable turnout to watch the event, with lots of youth wrestlers in attendance for parts of the day. The Palestra is a great place to watch wrestling, I hope Penn continues this event and grows the number of teams in attendance. While not as accessible as an open tournament this is a great place to meet coaches and wrestlers.
A few other standout performances:
• Kevin Devoy of Drexel at 133 lbs beat two ranked opponents on the way to a title. That makes him true-wrestling wrestler of the week.
• The returning national champion never appears to have an easy time of it: Jason Tsirtsis looked like he went through a real battle during the day and was seriously challenged by Rider’s BJ Clagon in the semi-finals coming from behind to win. He also won a tight match with Appalachian State’s Dyllan Cottrell in the finals 5-4. “Tshirt” while not flashy, is so technically sound and mentally strong he never appears phased in tight matches or when he’s down.
• Local wrestler Taylor Walsh grew up across the river from Philadelphia in Cherry Hill New Jersey. He delighted his fans that don’t get to see him wrestle as much as they used to now that he’s been at the University of Indiana. Walsh is ranked in true-wrestling’s excitement index and he didn’t disappoint; he pinned in 4 of his 5 matches including the finals.
• At 184 lbs two highly ranked All Americans squared off in the finals with Pitt Panther Max Thomusseit winning over Penn’s Lorenzo Thomas 5-3. Thomusseit controlled the pace of the match scoring the only takedown points. This looks to be a match up that we’ll see in again in March at the NCAA tournament.
Stay tuned, as I’ll be posting tons of match (highlight) videos throughout the week. I will like them to this page as they are uploaded. I focused on National qualifiers and PA preps.
285lbs All American, PA prep Dist 11 and Wyoming Seminary graduate Mike McMullan from Northwestern didn’t wrestle yesterday. His coaches said that he’d be back on the mat after Thanksgiving.
Juan Adams over John Rizzo
mike racciato over matt cimato
taylor walsh over austin geerings
Lorenzo Thomas over Ryan Davies
Max Thomusseit over Mike Curby
semi’s forys over pengilly
kevin devoy over dom malone
tsirtsis over clagon
Dyllan Cottrell over Mike Racciato
Garbinsky over Blanco
walsh over harger finals
Max Thomusseit over Lorenzo Thomas finals
Dejournette over Ng finals
taylor walsh over jim wilson