March 3, 2007
East Stroudsburg, PA - For the first time since the 2003-2004 season, the Brown wrestling team will send two wrestlers to the NCAA Tournament. Tri-captains Shawn Kitchner (Stratford, WI) and Levon Mock (Bangor, MI) finished fourth in their respective weight classes at the EIWA Championship at East Stroudsburg University, earning automatic bids to the national championships. Junior Mark Savino (Princeton, NJ), Brown's other wrestler competing on Saturday, finished in sixth at 141 pounds. As a team, Brown finished in 10th with 34.5 points for the tournament.
Kitchner, who wrestled for the first time this weekend since what was then-thought to be a season-ending injury on Jan. 7, came out determined to get one more weekend of wrestling before ending his collegiate career. In his consolation semifinal match, he faced second-seeded Zach Shanaman of Penn, who is ranked 10th in the country at 165. Kitchner took a 4-2 lead, scoring a takedown late in the third period to clinch a birth at nationals with a 6-2 victory. He faced #20 Andy Rendos of Bucknell in the consolation final, and grabbed a 4-2 lead after two takedowns. However, Rendos tied the match on a reversal just before the end of the second period, then got two more points on a takedown in the third for a 6-4 win.
Mock began his day with his second big win over Columbia's Kevin Lester in just over two weeks. On Feb. 16, Mock's pin of Lester gave Brown a 21-20 victory in a dual at the Pizzitola center, completing a 12-point comeback in the final two matches. This time, Mock cruised again, building a 13-4 lead before finally pinning Lester at 5:24 to clinch a spot at nationals. In the consolation finals, he faced Army's Nathan Thobaben for the second time in two days and third time this season. Thobaben took the rubber match on a pin at 1:38, after Mock had defeated him 4-3 the day before.
At 141 pounds, Savino opened with unseeded Kyle Borshoff of American, who had upset top-seeded Max Meltzer of Harvard in the first round on Friday. Borshoff built a 5-0 lead and held on, defeating Savino, 9-3. Savino still had a shot at an at-large bid, facing eighth-seed Brett McCurdy of Penn in the fifth-place match. The Brown junior held a 3-1 lead late in the match, but McCurdy scored a reversal with 10 seconds remaining to force overtime. Neither wrestler scored in the pair of 30-second tiebreakers, and McCurdy scored a sudden-victory takedown 27 seconds into the second overtime for the 5-3 win.
Kitchner and Mock will have two weeks to prepare for the NCAA Tournament, held from March 15-17 at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The tournament will be the final competition for Kitchner.
165 Pounds - #8 Shawn Kitchner (Fourth Place)
Cons. Semifinal - Kitchner dec. #2 Zach Shanaman (Penn), 6-2
Cons. Final - #4 Andy Rendos (Bucknell) dec. Kitchner, 6-4
285 Pounds - #5 Levon Mock (Fourth Place)
Cons. Semifinal - Mock WBF #6 Kevin Lester (Columbia), 5:24
Cons. Final - #4 Nathan Thobaben (Army) WBF Mock, 1:38
141 Pounds - #6 Mark Savino (Sixth Place)
Cons. Semifinal - Kyle Borshoff (American) dec. Savino, 9-3
Fifth-Place Match - #8 Brett McCurdy (Penn) dec. Savino, 5-3 s.v.