March 8, 2008

Five Bears Alive After First Half of EIWA Championship

March 8, 2008

Lancaster, PA - After day one of the EIWA Championship at Franklin & Marshall College, five members of the Brown wrestling team are still alive. Senior tri-captain Levon Mock (Bangor, MI) and junior Matt Gevelinger (Mineral Point, WI) have advanced to the semifinals of the winner's bracket, assuring at least a top six finish at 285 pounds and 184 pounds, respectively. Senior tri-captains Jeff Schell (Zion Grove, PA) and Mark Savino (Princeton, NJ), as well as junior Chris Musser (Vestal, NY), remain alive in the consolation brackets at 133, 141, and 165, respectively. With 21 points, the Bears are in eighth place as a team.

As the third seed at 285, Mock faced off with unseeded Samuel Ritter of Princeton in the first round, easily taking a 12-1 major decision. In his second round match-up with sixth seed Christopher Birchler of East Stroudsburg, Mock won a 5-0 decision to advance to the semis. On Sunday, he will face seventh seed Ryan Flores of Columbia, who drew a first-round bye then upset the second seed in the draw, pinning Trey McLean of Penn in just 35 seconds.

Gevelinger drew the fourth seed at 184, beating unseeded Brooks Keefer of American, 10-3, in his first-round match. Gevelinger was at a disadvantage in his next match, as fifth seed Kenneth Caldwell of Navy had drawn a first-round bye, but the Brown junior pitched a shutout of his own, winning 4-0. On Sunday, the Brown junior will take on the top seed at 184, Scott Ferguson of Army. In the earlier meeting between the two this season, Gevelinger dropped a close 5-3 decision.

Both Mock and Gevelinger can clinch one of the 47 NCAA qualifier bids with one win on Sunday.

Schell was the fifth seed at 133, and he easily dispatched Matthew Swallow of East Stroudsburg in the first round, winning a 16-0 tech fall in 6:12. However, he lost a close 6-4 decision to fourth seed Joseph Baker in the second round. In his first consolation match, Schell dominated with a pin of Stephen Sabreen of Franklin & Marshall in just one minute flat. He'll need a win over Matthew Mariacher of American to start Sunday to qualify for consideration for an at-large NCAA bid, but could clinch his trip to NCAAs with two victories.

Savino and Musser were both unseeded, and both won two consolation bouts after first-round losses. At 141, Savino lost to seventh seed Luke Chohany of Bucknell, 6-2, but won 7-4 decisions over Joey Breen of Navy and Steve Sutton of Columbia to advance to Sunday. He'll open his day against Adam Frey of Cornell, the fifth seed at 141.

Musser drew Andy Rendos of Bucknell, the fourth seed at 165, to start the tourney, losing 8-2. He recovered with a dominant 15-4 major decision over Alejandro Enriquez of Princeton, then upset sixth-seeded Matt Pletcher of Rutgers, 7-1, avenging a 3-1 overtime loss earlier this year. He will have to avenge another loss on Sunday to advance, as he faces Mike Galante of Lehigh, the seventh seed, who beat him 9-2 in their first meeting of 2008.

The Bears' other five entrants - senior Nathan Myers (Warwick, RI) at 125, sophomore Mark Bloom (Manchester, NY) at 149, junior Tom Fazio (Ringwood, NJ) at 157, freshman Kasey McCurdy (Lancaster, OH) at 174, and junior Branden Stearns (Edinboro, PA) at 197 - were all eliminated in two matches.

The top four finishers in each weight class, as well as seven wild cards, will qualify for the NCAA Championship, held at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo., on March 20-22.