NEW YORK - The Columbia wrestling team hosted Ivy League foe Penn Saturday afternoon at the University (Blue) Gym. Despite a strong effort, the Lions fell to the Quakers 23-9. Each of the Lions senior co-captains, Steve Santos, Jake O'Hara and Stephen West won decisions in their final matches in the Blue Gym.
When wrestling got underway, the Quakers were able to build an early 11-0 lead with victories in each of the first three bouts. Columbia's first points came in dramatic fashion in the 149-pound bout.
Santos trailed by one point with just seconds remaining to Andrew Lenzi, but used a great sweep to put his opponent on his back and as the referee counted off, the clock ticked away the final seconds, but not before Santos was awarded four points for the takedown and near fall. Lenzi tallied the riding time, but it wasn't enough as Santos captured his 20th win of the year, a 7-4 decision.
The Lions closed the gap to 11-6 in the next bout with O'Hara notching a 4-1 decision over Troy Hernandez. Columbia's co-captain scored the only points of the opening period, two points on a takedown, and then increased his lead to 3-0 with an escape to start the second period. Hernandez scored his only point of the bout on an escape later in the period. Neither grappler was able to add any points in the final period and O'Hara, with the riding time point, recorded his 18th win of the year.
The 165-pound bout featured the evenly matched Josh Houldsworth and Casey Kent. Kent would register the bout's only point, an escape in the second period. He would hold off the numerous late attempts by Houldsworth to shoot for his legs and hang on for the 1-0 win.
West scored the final three points for Columbia with an 8-4 decision over Ian Korb in the 174-pound bout. West built a 5-1 lead over the first two periods and was able to keep the four-point advantage at the final horn with a reversal in the third period and the riding time point.
Penn went on to capture the final three bouts to complete the win.
Columbia wraps up the regular season with two road matches next weekend. The Lions will do battle with Harvard at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22 in Cambridge, Mass. and then take on Brown in the 2012-13 season finale Saturday, Feb. 23 at 12 p.m. in Providence, R.I.
Penn 23, Columbia 9
125 - Mark Rappo (P) wins by maj. dec. over Penn Gottfried (C) - 17-5
133 - Jeff Canfroa (P) wins by decision over Matt Bystol (C) - 8-2
141 - C.J. Cobb (P) wins by maj. dec. over Alec Mooradian (C) - 19-8
149 - Steve Santos (C) wins by decision over Andrew Lenzi (P) - 7-4
157 - Jake O'Hara (C) wins by decision over Troy Hernandez (P) - 4-1
165 - Casey Kent (P) wins by decision over Josh Houldsworth (C) - 1-0
174 - Stephen West (C) wins by decision over Ian Korb (P) - 8-4
184 - Canaan Bethea (P) wins by decision over Drew Rebling (C) - 7-4
197 - Micah Burak (P) wins by decision over Nick Mills (C) - 4-3
285 - Steven Graziano (P) wins by decision over Chris Manna (C) - 5-3