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First-year 184-pounder Shane Hughes (top) is one of six seeded Columbia wrestlers in the 2012 EIWA Championships.
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Steven Ryan

Six Wrestlers Seeded For This Weekend's 2012 EIWA Championships

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 03/02/2012
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NEW YORK – The Columbia wrestling team returns to Princeton, N.J., this Saturday and Sunday to compete in the 2012 EIWA Championships at Princeton’s Jadwin Gym. Each Lions wrestler is vying for one of the EIWA’s 46 NCAA auto-qualifying spots.

The Lions boast six seeded wrestlers in the EIWA brackets. At 149 pounds, junior Steve Santos (19-7) is the No. 4 seed. Junior Jake O'Hara (25-12) received the No. 6 seed at 157 and senior Eren Civan (8-10) was picked as the 165-pound No. 7 seed. Junior 174-pounder Stephen West (29-11) is Columbia’s highest-seeded wrestler at No. 3. First-year Shane Hughes (20-10, 12-6 at 184) is the No. 8 seed for 184 and senior Kevin Lester (27-10) is the 285 fifth seed.

On Saturday, Session I opens with the round of 16 at 9 a.m., followed by the quarferfinals and consolation rounds at 11 a.m. Session II starts at 2:30 p.m. and will include semifinal rounds. On Sunday, Session III starts at 10 a.m. with the semi-consolation round. The place finals will commence at 11 a.m. and at their conclusion, Jadwin Gym will be cleared out and re-opened at 2 p.m. for the EIWA Hall of Fame introductions at 2:45 p.m. The EIWA championship finals will begin at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

For ticket information, go here. Free parking will be available next to Jadwin Gym but with the Ivy League Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships and a Princeton women’s lacrosse game on Saturday, it is encouraged to arrive early to get a spot.

The EIWA Championships will feature a live video stream through GoPrincetonTigers.tv. A minimum one-month subscription of $9.95 is required to view this weekend’s wrestling action. The official EIWA Twitter feed @2012EIWAChamps will also feature match updates.

The 14-school Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association features American, Army, Brown, Bucknell, Columbia, Cornell, Franklin & Marshall, Harvard, Lehigh, Navy, Penn, Princeton, Rutgers and Sacred Heart. The EIWA’s 46 NCAA auto-bids are the second-most of any NCAA Division I wrestling conference behind only the Big Ten’s 74 spots.

Conference 125 133 141 149 157 165 174 184 197 285 Total
Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association 3 5 6 6 6 4 4 4 5 3 46

For each weight class, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships feature 33 wrestlers with 29 auto qualifiers from the conference tournaments and four at-large qualifiers selected by the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee. In the final NCAA Division I Coaches' Panel Ranking of individual wrestlers, five Columbia wrestlers were ranked in the top 33 in their respective divisions: Kyle Gilchrist (133, 30th), Steve Santos (149, 23rd), Jake O'Hara (157, 33rd), Stephen West (174, 32nd) and Kevin Lester (285, 27th).

Columbia went 8-5 in dual season and tied for second place in the Ivy League this year. The Lions had six wrestlers garner All-Ivy League honors, including first-team selections Stephen West (174) and Steve Santos (149), second-team selection Shane Hughes (184) and honorable mentions Robert Dyar (125), Kyle Gilchrist (133) and Kevin Lester (285). West was a unanimous first-team pick.

Columbia was 4-3 against other teams in the EIWA this season with wins over Franklin & Marshall, Princeton, Brown and Harvard.

Here’s a breakdown of Columbia’s wrestlers:

125: Robert Dyar (15-17)
Top 3 Earn NCAA Bids

Dyar is 4-5 against EIWA opponents this season and 0-4 against the eight seeded wrestlers. The losses came against top-seeded Frank Perrelli of Cornell, No. 3 Billy Watterson of Brown and No. 8 Scott Filbert of Army (twice). Perrelli (25-5) is ranked at No. 6 in the nation in the final NCAA Division I Coaches’ Panel ranking. Princeton’s Garrett Frey is the second-seeded wrestler but he has not suited up since taking a win by forfeit against Millersville on Jan. 13 and his last actual bouts were on Jan. 7 against Davidson, VMI and Pitt.

133: Kyle Gilchrist (24-12)
Top 5 Earn NCAA Bids

Gilchrist is 4-4 against EIWA foes this season and is regarded as the nation’s No. 30 133-pounder in the final NCAA Division I Coaches’ Panel ranking. He is 1-4 against the top eight seeds. One of Gilchrist’s best wins of the year was a 6-1 decision over second-seeded Bryan Ortenzio of Penn. His losses to top-seeded Steven Keith of Harvard, No. 6 Jordan Thome of Army (twice) and No. 7 Nick Arujau of Cornell were all close bouts decided by five points or fewer. Keith is 27-7 on the year and is at No. 12 in the final NCAA Division I Coaches’ Panel ranking.

141: Matt Bystol (20-15)
Top 6 Earn NCAA Bids

Bystol is 5-6 against EIWA wrestlers this year and 0-3 against wrestlers in the top eight seeds. Aside from a technical fall to third-seeded Mike Veninger of Cornell, Bystol had a pair of tough bouts against fourth-seeded Adam Krop of Princeton and seventh-seeded Richard Durso of Franklin & Marshall. He hung tough with Durso before coming up just short in a 3-2 secision. Top-seeded Zack Kemmerer of Penn is ranked No. 11 by the NCAA coaches and he is 19-3 on the year.

149: No. 4 seed Steve Santos (19-7)
Top 6 Earn NCAA Bids

Santos is an impressive 7-1 against EIWA opponents this season and 1-1 against his fellow seeded wrestlers. One of Santos’ most thrilling wins of the year was his 2-0 sudden victory over third-seeded Chris Villalonga of Cornell back on Feb. 4. Penn’s Seth Robertson, edged Santos on Feb. 11, 6-4. Santos is ranked No. 23 in the nation by the NCAA Division I coaches and top-seeded Mario Mason (19-2) of Rutgers was ranked No. 6.

157: No. 6 seed Jake O'Hara (25-12)
Top 6 Earn NCAA Bids

O’Hara is 8-3 against EIWA wrestlers this season and is 1-3 against his fellow seeded wrestlers. He went 1-1 against seventh-seed James Rafferty of Army this year with a 5-2 win at the Body Bar System Invitational and a 4-1 loss at home on Jan. 14. O’Hara also had losses to top-seeded Kyle Dake of Cornell and third-seeded Walter Peppelman of Harvard. O’Hara is regarded at the No. 33 157-pounder in the nation by the NCAA Division I coaches. Top-seeded Dake (26-0) is No. 1 in the nation in the same ranking.

165: No. 7 seed Eren Civan (8-10)
Top 4 Earn NCAA Bids

Civan is 3-3 against EIWA foes this year and 0-2 against his fellow seeded wrestlers. Sixth-seeded Cole Gracey of Army edged Civan, 10-8, on Jan. 14 and third-seeded Lorenzo Thomas of Penn topped him, 9-3, on Feb. 11. Top-seeded Brandon Hatchett (14-3) of Lehigh is rated No. 15 by the NCAA Division I coaches. At the 2011 EIWA Championships, Civan punched his ticket to the NCAAs by finishing as the runner-up at 165. He will look to make a similar run this time around.

174: No. 3 seed Stephen West (29-11)
Top 4 Earn NCAA Bids

West is 11-4 against EIWA wrestlers this season and 3-1 against his fellow seeded wrestlers. At the Body Bar System Invitational, fifth-seed Billy George of Cornell edged West 3-2. Three months later, West shut down George for a 6-0 win in Ivy League dual action. West also had a 10-5 win over seventh-seeded Andy Lowy of Princeton and a 9-1 major decision over eighth-seeded Ian Korb of Penn. The NCAA Division I coaches rank West at No. 32 in the nation and top seeded Greg Zannetti (26-3) of Rutgers at No. 14.

184: No. 8 seed Shane Hughes (20-10, 12-6 at 184)
Top 4 Earn NCAA Bids

Hughes is 6-3 against EIWA 184-pounders this season and 0-2 against fellow seeded wrestlers. He dropped a pair of close matches to seventh-seeded Michael Gorman of Army. Gorman edged Hughes 14-11 on Jan. 14 and 6-5 at the New York State Collegiate Wrestling Championships. Top-seeded Steve Bosak (26-3) of Cornell is ranked No. 5 in the nation by the NCAA Division I coaches.

197: Nick Mills (12-13, 4-5 at 197)
Top 5 Earn NCAA Bids

Mills is 1-5 against EIWA 197-pounders this season and 0-4 against the seeded wrestlers. Two of those losses were very close. Seventh-seeded Derek Stanley of Army took a 4-2 sudden victory on Jan. 14 and sixth-seeded James Fox of Harvard slipped away with a 4-2 win on Feb. 18. Top-seeded Cam Simaz (22-1) of Cornell is ranked No. 1 in the nation by the NCAA Division I coaches.

285: No. 5 seed Kevin Lester (27-10)
Top 3 Earn NCAA Bids

Lester is 12-2 against EIWA wrestlers this season and 3-2 against his fellow seeded wrestlers. He went 2-1 against fifth-seeded Maciej Jochym of Cornell, with a 7-3 and an 11-7 wins in the Body Bar System Invitational a 6:00 loss by fall in dual action. Third-seeded Steve Graziano of Penn edged Lester 5-2 on Feb. 11. Lester pinned eighth-seeded David Ng of Harvard in 24 seconds on Feb. 18. Lester is ranked 27th in the nation by the NCAA Division I coaches. Lester placed fourth at the 2011 EIWAs to earn his spot at the NCAAs. Top-seeded and 2011 NCAA runner-up Ryan Flores (13-0) of American is ranked No. 1 by the NCAA Division I coaches.

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