Wrestling Hangs Tough With #19 Penn, Falls 19-13
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Randy Martin

NEW YORK - The Columbia wrestling team hung tough today, and was just a few points shy of upsetting #19 Penn, as the Lions fell 19-13 in University Gymnasium on Saturday, February 12. Junior Eren Civan notched a major upset for Columbia, as he beat #18 Gabriel Burak at 165 pounds.

"Tonight was a real close dual and it was well within our grasp," said Brendan Buckley, the Andrew F. Barth Head Coach of Wrestling.  "It stings a little knowing tonight could have been icing on the cake for a tremendous weekend for our program.  That being said, we wrestled hard and put forth a lot of effort and we seem to be wrestling our best as the post-season is around the corner. We were very pleased with Jake O'Hara once again, as well as Civan taking down another ranked opponent. Nick Mills and Kevin Lester have been very consistent during the second semester, and Mike Pushpak continues to improve as he took it to the fifth-ranked wrestler in the country."

The visiting Quakers won the first four bouts to jump out to a 13-0 lead. Penn Gottfried dropped an 8-2 decision to #17 Mark Rappo at 125 pounds, Kyle Gilchrist lost 11-1 to #5 Rollie Peterkin at 133 pounds, and Josh Houldsworth lost a 7-2 decision to #10 Zach Kemmerer at 141 pounds.

It was O'Hara at 157 pounds that got Columbia on the board with a decisive win over Brad Wukie.  O'Hara led 4-1 after the first, and pushed his lead to 5-1 with an escape in the second.  He outscored Wukie 4-1 again in the third and got an extra point for 1:33 of riding time en route to a 10-2 major decision.

The win gave the Lions a spark, as the team went on to win three of the final five bouts.  Following O'Hara's match, Civan took to the mat against #18 Gabriel Burak.

After a scoreless first period, it was Civan that broke through first with an escape in the second, and carried a 1-0 lead into the third.  Burak answered with an escape of his own in the final stanza to even the score at 1-1, and Civan scored the winning takedown with seven seconds left on a scramble for a huge 3-1 win.

Nick Mills and Kevin Lester both pulled out close wins at 184 and heavyweight, respectively.  Mills struck first with an escape to begin the second after neither wrestler managed to score in the opening three minutes.  After taking a 3-2 lead into the third, Erich Smith escaped within seconds to begin the period to make it 3-3.  That would be all the scoring in regulation, as the match went to overtime, but Mills needed just 16 seconds for a takedown for the sudden victory win.

At heavyweight, Lester found himself tied 2-2 with Kyle Cowan after the second period. The junior had a reversal to start the third, and held on for a narrow 4-3 decision.

Prior to Lester's match, Pushpak put up a good fight against fifth-ranked Micah Burak.  Pushpak scored first with an early takedown, but Burak came back to lead 4-3 after the first.  The second period saw little action, as Burak escaped and had a takedown to lead 7-3 entering the final period.  Puskpak escaped to begin the third to cut his deficit to 7-4, but Burak went on the attack. Fighting to the end, Pushpak managed a last second escape to prevent the major decision.

Columbia (7-6, 1-2 Ivy League) will close out the dual portion of its schedule when it travels to Harvard and Brown on February 18-19.


Penn 19, Columbia 13

125 - #17 Mark Rappo (PENN) dec. Penn Gottfried (COL), 8-2
133 - #5 Rollie Peterkin (PENN) major dec. Kyle Gilchrist (COL), 11-1
141 - #10 Zach Kemmerer (PENN) dec. Josh Houldsworth (COL), 7-2
149 - Andrew Lenzi (PENN) dec. Shane Strumwasser (COL), 3-1sv
157 - Jake O'Hara (COL) major dec. Brad Wukie (PENN), 11-2
165 - Eren Civan (COL) dec. #18 Gabriel Burak (PENN), 3-1
174 - Scott Giffin (PENN) dec. Stephen West (COL), 8-3
184 - Nick Mills (COL) dec. Erich Smith (PENN), 5-3
197 - #5 Micah Burak (PENN) dec. Mike Pushpak (COL), 14-7
Hwt. - #20 Kevin Lester (COL) dec. Kyle Cowan (PENN), 4-3