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March 14, 2012

SAINT LOUIS – Six Pitt wrestlers will begin action in the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Champions on Thursday at the Scottrade Center in Saint Louis.

All six Panthers qualified automatically with their performance at the Eastern Wrestling League Tournament, where they captured the title for the second consecutive year.

Two Pitt wrestlers received high seeds in their respective weight classes. Matt Wilps leads the way with a three-seed at 197 pounds, while Tyler Nauman’s great end to the regular season and in the conference tournament helped him land the sixth seed at 149.

Nauman is set to compete in his fourth national tournament, as is Ethan Headlee at 197 pounds. Anthony Zanetta (125) will be making his third trip to nationals, while Shelton Mack (133) and P.J. Tasser (HWT) will compete at nationals for the first time.

A closer look at each weight:

125 – Anthony Zanetta (27-4), unseeded

Wins against opponents in bracket: Jared Germaine (Eastern Michigan), Garrett Frey (Princeton), Shane Young (West Virginia), Tyler Iwamura (Cal-Bakersfield), and Johnni Dijulius (Ohio State)

Losses in bracket: No. 10 Nicholas Megaludis (Penn State), No. 12 Steve Bonanno (Hofstra), and Trent Sprenkle (North Dakota State)

First round opponent: Coltin Fought (North Carolina State) 28-11

First potential seeded opponent if he wins: No. 3 Alan Water (Missouri) 25-2

How he qualified: Won the EWL Tournament for the third straight season


133 – Shelton Mack (20-8), unseeded

Wins in bracket: No. 7 A.J. Schopp (Edinboro), Frank Martellotti (Penn State), Nathan Pennesi (West Virginia), Jamie Franco (Hofstra)

Losses in bracket: No. 2 Logan Stieber (Ohio State), No. 7 A.J. Schopp (Edinboro), No. 8 Zac Stevens (Michigan), Ridge Kiley (Nebraska), Jamie Franco (Hofstra)

First round opponent: Frank Lomas (Cal-Bakersfield) 23-5

First potential seeded opponent if he wins: No. 1 Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State) 24-1

How he qualified: Finished second at the EWL Tournament


149 – Tyler Nauman (27-5), seeded sixth

Wins in bracket: No. 8 Eric Grajales (Michigan), No. 9 David Habat (Edinboro), Justin Accordino (Hofstra), Owen Wilkinson (Lock Haven), Bryce Busler (Bloomsburg), Josh Wilson (Utah Valley)

Losses in bracket: No. 1 Frank Molinaro (Penn State), No. 5 Ian Miller (Kent State), No. 9 David Habat (Edinboro), No. 10 Cam Tessari (Ohio State)

First round opponent: Dean Pavlou (Chattanooga) 20-9

First seeded opponent if he wins: No. 11 Taylor Walsh (Indiana)

How he qualified: Won his fourth straight EWL Championship, the first Pitt wrestler and just the sixth wrestler from any school to accomplish the feat.


174 – Ethan Headlee (15-7), unseeded

Wins in bracket: Seth Creasy (Lock Haven), Lance Bryson (West Virginia), Mike Dessino (Bloomsburg)

Losses in bracket: No. 6 Ryan DesRoches (Cal Poly), No. 9 Nick Heflin (Ohio State), No. 11 Justin Zeerip (Michigan), Patrick Martinez (Wyoming),

First round opponent: No. 8 Leroy Munster (Northwestern) 23-10

Next seeded opponent if he wins: No. 9 Nick Heflin (Ohio State)

How he qualified: Won his second straight EWL title


197 – Matt Wilps (30-3), third seed

Wins in bracket: No. 2 Chris Honeycutt (Edinboro), No. 9 Alfonso Hernandez (Wyoming), No. 12 Joe Kennedy (Lehigh), Brandon Palik (Drexel), Morgan McIntosh (Penn State), Richard Perry (Bloomsburg), Andrew Campolattano (Ohio State), Max Huntley (Michigan), Keith Witt (Kent State)

Losses in bracket: No. 2 Chris Honeycutt (Edinboro), No. 8 Matt Powless (Indiana)

First round opponent: Bagna Tovuujav (George Mason) 20-3

First seeded opponent if he wins: No. 6 Brent Haynes (Missouri) or No. 11 Micah Burak (Penn) in quarterfinals

How he qualified: Won the EWL title, beating top-ranked and unbeaten Chris Honeycutt in the finals


285 – P.J. Tasser (13-8), unseeded

Wins in bracket: Quintas McCorkle (Clarion)

Losses in bracket: Ernest James (Edinboro)

First round opponent: Kevin Innis (Boston) 21-5

First seeded opponent if he wins: Clayton Jack (Oregon State)

How he qualified: Finished third at the EWL Tournament, winning two overtime matches and not giving up a single takedown in the tournament




Six Pitt Wrestlers Set for NCAA Championships in Saint Louis

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