SDSU’s Pack Wins; Three Others Place at Keystone Classic

PHILADELPHIA – Fresh off of a 31-6 win over Drexel last night, South Dakota State regrouped and wrestled in the 2014 Keystone Classic at The Palestra, hosted by Penn on Sunday. Senior Cody Pack continued his dominating weekend with a tournament title, while Brance Simms, Luke Zilverberg and David Kocer all took fourth after wrestling their way back in the consolation bracket.

“Cody did what he was supposed to do,” head coach Chris Bono said. “He was the top seed in the tournament and took care of business. I’m proud of his efforts.”

SDSU JackrabbitsPack, who is ranked as high as #10 in the national rankings at 157, went 4-0 en route to the Keystone Classic title. Pack opened­ with back-to-back major decisions over Danell Luty (Campbell) and Luke Blanton (Indiana) 18-8 and 14-6, respectively. Pack faced his toughest test in the semifinals against Chad Walsh (Rider), but the two-time NCAA qualifier prevailed with a 9-3 decision. Pack controlled the championship match against Ronnie Garbinsky (Pittsburgh) from the beginning and ended up winning by major decision, 10-1.

This is Pack’s second tournament title on the young season as he also won the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open and placed second at the Bison Open as he lost to #1 Dylan Ness (Minnesota).

“It was great to see those three battle back after early losses,” Bono added. “It was a grind for those guys having to make weight two days in a row and then have to come all the way back. Even though the consolation finals didn’t go the way we hoped, they will learn from it.”

Simms (133 lbs) opened his day 1-1 with a major decision over Payton Shuford (Appalachian State) in his first match and an 8-3 loss to Dominic Malone (Northwestern) in his second. Simms rebounded to win back-to-back matches against a pair of Hoosiers in Indiana’s Chris Caton and Alonzo Shephard 3-2 and 8-2, respectively. In the consolation semis, Simms beat Vincent Pizzuto (Eastern Michigan), 6-3, but suffered a sudden victory defeat to Caleb Richardson (Penn), 3-1 in the finals.

After dropping his first match 3-2, redshirt freshman Zilverberg (141) rattled off three wins in a row over. Zilverberg majored Jon Edwards, 11-2 before getting redemption on last night’s opponent Franco Ferraina, 8-5. The Drexel wrestler got the best of Zilverberg last night in sudden victory. Zilverberg went on to beat Javon Johnson (Appalachian State), 6-3 and Mike Longo (Appalachian State), 12-7. In the consolation finals, Zilverberg was pinned in the final seconds of the first period by Jameson Oster (Northwestern).

Likewise, true freshman Kocer (174) dropped his opening match to Dylan Morris (Stanford), 4-3 before rattling off three straight. Kocer majored Derek Thurman (VMI), 11-3 and beat Josef Johnson (Harvard) and Daniel McDevitt (Penn) 4-1 and 3-2, respectively. In the consolation semis, Kocer redeemed his earlier loss to Morris in convincing fashion with a 6-0 shutout. Kocer ended up placing fourth after a medical forfeit in the consolation championship.

Brady Ayers (184) and #18 Nate Rotert (197) both fought their way back in the consolation bracket, but dropped decisions in the consolation quarterfinals.

Isaac Andrade (125) and Kyle Leet (165) both won their opening matches, but dropped their next two as Andrade beat Jake Gromacki (Pittsburgh), 8-3, while Leet got a defensive fall against Garrison Matthews (Campbell) at 5:16.

“We are going to take a lot out of this weekend,” Bono said. “I think our guys learned a lot, but now it’s time to get home and get ready for a tough Wisconsin team on Saturday.”

SDSU hosts the UW Saturday at 2 p.m. in Frost Arena.

Keystone Classic results

View More College News

Would you like to receive the latest Minnesota wrestling news in your inbox?