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The Palestra Hosts 110th Showing of EIWA Championships

Previews: Brown | Columbia | Cornell | Harvard | Penn | Princeton

PHILADELPHIA -- The 110th showing of the EIWA Championships will be super-sized this year, but The Palestra is up to the task.

For the first time since 2009, Penn will host the EIWA Championships, which will take place on March 8-9 in Philadelphia and include four more teams this year with the addition of Binghamton, Boston U., Drexel and Hofstra.

A total of 47 EIWA wrestlers will earn automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament after this weekend, the second-most conference total in the country, trailing only the Big Ten (74). The allocation is as follows: 125 (6), 133 (4), 141 (5), 149 (4), 157 (5), 165 (5), 174 (3), 184 (4), 197 (7), 285 (4).

Fans will be able to watch the action live on FloWrestling.com or follow the live stats via TrackWrestling.com.

Seven-time defending EIWA champion No. 4 Cornell looks to claim its eighth-straight title behind seven nationally-ranked wrestlers . The Big Red returns a pair of 2013 NCAA All-Americans in 2013-14 Ivy League Wrestler of the year sophomore Nahshon Garrett (No. 1 at 125 pounds) and Mike Nevinger (No. 8 at 141 pounds) and a pair of 2013 NCAA qualifiers in senior Chris Villalonga (No. 3 at 149) and Jace Bennett (197).

Moreover, former Big Red standout and current volunteer assistant coach Kyle Dake will be inducted into the EIWA Hall of Fame this weekend, along with three other former Ivies.

The host Quakers, who finished third a year ago, will be led by the 2011-12 Ivy League Rookie of the Year junior Lorenzo Thomas. Thomas is ranked No. 11 at 184, and is 22-7 on the year, including a 10-1 mark against some of the wrestlers he'll be facing off against this weekend. At 165-pounds, sophomore Casey Kent owns a 16-5 record and is ranked No. 19 in the nation.

Brown sent a pair of wrestlers to the NCAA Tournament last year, including junior Ophir Bernstein (184), who looks to return to NCAAs for the third-straight season. Columbia hopes to improve upon its eighth-place showing from a year ago that saw a record three Lions reach the finals of their respective weight classes. Two of those wrestlers are back in seniors Matt Bystol (141) and Josh Houldsworth (165).

Harvard took seventh in 2013 and will be led again this year by two-time NCAA qualifier junior James Fox, who is ranked No. 7 at 197 and was one of nine unanimous selections to the All-Ivy first team a week ago. Princeton senior Garrett Frey (133), who missed last season due to injury, hopes to punch a ticket to his fourth NCAA Championships. The Tigers, at 11-4 on the year, finished the regular season with double-digit wins and fewer than five losses for the first time since 1980-81.

AUTOMATIC NCAA QUALIFER BREAKDOWN

Conference 125 133 141 149 157 165 174 184 197 285 Total
ACC 3 2 5 4 2 2 3 4 5 4 34
Big 12 3 2 3 3 2 2 4 1 2 2 24
Big Ten 7 8 6 6 8 8 7 7 8 9 74
EIWA 6 4 5 4 5 5 3 4 7 4 47
EWL 2 3 2 3 2 2 2 3 1 2 22
Mid-American 4 5 5 4 5 3 5 5 2 3 41
Pac-12 1 3 1 1 1 1 3 2 2 2 17
Southern 1 1 1 3 2 3 1 1 1 2 16
West Regional 2 1 1 1 2 3 1 2 1 1 15
Total Qualifiers 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 290