Last updated: February 19. 2013 11:49PM - 190 Views

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The 80th annual Wilkes Open will be held today at Wilkes University's Marts Center, with wrestling beginning at 9 a.m.

The Rose Bowl of Wrestling, which the tournament has become to be known as in its history, will feature approximately 250 collegiate wrestlers competing from all over the country as 18 schools will be represented in addition to the host school. Of those 18 programs, 11 are Division I schools.

The D-I schools with representatives are Appalachian State, Bloomsburg, Bucknell, Columbia, Lehigh, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Rider, Rutgers and Virginia Tech.

Vito Pasone, a PIAA runner-up from Meyers last season, is now a freshman wrestler for Appalachian State and is slated to take part. Virginia Tech is ranked No. 11 in the country, while Maryland is No. 18, Penn is 22 and Lehigh is 25.

The Colonels, meanwhile enter their annual event ranked No. 24 in the latest NWCA poll, and there are 19 grapplers on the team who have at least five wins this season and 16 wrestlers who have a .500 mark or better. Kris Krawchuk (149 pounds) and Myzar Mendoza (133) are ranked eighth and ninth, respectively in their weight classes in the NWCA individual rankings. Mendoza holds a 12-2 record, while Krawchuk is 10-2 on the season.

Mendoza is a two-time finalist at the Wilkes Open. The junior won his bracket as a freshman and was runner-up last year. Krawchuk, also a junior, was fourth at last year's tournament.

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