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Chambersburg's Drew Peck chooses Brown for wrestling

Having a major of applied math might seem a little odd on many college wrestling rosters.

But not at Brown University, which lists disciplines such as mechanical engineering, biochemistry & molecular biology, international relations and chemical engineering among its wrestlers' majors.

Chambersburg senior Drew Peck will add his stated major of applied math to that roster next year. Peck recently committed to the Bears' program, now in its fourth year under coach Todd Beckerman.

"I wanted to get it out of the way early," said Peck, the reigning P.O. Wrestler of the Year. "Now I can focus on training and tournaments coming up."

Peck, who was 38-7 last year and placed fourth in the PIAA Championships, had knee surgery after the season in April and missed the summer grind of tournaments. But he's starting back up this weekend and he should be ready to rock by the time the high school season begins.

"Brown is not known for wrestling, but the coach is fairly new there and he's turning the program around," Peck said. "I think the guys in my class should be pretty strong."

Peck ended up taking visits to three schools - Brown, Air Force Academy and Cal-Poly. All three had ties to coaches formerly at the University of Maryland, where Drew's older brother Dawson is on the team.

"Applied math is one of Brown's best majors," Peck said. "And they wrestle in the EIWA (Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association), which is the second-best league in the country for wrestling and gets the second-most qualifiers to nationals."

Chambersburg coach Matt Mentzer said, "Academics has always been important to Drew. Doing the work here has afforded him the opportunity to set himself up well for his future at an Ivy League school. He can challenge for some good things up there."

Brown was 5-10 a year ago. On this year's schedule, the Bears wrestle in tournaments at Navy, Franklin & Marshall and Pitt, and wrestle Bloomsburg, F&M, Bucknell and Penn in dual meets.

"I'll probably wrestle 184 or 197 in college," said Peck, who expects to be at 182 this season and will add to his career record of 103-28. "I wrestled with some of the guys at all three schools I visited and some of them beat me around pretty good. I know I have to get better at getting off bottom, because the guys are good on top in college and there is riding time."

Peck has a year's worth of time to work on those skills, but he'll be busy in the meantime.

His goals for this season? They're lofty - win the Beast of the East, win Escape the Rock and win a PIAA title.

"I've placed high in all of them, so they're within reach," he said.

He'll have to apply something other than math, though.