The wrestling team will open its season this weekend as it hosts the Body Bar Invitational tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Newman Arena. Ranked 17th in the national by Amateur Wrestling News, Cornell will face off against 15th-ranked Edinboro University, American University, Army, Campbell University, Drexel University, Ithaca College, University of Oregon, Sacred Heart University and University of Virginia.
“We have been preparing for a good six weeks now,” said senior All-America and tri-captain Clint Wattenberg. “We’re trying to have a successful tournament, especially at home.”
The Red will look for strong performances from all of its wrestlers in the tournament. Among the wrestlers on the team, Cornell has several members who are among the top 20 in their respective classes going into the season.
Leading the way is Wattenberg in the 184-pound division. Wattenberg is coming off a breakout season last year, where he finished with a 43-7 record, claimed the EIWA title, and finished sixth at the NCAA tournament. This season he is ranked among the top five in the nation in numerous polls. Joining Wattenberg is fellow All-American sophomore Travis Lee, who returns from a phenomenal rookie season in the 125 class. He finished with a 33-9 record and took seventh in the nation, earning Rookie of the Year status in the EIWA and Ivies in addition to the All-American honors. He finds himself ranked sixth by Amateur Wrestling News going into the season.
In addition to Wattenberg and Lee, the Red has three other wrestlers ranked in the top 20. Senior Gabe Webster is ranked 17th in the 157-pound class after posting a 20-9 record last year. Junior tri-captain Scott Roth finds himself 18th in the nation at the 165-pound class, recording a 26-15 mark. Senior Matt Greenberg, who earned a title at the Sharpie Open and took second place at the EIWAs last year, goes into the season holding a ranking of 20th in the 197 class.
As for the EIWA rankings, Wattenberg, Lee, Webster, Roth, and junior Alejandro Alvarez in the 133 class rank first in their respective divisions. Greenberg is rated second, while junior Tyler Baier and senior captain Byron Warner are rated fifth in the 174 class and 141 class, respectively.
The tournament will also be the first time that several freshmen get to compete at the college level. This list includes Justinian Capone, John Cholish, Anthony Leardi, Dustin Manotti, James March, and Mike Reish.
The Red will face some tough competition, as several of the schools have wrestlers who are ranked nationally. Cory Ace of Edinboro is ranked seventh in the 133 class, while teammates Matt King (165) and David Shummon (197) are ranked ninth and seventh, respectively. Philip Simpson of Army is currently 10th nationally in the 141 class. Anthony Reynolds of Sacred Heart is tenth in 197, while Oregon’s Eddie Webb is tenth in the heavyweight division.
Cornell hopes, however, that a strong team effort will help them to triumph in the tournament.
“As a team we definitely want to win and win it big,” said Wattenberg. “We want to make a stand nationally.”
Archived article by Chris Callanan