With a solid win over No. 14 Lehigh now in the books – and with the tough dual meets of January now past – the No. 13 wrestling team is set to begin its Ivy League schedule this weekend against Columbia. And although the Red can look forward to some easier matches against its Ancient Eight opponents, the team does not seem to have lost a step in its preparation or intensity. Indeed, the Red is now looking for a number of wrestlers to step up before the NCAA national tournament begins on March 16.
One wrestler who has been to the tournament in past years is senior tri-captain Mike Mormile (133 pounds). The Monroe, N.Y., native had wrestled for Cornell at 125 pounds in previous years, competing at both the 2004 and 2005 events.
Mormile most recently turned in a solid performance against Lehigh’s John Stout, recording four takedowns on his way to a 9-4 victory. Mormile has earned an 18-8 record so far this year, and he is currently ranked 14th in the nation.
“He’s just bigger and stronger now,” said assistant coach Steve Garland. “He’s not worried about cutting weight anymore, so he can focus on technique.”
Garland noted that Mormile also brings a strong leadership presence to the team.
“He doesn’t just lead by example,” Garland said. “He works harder than anybody, and he’s vocal. You need that as a captain. You don’t need a lot of those guys, but you need one of them at least.”
Head coach Rob Koll noted Mormile’s efforts to improve his skills.
“He gets the most out of his ability,” Koll said. “He maximizes his potential. Mike isn’t always the better athlete, but he’ll work as hard as anybody in the country.”
Meanwhile, sophomore Steve Anceravage (165 pounds) is looking to break out into the upper level of college wrestling. He is currently ranked 13th in the nation with a 17-6 record, and he is coming off a tough win over Lehigh’s Dave Nakasone.
Anceravage – a Pennsylvania high school state champion – missed all of last year with an injury, and he is still working to develop his potential.
“He just goes out there and does whatever comes natural,” Garland said. “He’s [still] got a lot of work to do. But the positive side is that he’s so talented, he can go out and win just based on talent. Just wait until he gets a system and a structure, and starts developing other parts of his game.”
Anceravage has been particular strong this year in tournaments. He finished second in his weight class at the Body Bar Invitational at Newman Arena, and took third place at the Las Vegas Invitational. He advanced to the finals at the Southern Scuffle in December, where he lost a narrow championship match to the nation’s No. 5 wrestler at 165 pounds, Matt Pell of Missouri.
“Steve’s the type of kid that goes out there in a tournament as a 12 seed, and knocks out the three seed in the second round,” Garland said. “So that’s why I’m excited for him in a tournament situation.”