Cornell continued to build momentum on Saturday when it won all three of its matchups at the Journeymen Northeast Duals. No. 8 Cornell took its first win over Drexel, 40-0, to open the day. It then followed that with a victory over No. 9 Central Michigan in a tight 17-15 face-off. The Red grabbed its final win of the day to finish off No. 12 Oklahoma, 25-13.
“Obviously, Drexel, we kind of dominated those guys. They are a solid team but we just matched up well. Central Michigan is a very, very good wrestling program,” said head coach Rob Koll. “It was a top matchup. Everyone wrestled well and very hard.”
Overall for the day, No. 1-ranked senior Kyle Dake went 3-0 with a pin and a major decision. Freshman No. 9 Nahshon Garrett went 3-0 as well, with a technical fall and a major decision. Sophomore Jace Bennett grabbed bonus points in all three of his wins with two major decisions to add to his fall.
“Nahshon has done phenomenal all year long. He is 13-0. It was a huge win for a freshman to beat a nationally ranked senior,” Koll said. “Everyone wrestled well. We have 30 matches and to point out one or two guys is [tough], when every single match they wrestled hard.”
Dake echoed his coach’s sentiments, adding that younger wrestlers stepped up when an upperclassman was sidelined with an injury.
“I was happy with our performance. We had a couple guys who were banged up and a couple of them couldn’t wrestle — Steve Bosak was the main one. I thought the duel might come down to us having Steve or not having Steve, but we had young guys step up,” he said. “Nahshon Garrett, Craig Scott, Duke Pickett, Jace Benett all stepped up. It was nice to have those younger guys be able to step in for some of the older guys and get the job done.”
The Red will head to Las Vegas next weekend for the Las Vegas Invitational, which begins on Friday. The team will then head to the Grapple at the Garden on Dec. 16, where it will see 13 other collegiate teams. The Red will face the University of Missouri and Oklahoma State in that tournament.
“We had some kids that wrestled above our expectations and I have extremely high expectations for these kids … It is certainly a lot better to come off a win than a loss,” Koll said.
Original Author: Haley Velasco