The Red wrestling squad took on a difficult schedule over winter break and emerged poised to take on its upcoming Ivy opponents. Senior tri-captain Leo Urbinelli paced Cornell over the vacation with strong performances at all three events, capped by Air Force ROTC Athlete of the Week honors on January 15 as well as an honorable mention earlier in the break.
The Red began winter break action by competing in the Midlands on December 29 and 30, hosted by Northwestern University. Urbinelli was the top finisher from Cornell, placing fifth at 157 pounds despite being seeded tenth. Junior tri-captain Clint Wattenberg was the other Red wrestler to place. He finished seventh after entering the tournament as the ninth seed. As a team Cornell finished in the top 20 in a very talented field. Second-ranked Minnesota won the competition with 144 points.
Cornell hosted its first dual match of the season on January 5 against Virginia. The Cavaliers started hot, winning the first three matches and taking a 9-0 lead. Urbinelli responded by winning a 7-2 decision, and the Red followed his lead, only dropping one match the rest of the evening. Senior Jim Stanec captured the only pin of the match at 174 pounds, and senior tri-captain Corey Anderson won his match by forfeit, staking the Red to a lead it never relinquished. Freshman Alejandro Alvarez won a major decision at 125 pounds in the evening’s final match to seal the 25-12 victory for Cornell.
The Red returned the visit later in the break, traveling to Hampton, Virginia to compete in the Virginia Duals on January 12 and 13. Cornell dropped its first match to Rider, 25-9. Sophomore Tom Waldron at 141 pounds as well as Urbinelli and Stanec each won their individual matches.
Cornell rebounded with a decisive 33-3 defeat of Old Dominion. Waldron and Urbinelli led the way with major decisions, and Wattenberg and classmate Gabe Webster at 149 pounds notched technical falls.
The Virginia Duals ended with a hotly contested match against Wisconsin, who entered the weekend ranked 18th in the country. The Badgers took a 16-16 victory by means of a tiebreaker. Wattenberg again picked up a major decision, while Webster, Urbinelli, Stanec, and Anderson also earned decisions. Urbinelli led the Big Red with a 3-0 record for the Duals.
Archived article by Alex Fineman