February 26, 2001

Wrestling Shares Ivy Title

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Apparently when the Cornell grapplers were young their parents taught them to share.

And share they did this weekend when they split a portion of the Ivy League title following a 28-8 triumph over Princeton.

Following a slow start in which the Red dropped two of its first three matches, the squad turned into high octane mode, taking six of the final seven decisions.

Harvard and Pennsylvania join Cornell as co-Ancient Eight champion.

The opening match was auspicious enough for the Red as freshman Alejandro Alvarez recorded a major decision over Princeton’s Brian Kirschman in the 125-lb. class.

After faltering in the following two contests, Junior Gabe Webster put the Red in the driver seat for the remainder of the afternoon with a win over Jeff Bernd in the 141-lb. division.

Veteran senior Leo Urbinelli was on the winning end of the biggest margin of any match with a 15-2 punishing of Jon Bunt.

The visitors would close the gap to 11-8, but the homeside cruised from that point, controlling the tempo of the rest of the matches

Perhaps, the most promising aspect of the Princeton win was the well-balanced effort.

“I’m pleased with just about everyone,” affirmed head coach Rob Koll.

On the heels of the emotional win over the Tigers, the Red faced Rider.

Cornell was able to avenge an earlier loss to the school, which had marked one of the low points of this year’s campaign.

The Red led nearly the entire match, after coming up on the short end of a 3-1 decision in the 125-lb. weight class. Rider struggled mightily in Cornell’s six wins, as the Red picked up two pins and won by five or more in each of its four other triumphs.

The grapplers will not be able to bask in the glory of their Ivy League supremacy for long though.

The squad returns to action next weekend in the city of brotherly love to compete in the EIWA (national qualifying) Championships at Pennsylvania.

“It’s a new season now. It doesn’t matter what you have done,” offered Koll.

Cornell rounds out a list of favorites that include Lehigh, Harvard and host Pennsylvania.

In each of the 10 weight classes, the top two competitors will qualify for a slot in nationals. An additional 10 athletes will garner wild card passes to the nationals.

Archived article by Gary Schueller