November 16, 2001

Hoping for Loneliness at the Top

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The Cornell wrestling team is one of the most consistently successful varsity teams on campus. This tradition of excellence combined with a talent laden squad at all of the weight classes will indeed make for a great 2001-02 campaign.

Wrestling International News Magazine ranked Cornell’s freshman class in the top 20 nationally. The rookies will work under the watchful eyes of head coach Rob Koll and talented senior captains, Chris Wattenberg and Jim Stanec. The following is a rundown of Koll’s squad broken down by weight class:

125 — Two freshmen, Travis Lee and Mike Mormile will be the two wrestlers vying for playing time. Lee cleaned house this summer with a junior national championship in both the freestyle and the Greco-Roman categories. Mormile won the New York State Championship in high school and was named the top 112-pound wrestler in the country this year.

133 — Sophomores Alejandro Alvarez and Doug Jesse will once again battle for the starting role as they did last season in the 125 pound weight class. Alvarez had a solid freshman season, going 14-14 and placing fourth at the EIWA tournament. Jesse finished with a 14-10 record.

141 — Junior Byron Warner appears to be the likely starter after a breakout sophomore season with 20-11 record and a third place finish in the EIWA tournament. Competition could come from a two-time Idaho state champion, sophomore Jarid Wolfley, who returns to Cornell after a two-year Mormon mission in South America.

149 — Sophomore Tom Waldron qualified for the NCAA tournament and boasted a 22-13 record last season. BYU transfer Brandon Anderson figures to push Waldron for the starting position. In high school, Anderson won three Utah State titles.

157 — Junior Gabe Webster leads Cornell’s deepest weight class. Webster posted a 18-14 record and grabbed fifth place in the EIWA tournament last season. Sophomore Andy Breiner will challenge for the starting job. Breiner went 8-1 last season before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury.

165 — Sophomore Scott Roth is the front runner for the starting job. Last year, Roth compiled an 11-9 record in his freshman campaign. Sophomore Ray Callaway figures to be in the mix.

174 — Stanec, ranked as high as fourth in some preseason polls, hopes to cap off his senior season with an NCAA title. Stanec placed seventh in the country last year and finished with a 32-11 record. Others to watch include freshmen Tyler Shovlin and Nate Richard.

184 — Wattenberg, ranked in the top 20 in the InterMat preseason rankings, is shooting for All-America honors. Despite injury, Wattenberg still managed to boast a 22-12 record. Junior Randy Stout (17-8 last season) should push him.

197 — Junior Matt Greenberg, despite being plagued with a nagging back injury last season, won eight of nine matches. This season, Greenberg is the No. 16 wrestler at this weight class in the InterMat preseason rankings. Last summer, Greenberg placed fifth in the University Freestyle National Championships and has a fourth place finish in the EIWA tournament to his credit. Sophomore Mike Bollinger (2-2, last season) will challenge for the limelight along with junior Sean Wing. Wing went 13-10 last year after moving up from the 184-pounds.

285 — Junior Buck McLamb went 8-10 last year, but all of his losses came at the hands of nationally ranked opponents.

With ranked wrestlers in three consecutive weight classes (174-197), and highly touted underclassmen at lighter weights, there are many weapons for the 2001-02 squad. Expect the high standards for the team to be met this season.

Archived article by Donald Lee