January 18, 2002

Wrestlers Shoot for New York State Championship

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The wrestling team marches north up I-81 for the 33rd Annual New York State Intercollegiate Wrestling Championships at Oswego State University this weekend.

There will be 25 schools wrestling at the team tournament in Max Ziel Gymnasium in Laker Hall. Columbia is the only other Ivy League team in the championship.

Red head coach Rob Koll said that Hofstra, Buffalo, and West Point should pose the strongest threats to his goal of “having 10 finalists” in each of the 10 weight classes.

The preliminary rounds commence today at 11 a.m. and the quarterfinals occur at 5 p.m. Tomorrow at 11 a.m. the semifinals begin, with the finals rounding out the tournament at 5:30 p.m.

Koll mentioned several wrestlers who have performed well recently and will look to survive until tomorrow afternoon. 125-pounder freshman Travis Lee, 141-pounder junior Byron Warner, 174-pounder senior Jim Stanec and 184-pounder classmate Clint Wattenberg have been coming on strong over the past few weeks in Koll’s eyes.

“We have had a good week of training and look to come out unscathed and healthy [afterwards],” said Koll.

The Red will soon run into the buzzsaw they call the Ivy League schedule after this tournament. It looks to be injury-free as opposed to last year, when two wrestlers came up lame after the NYS Championships, which adversely affected the team’s performance for the rest of the season.

In addition to the aforementioned teams, several gutsy Division III teams will be competing this weekend. Last year some of Koll’s troops were victims of a vicious mugging as these smaller colleges had very aggressive wrestlers who threw everything they had at the Cornell wrestlers at the beginning of matches.

Koll said, “They threw everything they had at us… they threw the kitchen sink at us.”

The grapplers will be on their toes this weekend and take nothing for granted this time around. A series of hard matches with feisty competition is on this weekend’s menu as the smaller Division III schools will serve as the appetizers while Hofstra, Buffalo, and West Point will be the main course.

Archived article by Donald Lee