February 12, 2002

Grapplers Dominate at Columbia

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A match that head wrestling coach Rob Koll said would be an easy win for the Red proved to be exactly that, with Cornell handing Columbia its second shutout loss in a row this past Saturday at Newman Arena.

Cornell (4-3, 2-1 Ivy) improved its record with a huge 47-0 victory over the Lions. Columbia had fallen in the previous week to Ivy-front runner and Cornell-rival Penn in a 46-0 thrashing.

The score was the result of strong performances from a number of Cornell wrestlers. On the day the Red recorded three pins, two technical falls, four major decisions and one decision. With a fall resulting in the maximum of six points, Cornell’s score of 47 out of a possible 60 is quite a feat.

One hundred and sixty-five-lb. sophomore Scott Roth got the match off to a great start for the Red by pinning Derek Nagy at the 6:27 mark of the match. The quick 6-0 lead bolstered Cornell and set the pace for the day.

Cornell’s highest ranked wrestlers, No. 10 senior Jim Stanec at 174-lbs, and No. 9 junior Clint Wattenberg at 184-lb., recorded technical falls in the next two matches. Technical falls are awarded when one opponent outscores his opponent by 15 points or more, effectively ending the match. Stanec had jumped out to a 27-10 lead over Chris Smolk, who earned all his points on escapes. Stanec scored six takedowns in the first period alone.

Wattenberg easily polished off Jeff Anderson as well, scoring takedown after takedown en route to a 21-4 victory of his own.

Sean Wing scored the next fall for Cornell in the heavyweight division despite being outsized by his opponent. His victory was followed by freshman Travis Lee’s pin at the 3:16 mark that put Cornell up 32-0 and all but ended the competition. With four full bouts remaining, Columbia was down 32-0 and had no chance of getting the victory.

Being behind didn’t keep the tenacious Lions from trying, as the remaining Cornell wrestlers would score neither a fall nor a technical fall, though they would earn three major decisions (earned when an opponent is defeated by eight or more points).

Sophomore Alejandro Alvarez, who has been wrestling well for the Red of late, scored a 14-6 victory over Steve Popovitch, while juniors Byron Warner and Gabe Webster scored 16-3 and 8-0 victories to earn Cornell four points apiece.

Cornell next wrestles at home against Brown on Friday at 2 p.m., followed by a big match with last year’s Eastern’s champion Harvard on Saturday.

Archived article by Charles Persons