February 25, 2002

Wrestlers Win Two, But Fall to Missouri

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Fans gathered tightly in Newman Arena this past weekend to cheer on the men’s wrestling team as they hosted Ohio, Binghamton, and highly ranked Missouri.

Spectators were not disappointed with the Red’s performance, as it decisively defeated two of their three opponents in a tough back-to-back-to-back weekend.

The first match Saturday afternoon was against Binghamton.

Head coach Rob Koll explained, “That was more like a J.V. squad than a competitive team. They weren’t a major concern for us.”

One Cornell fan comically stated, “The Bing[hamton] match reminded me of this one time I saw a pit bull dominating a little toy poodle.”

The Red summarily slaughtered Binghamton with a 43-9 victory.

As Koll explained, “The highlight of the match was that the whole match was one big highlight.”

The second match of the day was against Ohio, a slightly stronger program than Binghamton, but not strong enough. The Red handled them in any which way they pleased, as they pressed on with a second straight sizable victory, 32-13.

Jim Stanec won a major 17-6 decision over Ohio’s Luke Moore. Travis Lee also had a big victory, pinning Mike Caruso in just 2:30.

Co-captain and top-ranked Cornell wrestler Clint Wattenberg won the first of two huge matches with a pin in just 1:39.

Koll commented, “The match was over about as soon as it began.”

The third opponent of the afternoon, Missouri, a perennial powerhouse, has been recently ranked as high as 9th in the nation.

Unfortunately, the pinners came up short of victory as they began to tire after a long, hard-fought afternoon.

Missouri laid Cornell to rest, but not before Clint Wattenberg once again proved victorious, pinning Missouri’s Dante Stone in just two minutes and twenty seconds.

Red wrestlers Travis Lee and Matt Greenberg also came away with wins in their respective matches against Missouri.

Koll remarked, “We were just excited to get the opportunity to face a squad like Missouri. We don’t get to take on such highly ranked opponents very often.”

The purpose of the tri-meet was to prepare the Cornell wrestlers for the ECAC tournament, also the national qualifier, in which 14 schools and 140 grapplers compete for 32 spots in the NCAA tournament. The northeastern qualifier will take place in just two weeks.

Archived article by Adam Zwecker