March 8, 2002

Grapplers Set for EIWAs

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The No. 19 wrestling team begins its second season tomorrow when it travels to Lehigh for the EIWA Championships. The Red enters the annual tournament coming off a 2-1 finish at home Feb. 23, when it defeated Binghamton and Ohio while falling to No. 9 Missouri.

Cornell enters the tournament ranked third in the EIWA, behind top-ranked University of Pennsylvania and Lehigh and ahead of Ivy League rivals Harvard and Brown. Navy, Rutgers, and Army round out the rest of the tournament field.

The Red maintains a solid presence in all weight classes, with at least one grappler in the EIWA top five in every class except heavyweight. Key to the Red’s success will be the performance of junior co-captain Clint Wattenberg, whose 33-4 personal record in the 184-lb. class is the best on the Cornell squad. He comes off an outstanding showing against Ohio and Missouri at the Feb. 23 match, in which he pinned both of his opponents, including No. 20 Dante Stone of Missouri.

Cornell will also look for strong performances from senior Jim Stanec, who made quick work of Ohio’s Luke Moore at 174 lbs. two weeks ago, freshman Travis Lee at 125 lbs., and sophomores Scott Roth at 165 lbs. and Matt Greenberg at 197.

Penn will be a dangerous team to contend with, as it is the only team in the EIWA with all ten wrestlers ranked in the top six in the conference. The Quakers defeated the Red 21-9 earlier this season. Penn also defeated host Lehigh 21-12 in February.

A total of 33 bids to the NCAA Championships later this month will be up for grabs this weekend.

At last year’s EIWA’s, Harvard was the surprise champion after sharing a three way tie of the Ivy League with Cornell and Penn. The Crimson was not as successful this season, finishing fourth in the Ancient Eight with a 2-3 Ivy record. Penn, who went a perfect 5-0, won the Ivy League for the eighth consecutive year. Cornell’s only Ivy loss came against the Quakers.

Archived article by Owen Bochner