February 21, 2003

Ivy Champ Grapplers Hold Senior Night

Print More

After spending last weekend clinching the Ivy League title, the No. 6 wrestling team returns home for its last dual meet of the season. Cornell (12-5) will match up against the East Stroudsburg Warriors (16-4) tomorrow at 7 p.m. in the Friedman Wrestling Center.

Last weekend saw Cornell defeat Harvard, 23-13, and Brown, 33-3. The team also earned five major decisions, one technical fall, and one pin.

While the Red is a heavy favorite to win the match, head coach Rob Koll is still taking the Warrior threat seriously.

“They’ve really got a pretty decent team,” said Koll. “Certainly not a team that you want to take lightly.”

East Stroudsburg sports a handful of experienced wrestlers, including Jeff Smith at 133 pounds, Mark Smith at 141, Brandon Mihalko at 165, and John Carr at 174.

Mark Smith and Carr will provide an extra challenge, as both are currently 24-7 on the season. Smith also boasts 15 pins.

Koll summed up the danger in underestimating the East Stroudsburg squad.

“If they wrestle well — they have five wins,” he said.

At the same time, Cornell boasts its own experienced roster. Besides All-Americans senior Clint Wattenberg and sophomore Travis Lee, freshman Dustin Manotti is also nationally ranked. Junior Tyler Baier and senior Matt Greenberg have already hit the 20-win mark and have been ranked over the course of the season.

Besides being the last dual meet of the season, tomorrow is also senior night for the Red. While expectations are high for the evening, most of the team is already looking ahead to next weekend’s EIWA’s.

“Obviously, we’d like to go out with a bang,” said Wattenberg. “This is just a good way to propel us into Easterns and then Nationals.”

Senior Gabe Webster echoed his teammate’s sentiments.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’ve still got Easterns and then the NCAA championship,” he said.

Koll was a little more emotional about the evening.

“Time goes extremely fast,” he said. “So it amazes me that these guys are going to be gone.”

Archived article by Matt Janiga