February 24, 2003

Grapplers Win Season Finale

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This Saturday, the wrestling team finished its regular season with a decisive 27-6 win over East Stroudsburg. Senior Matt Greenberg recorded a major decision, and classmate and All-American Clint Wattenberg earned a technical fall to complement the team’s six other individual victories. The match, however, was not without flaws.

The Red was faced with an unpleasant surprise Saturday morning, as an outbreak of impetigo hit freshman Dustin Manotti and senior heavyweight Buck McLamb. Still, head coach Rob Koll was pleased with the outcome of his team.

“We took those two guys out, and I had given Travis a week off earlier,” said Koll. “The guys really stepped up and did a nice job.”

Scoring opened up early for the Red with the 133-pound weight class featuring junior Alejandro Alvarez and East Stroudsburg’s Jeff Smith. Alvarez jumped out to an early lead with two takedowns in the first period. He finished the match with six more takedowns en route to a 13-7 decision and his 17th win of the season. Senior tri-captain Byron Warner kept the team rolling with a 6-3 win over Mark Smith in the 141 weight class. Warner earned an escape in the third period to break a 2-2 tie, and finished the match with a late takedown.

Senior Gabe Webster was the next grappler to add to the Red’s point total, earning a 4-0 decision in the 157-pound match. Junior Scott Roth added three more points after a tight 6-3 match with East Stroudsburg’s Brandon Mihalko.

Junior Tyler Baier had one of the tightest contests of the day, going scoreless in the first period against John Carr. Despite Carr’s 24 wins, Baier held his own by riding his opponent during the second, and earning an escape and takedown in the third. The 4-0 decision put Cornell ahead 15-3, and gave Baier win number 23 on the season.

Wattenberg finished early after scoring a technical fall. He opened his lead up early with six first-period points, and finished with nine points off near falls before ending things with a takedown in the second period. Greenberg looked as though he might match Wattenberg’s pace, but was stopped by the clock, earning a major decision by a score of 14-2. Sophomore Matt Bogumil provided the most excitement, however, coming from behind to even the score at six-all and force an overtime period. Bogumil capped his stunning performance with a match-ending takedown.

The only losses for Cornell came in the 125- and 149-pound competitions.

Koll was pleased with his team’s strong showing, citing the match as positive motivation for the upcoming Eastern showdown.

“It all comes down to being healthy and being fresh mentally, and it’s nice to have a win like that — the last thing they remember is wins.”

Archived article by Matt Janiga