November 21, 2003

Grapplers Host Body Bar Invite

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The wrestling team will open its season this Saturday by hosting the Body Bar Invitational starting at 9 a.m. in Bartels Hall. Eleven teams are going to participate in the tournament, including Army, Binghamton, Davidson, Drexel, Edinboro, Ithaca, Maryland, Millersville, Sacred Heart and Virginia. Last year the Red won the tournament, with eight wrestlers making it to the finals, and four winning their respective weight classes. This year the prospects for the Red once again look promising with three of last year’s winners again competing for the Red: All-Americans Travis Lee (133) and Dustin Manotti (149) and team captain Tyler Baier (174).

“It is a decent tournament, each school brings two wrestlers [for each weight class], so just on sheer numbers alone it is a competitive tournament,” said Head Coach Rob Koll. “We are a little bit banged up going into the match, but I still expect a great performance.”

The 125-pound weight class is where the Red has suffered from the most injuries, with junior Mike Mormile and Senior Alejandro Alvarez out. The injuries will open up this class to other teams, as Edinboro’s Jacob Grey and Drexel’s Rob Redman are now the two favorites. Both were NCAA qualifiers last year.

Cornell is also beset by injuries in the 133-weight class. Backup freshman Matt Easter suffered a concussion earlier this week in practice and will be out for the tournament. Fortunately for the Red, its top wrestler in this class is Lee, the defending national champion of the 125-weight class from a year ago. Currently he is ranked No. 1 in the country and is favored to win this weekend.

Moving up to the 141-weight class, Virginia’s All-American Scott Moore — coming off a tournament victory at Michigan State — is the favorite. Looking to push Moore for the title are Edinboro’s Ron Doppelheur and Millersville’s Derek Sola. Cornell will counter with a freshmen trio of Ryan Bridge, Charlie Agozzino and Keith Dickey competing in their first meet of their collegiate careers.

In the 149 weight Class, Cornell again has the top seed with Manotti, currently ranked second in the nation. He will look to start this season off strong after finishing eighth in the country last year as a freshman. Deante Penn from Edinboro should be Manotti’s toughest opponent.

All-American Phillip Simpson of Army is the man to beat in the 157-weight class, which is the most balanced class in the tournament. Cornell’s Scott Roth, a two time NCAA qualifier at 165 pounds should give him all he can handle.

At 165, Edinboro All-American Matt King who placed 4th at the NCAA’s will be looking for his second consecutive Body Bar title. Cornell’s Joe Mazzurco will be more than willing to take a shot at his title, however, after coming off an impressive victory over then No. 8 ranked Ralph Everett of Hofstra.

In the 174 weight class, Baier will be looking for his second consecutive Body Bar title. Edinboro’s Nate Yetzer and Millersville’s Jesse Reed should provide Baier’s stiffest competition.

The 184 weight class is wide open after last year’s runner-up (Alex Clemson of Edinboro) dropped out with an injury. Pat Shufflet of Drexel, Army’s freshmen star Luke Calvert, and Cornell’s Jerry Rinaldi will all be looking to capture the title in his absence.

Defending Champion Chris Jones of Drexel is the man to beat in the 197-weight class. Cornell’s Matt Greenberg — ranked seventh in the nation — will likely meet him in the finals in what could be one of the best matches of the tournament.

The heavyweight class is another wide-open weight with slight favorites going to Edinboro’s Joe Hennis and Sacred Heart’s Payam Zarrinpour. Cornell’s Matt “Big Bad” Bogumil will be the top wrestler for the Red and has a good shot of taking home the title as well.

Archived article by Chris Callanan