The wrestling team started its season with a big win Saturday by taking first place in its own Body Bar Invitational. The team outscored second-place finisher Edinboro 162-147, and six wrestlers made it to the finals while two won their weight classes.
“This is a good tournament,” said head coach Rob Koll, “and the whole team wrestled well in it.”
The Red’s two championships came from junior Travis Lee (133 pounds) and sophomore Dustin Manotti (149 pounds).
Lee, a defending national champion, continued his unbeaten streak from last year by posting a perfect 4-0 record. En route to his championship, Lee beat Travis Hunter of Davidson, Mike Lupa of Maryland, and Bernard Gardner of Army. Then, in the finals, the Hawaiian defeated second-seeded Michael Messina of Sacred Heart, 8-4.
Manotti also dominated his opponents, going 5-0 on the day. In early bouts, he notched a fall against Michael Sensenig of Drexel and a technical fall against Matt Maisano of Millersville. The streak continued into the finals, where Manotti recorded his second tech fall against Drexel’s Mark Cartella.
“Travis did a really nice job, especially considering this was his first time in the higher weight class,” said Koll of his champion, “and Manotti looked fantastic.”
Cornell also had four wrestlers earn runner-up finishes in the tournament. Second-seeded Scott Roth defeated three wrestlers before falling to top-seeded Phillip Simpson of Army, 8-4, at 157 pounds. Junior Joe Mazzurco, the No. 2 seed at 165 pounds, won three straight matches, edging third-seeded Tim Foley of Virginia 3-2 in the semifinals before falling to top-seeded Matt King of Edinboro, 12-3.
At 174 pounds, top-seeded senior Tyler Baier recorded a 3-1 mark, having one technical fall and one pin en route to his second-place finish. Senior Matt Greenberg tallied one technical fall and two pins on the road to his second-place finish at 197 pounds, dropping the final bout, 3-2, to No. 1 seed Chris Jones of Drexel.
“The team was doing well all day,” said junior Tyler Shovlin. “We had some good matches, and this was a good tournament for us to start the season with.”
Though the victory pleased Koll and the team, both know that winning tougher tournaments later in the season will require some adjustments and lots of hard work.
“We want to win more, and we’re never satisfied unless we do. This was our first tournament, and we’re not yet in midseason shape or sharpness,” concluded Koll. “If we want to be a top-five team, we have to adjust and improve.”
Archived article by Everett Hullverson