February 13, 2004

Grapplers Battle for Ivy Crown

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The wrestling team (6-6, 3-0 Ivy League), ranked No. 15 nationally, will look to wrap up the Ivy title this weekend as it hosts Harvard (1-11, 1-1 Ivy league) tonight at 7 p.m. and Brown (4-9, 1-1 Ivy league) tomorrow at 1 p.m. at the Friedman Wrestling Center.

The squad is in a good position to defend its title after the Red scored a victory two weeks ago over a Penn team that many considered to be Cornell’s greatest threat. Last week, the Red rolled over Columbia 31-6, leaving the Red two victories away from the Ivy title.

Though Harvard and Brown should be more of a challenge than the Lions, many feel that they are not on the same level as Cornell this year.

“These matches should be better, but I feel that there is no reason why we can’t come away with the Ivy title this weekend,” said senior captain Tyler Baier.

Junior heavyweight Matt Bogumil added, “We line up great against both teams. We want to keep momentum on our side however. We don’t want them getting any upsets.”

Harvard’s lone victory this year came against Princeton 22-10. Though the squad does not have many victories, it has faced off against some of the tougher teams in the nation including Lehigh, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The squad includes several ranked wrestlers, most notably senior Jesse Jantzen (22-1), who is ranked No. 1 in the nation in all major polls in the 149-pound weight class.

Brown also has some talented wrestlers in its lineup including David Dies at 149 pounds, Sean Jenkins at 165 pounds. and Nick Ciarcia at 184 pounds. Their victories this season have come against Princeton, Drexel, Cal-State Fullerton and Springfield.

Cornell’s Mike Mormile, 11-11 on the season, will likely start for the Red against both Harvard and Brown in the 125-pound. weight class. Ranked third in the EIWA poll, he should an advantage over Harvard’s Bren Kakesako and Brown’s Greg Pace.

With a 28-1 record and a number one ranking in all polls, Cornell’s Travis Lee should have control of the 133-pound. weight class in both matches for the Red. He will likely be facing Greg Cook of Harvard and Dan Appello of Brown.

The 141-pound. weight class will be more competitive than the first two classes. Cornell has been using several wrestlers in this class including freshman Keith Dickey and classmate Ryan Bridge, who was called up last week to wrestle against the Lions. Harvard is strong in this class with Max Meltzer ranked second in the EIWA and 11th nationally. Brown will likely go with Mike Ashton against the Red.

The 149-pound. weight class may be the most exciting class to watch this weekend as it will feature three of the top wrestlers in the nation: Jantzen, Sophomore Dustin Manotti of Cornell (ranked fifth nationally) and Dies (ranked 17th nationally). The match between Manotti and Jantzen should be particularly interesting to watch. As Baier said, “That should be the match of the night.”

Last season Jantzen posted a 9-1 victory over Manotti, who will be looking to avenge that loss.

Scott Roth, who has been solid all year for the Red will wrestle in the 157-pound. weight class. He will likely compete against Harvard’s Brandon Kaufman and Brown’s Michael Savino. The 164 pound. weight class will feature Dan Miracola for the Red, who is replacing an injured Joe Mazzurco. He will go against a tough competitor in Brown’s Sean Jenkins, who is ranked second in the EiWA. Harvard will likely use Bobby Latessa for this class.

Cornell junior Tyler Baier, ranked 17th nationally will be the favorite against the Crimson’s Eddie Jones and Brown’s Adam Santee in the 174-pound. weight class.

Jerry Rindali of Cornell will tackle some tough competition in P.J. Jones of Harvard and Ciacira of Brown in the 184-pound. weight class.

Cornell’s Matt Greenberg, ranked as high as sixth in the nation this week should score points for the Red in the 197-pound. weight class. Harvard will counter with Reggie Lee, while Brown will send out Pete Mosley.

The heavyweight division will feature Cornell’s Matt Bogumil going against Harvard’s Bode Ogunwole and Brown’s Lee Beane. The match between Ogunwole and Bogumil should be exciting as Ogunwole ranks third in the EIWA while Bogumil ranks fifth.

“We had a great week of practice and we are prepared to win the ivy championship,” said Baier

Archived article by Chris Callanan