February 20, 2004

Wrestlers Keep Improving

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With five straight victories and the Ivy title now under its belt, the No. 14 wrestling team (8-6, 5-0 Ivy) will face one final test before the EIWA championships, as it heads down south to Charlottesville, Va. tomorrow to compete in the Virginia Dual meets. Cornell will be facing off against three other teams in this event: Virginia (9-5, 3-1 ACC), James Madison (2-15, 1-8 CAA) and No. 25 the Citadel (8-2, 3-0 Southern Conference).

The Red should hold an advantage coming into these matches after recording two victories last weekend over Harvard and Brown, which secured Cornell’s 25th Ivy League title.

“We are looking along the same lines as last weekend,” said heavyweight Matt Bogumil. “We are looking to dominate these teams. We had a great week of practice as we are preparing for Easterns. These matches will give us some more mat time until then.”

Virginia and the Citadel might present some challenges to the Red. The Cavaliers do have some highly regarded wrestlers including Scott Moore, who is ranked No. 1 in the country in the 141-pound weight class and Tom Foley, ranked No. 10 in the 165-pound class.

The Citadel has been strong all year as well, breaking into the top 25 rankings this past weekend after a victory over Chattanooga. Its lineup features two wrestlers in the top 20, Keith Clinton in the 174-pound weight class and Ryan McClester at 125 pounds.

These rankings could make for some great matchups this weekend, as Cornell finds itself with several wrestlers also ranked nationally in these classes. The biggest story, however, may be Cornell’s Joe Mazzurco, who is likely to return this weekend after missing several matches after breaking his jaw over winter break. Before his injury over winter break, Mazzurco was ranked in the top twenty in all major polls in the 165-pound weight class. He faced Foley earlier in the year at the Body Bar invitational and was able to pull out a 3-2 victory. The rematch, if it should take place, will make for some great wrestling.

The 174-pound weight class will also be one to watch, as Cornell’s Tyler Baier, ranked 17th nationally, is one space ahead of the Bulldogs’ Clinton. Both will be battling hard for ranking.

The other classes should also provide for some drama, though Cornell should have an edge in most.

McClester and Cornell’s Mike Mormile will be the featured event in the 125-pound weight class as both have been impressive over the past few weeks. UVA will use either Brian Sticca, who has wrestled for most of the season or Ryan Stewart, who wrestled last week against Maryland.

Cornell’s Travis Lee, a favorite to win the national championship, should dominate the 133-pound weight class. He will likely face Virginia’s Steve Hromada, JMU’s Todd Schroeder, and the Citadel’s Sean Markey. Markey might be Lee’s toughest competition as he started the year ranked 12th by Amateur News Wrestling.

The 141 class will likely belong to Moore who is sporting a 41-0 record this year. The Red will counter with either Ryan Bridge or Keith Dickey. The Dukes will use Brian Kibler while the Bulldogs will go with Levi Duyn.

Dustin Manotti of Cornell, ranked sixth in the nation, should control the 149-pound weight class while Scott Roth will look to continue a strong season in the 157-pound bracket. Roth will likely be facing Paul Bjorlo of Virginia, PJ Worosz of JMU and Dan Thompson of the Citadel.

Beyond the potential marquee match-ups of Mazzurco and Foley, Baier and Clinton, the 184 pound weight class will feature Cornell’s Jerry Rinaldi as a favorite against Drew Michellotio of UVA, Lamont Logan of JMU and John Dickerson of the Citadel.

The 197-pound weight class should also belong to Cornell, as it will be represented by Matt Greenberg, ranked eighth nationally. The heavyweight division should feature Cornell’s Matt Bogumil going up against Andrew Leffler of Virginia, Matt Coffey of JMU and Billy Linane of the Citadel.

After its trip to Charlottesville, Cornell will head to Philadelphia in two weeks to compete at the 100th annual EIWA championships.

Archived article by Chris Callanan