November 19, 2007

Wrestling Falls to Wisconsin, Wins Body Bar

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Newman Arena is host to many sporting events, but this weekend Newman Nation was all about its wrestling. No. 4 Cornell lost a close dual match against No. 13 Wisconsin, 21-18, Friday night before coming back to win the team title at Body Bar Invitational on Saturday.
“If the [Wisconsin] match was going to go any other way, it would have gone our way,” said junior co-captain Jordan Leen. Leen said that this was “absolutely” a match Cornell could have won, but that the team would use it as an opportunity to prepare for its next match.
The Friday competition boasted a crowd of over 3,000 fans, and the Red and the Badgers gave them a good show, with the meet coming down to the night’s last match.
Ultimately, Cornell didn’t get the breaks they needed at the end to come away with the win.
“The toss-ups just didn’t go our way,” Leen said.
Cornell struck first, with junior heavyweight Zach Hammond taking downWisconsin’s Kyle Massey, 2-1, in the second tiebreaker of the match.
Wisconsin took the next match at 125 pounds. The Badgers’ Colin Cudd, ranked No. 17, earned an 11-5 win over Cornell freshman Frank Perrelli.
Another freshman, Mike Grey fought a tough match at 133 pounds, but eventually fell 7-4 to No. 13 Zach Tenelli. This gave the Badgers a 6-3 lead.
In 141 freshman Erin McGill took on Kyle Ruschell, losing by an 11-4 decision. Cornell won the next match though, with sophomore Adam Frey prevailing in the 149 pound class in a close contest, 8-7, when he earned the last point for winning the riding time in the match.
The 157-pound bout was one of the night’s highly anticipated matches, pitting two of the top wrestlers in the country against one another — Cornell’s Leen and Wisconsin’s No. 1 Craig Henning.
Leen scored the first point to lead 1-0 going into the third period, but Henning came back with 30 seconds left in the period, scoring a reversal to lead the match 2-1. Then with just over a minute in riding time, Henning sealed the win at 3-1. This left Cornell down 12-6 going into the second half of competition, after six bouts.
“[My match] was pivotal,” Leen said. “Because it really gave Wisconsin momentum. Starting the second half with us losing really hurt us.”
The first match of the second half was in the 165-pound category. Cornell freshman Mack Lewnes faced Jake Donar. Lewnes, who spent last year at the Olympic Training Center, pinned Donar in the first period, earning six points to tie the team score up at 12.
“[Lewnes’ win] really set a new tone,” Leen said. “It put us back in position for the win.”
Junior Steve Anceravage capitalized on the momentum. In control of his opponent early, Anceravage quickly pinned Justin Peterson, earning another six points for Cornell and putting the Red up 18-12.
Wisconsin was not discouraged, however, and took the next match at 184 pounds. The 7-4 Badger decision brought Wisconsin within three points of the Red going into the final match.
Wisconsin’s No. 7 Dallas Herbst pinned sophomore Matt Panasevich, however, and Herbst’s six points were enough to give him the individual and team win.
“There were a lot of new faces in the lineup, “ Leen said. The Red is also missing two of its returning All-Americans, sophomore Josh Arnone and junior Troy Nickerson, who are out with injuries.
Arnone should be back by January after undergoing a shoulder surgery in the fall but Nickerson may be out of action for much longer.
In the Body Bar Invitational, four Cornell wrestlers took individual titles: Jordan Leen at 157 pounds, Mack Lewnes at 165 pounds, Steve Anceravage at 174 pounds and Zach Hammond in the heavyweight category.
Cornell’s 139 points beat Wisconsin’s total by 8.5 and the third place finisher, Maryland, came in at 113.5 points. There were 11 total teams competing from all across the country.