January 15, 2009

Wrestling Rules Mat at National Duals, Southern Scuffle

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The wrestling team used winter break to show that it is serious about competing for a National Championship this season. The Red was victorious in the 31-team Southern Scuffle in the final days of 2008. Two weeks later, the squad performed well on the national stage as runner-up at the National Duals.
At the National Duals, held in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the Red opened the event with a dominant performance over the Michigan Wolverines. Cornell won seven of ten matches to notch a 23-9 victory.
In the quarterfinals, Cornell narrowly edged the fifth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, 17-16. Entering the weekend, Cornell was ranked third in the nation. The Red squared off against then-No. 2 Iowa State in the semifinals. Cornell won in convincing fashion and helped reverse the rankings — Cornell is now ranked second. The Red prevailed 22-15 over the Cyclones.
Cornell finally met its match in the finals. The top-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes ruined Cornell’s perfect dual meet record by defeating the Red 23-13.
Several members of the Red were outstanding during the two-day event. Junior Troy Nickerson proved that he has recovered from his injuries. He entered the weekend unranked, but emerged the third-ranked wrestler in the 125-pound weight class according to the USA Today/InterMat rankings. He won all four of his matches, including a 4-2 victory over fifth-ranked Tyler Clark of Iowa State.
Senior captain Jordan Leen, wrestling at 157, beat the odds to win all four of his matches by major decision despite facing two ranked opponents. Sophomore Mack Lewnes faced three opponents ranked in the top-5 at 165 pounds, but that did not stop him from winning all four of his matches. He is undefeated this season.
The Red competed in the Southern Scuffle in Greensboro, N.C., Dec. 29-30. Lewnes competed at 157 pounds and won an individual championship for the second consecutive season at the tournament.
Senior Steve Anceravage, competing at 174, also captured an individual title. In the championship round, he pinned his opponent in overtime. Sophomores Mike Grey and Justin Kerber each finished in third place, competing at 133 and 184, respectively. Freshman Cam Simaz placed fourth at 197.