By HALEY VELASCO
After eating turkey and spending quality time with loved ones, the Cornell wrestling team headed to one of the biggest stages in the country, Madison Square Garden. The Red competed in the Grapple at the Garden against the University of Illinois and the University of Maryland Sunday where the Red took down both teams.
Standouts for the squad in the second match of the day were senior Mike Nevinger, who won by decision over Steven Rodrigiues — becoming the 20th wrestler for Cornell to secure 100 careers wins — freshman Brian Realbuto who won by decision over No. 15 Zac Brunson and senior Stryker Lane who won by decision over his Fighting Illini opponent.
“This year we have many many freshman stepping into the starting lineup. Mark Grey, Brian Realbuto, Dylan Palacio and Gabe Dean have all come out and proved themselves in big ways. They all have huge potential and are capable of big things this year,” senior Mike Nevinger said. “They all are extremely hard workers in the practice room and work tirelessly to improve themselves each and every day. You know it’s a good thing when your freshmen are inspiring to the other members of the team. There is no doubt in my mind that these guys will step up in a big way and help us reach our goals as a team.”
To finish out the strong fall start, the Red has been preparing for a tough bracket at the 32nd Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Dec. 6 and 7 in Las Vegas, Nev.
“Individually, the toughest tournaments before conferences and Nationals are the Vegas Invitational, and the Southern Scuffle,” senior Chris Villalonga said.
Connor Archard / Senior PhotographerStaying on top | Senior Stryker Lane and the Red look to stay undefeated this weekend in the Vegas Invitational.