Ben Parker/Sun Senior Photographer

Cornell athletics has excelled in a number of arenas this past decade, including wrestling.

March 17, 2021

A Decennial Recap of Cornell Athletics, 2011-2020

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In the past decade, Cornell has posted an impressive number of triumphs in athletics, including more than 20 national championship teams, more than 20 Ivy League championships and 11 individual national champions. 

With talented squads in wrestling, lacrosse, hockey and other sports, the Red set an excellent standard throughout the 2010s. 

Leading the charge for the Red in the 2010s was its notorious wrestling team with a total of nine straight Ivy League championships during the decade. In what was already a standout decade, the MVP of the team was undoubtedly Kyle Dake, who set a U.S. record as the only wrestler to win four individual national championships in four different weight classes. 

Dake was one of three individual champions on the team in 2012, winning the 157-pound class, along with Steve Bosak in the 184-pound class and Cam Simaz in the 197-pound class. Cornell had never had more than one national champion on the team prior to the 2012 season. 

Moving over to the wrestling mat, the Red finished as runner-up in the NCAA tournament in 2011, a feat that no other Ivy League team has accomplished, and also secured a fourth-place finish in 2012 under head coach Rob Koll. The team also had the back half of a 17-year streak of Ivy League championships, occurring from 2003-2019. 

The Red also had a noteworthy decade from the men’s lacrosse team. Despite having three different head coaches over the course of the ten years, the team still managed to be consistently ranked within the Associated Press top 25 ranking. 

Ben DeLuca opened up the decade winning two of three Ivy League titles during his tenure from 2011-2013 in addition to reaching the NCAA quarterfinals in 2011, and the NCAA final four in 2013. In addition, attackman Rob Pannell broke the all-time points record for all NCAA schools and stands at fourth all-time in the present day. 

Under Matt Kerwick, the team won two more Ivy League regular-season titles, and with his successor, Pete Milliman, at the helm, the Red took home the Ivy League tournament trophy in 2018, as well as reaching the NCAA quarterfinals that same year.

Men’s and women’s hockey, historically two of Cornell’s most dominant teams, followed a similar line of success. The men’s team took home five Ivy League titles and is currently the three-time defending Ivy League champion. The women’s team won six Ivy League titles, including this past season, notched three trips to the NCAA frozen four and clinched three ECAC tournament championships in 2011, 2013 and 2014.

A number of other teams enjoyed success throughout the past decade. Men’s lightweight crew won four national championships, as well as three EARC championships under head coach Chris Kerber. Men’s indoor and outdoor track captured a combined five heptagonal championships, while women’s outdoor track and cross country combined for four heptagonal titles. 

Furthermore, the women’s polo team also posted an impressive decade, taking home three national championships (2011, 2015, 2016) with the leadership of head coach Dave Eldredge. The men’s tennis team also stayed competitive in the Ivy League, winning conference titles in 2011 and 2017. Cornell also had an individual champion on its men’s outdoor track and field team, Rudy Winkler, who won in 2017 for the hammer throw.

Though Cornell athletics remains sidelined due to the COVID-19 pandemic, athletes across the Red’s 35 varsity sports continue to prepare and hope for a resumption in competition in order to carry on the University’s impressive legacy.