Height is not something one can learn. While drinking milk and eating vegetables may contribute, there is little anyone can do to affect his or her height, especially after a certain age.
In basketball, size is a skill. In the same way shooting and dribbling are skills, size is hugely important. Shaquille O’Neal was no more coordinated or athletic than most of his fellow NBA players, but he dominated the sport for several years because he was more coordinated and athletic than the few players who could match his size.
Earlier this month, a Cornell athlete won an individual National Championship that wasn’t nearly as advertised as most varsity sports. Nordic Skiing’s senior Melinda McAleese captured the U.S. Collegiate Skiing Association’s top honor when she earned an overall first-place score at Nationals. McAleese won two of three events at Nationals, which were held in Winter Park, Colorado.
The wrestling team traveled to St. Louis hoping to return as national champions. However, only junior Troy Nickerson was successful in that quest. The Red, which entered the tournament ranked second, finished fifth. Nickerson, competing at 125 pounds, won all five of his matches en route to claiming an individual National Championship.
Nickerson was one of four Red wrestlers to earn All-American status. The others were seniors Steve Anceravage and Jordan Leen and freshman Cam Simaz. Cornell finished behind Iowa, Ohio State, Iowa State and Nebraska, in that order. Iowa also won the National Championship last season and has won 22 total in its history.
After years of training, hundreds of hours of practice, and plenty of blood, sweat and tears, the career-defining matches for several members of wrestling team are quickly approaching. Beginning Thursday, the second-ranked wrestling team will compete in the NCAA Championships in St. Louis, Miss.
For the Red, all the pieces appear to be in place for a run at the Championship. Cornell finished 12th in 2007 and ninth last year, but this year’s team is one of the strongest in Cornell history. Seven wrestlers earned automatic bids into the Championship brackets. Two others received at-large bids. Cornell is one of only seven schools with at least nine qualifiers. Only Iowa State is represented in all 10 weight classes.
On Saturday, the baseball team (2-1) suffered its first loss of the season to La Salle (4-3). Thanks to poor field conditions, the Red’s bid to earn a weekend split was cancelled. Cornell was scheduled to face Villanova (4-6) on Sunday, but the team could only fit one game into its weekend trip to Pennsylvania.
La Salle jumped on the Red early. Junior centerfielder John Malloy blasted a two-run home run off of Cornell junior Matt Hill in the first inning.
“It was a slider that was supposed to be located on the outside part of the plate, but stayed inside,” Hill said. “I knew he was a pull-type hitter, an inside hitter. We were trying to throw him outside, but one of the pitches I threw was inside. He was sitting on it and he made a good swing on it.”
Many times in professional sports, a player’s reputation and his performance vary greatly. Take Tracy McGrady. T-Mac is a seven-time All-Star and a two-time scoring champion. He is currently 29, an age at which most basketball players are in their prime. He is among the ten highest-paid players in the NBA, has a lucrative endorsement deal with Adidas and would seem to be the embodiment of an NBA superstar. However, one major piece of the superstar equation is missing from McGrady’s puzzle: He doesn’t help his team win games.
The wrestling team captured its seventh consecutive Ivy League Championship with two victories this past weekend. The second-ranked Red (12-2, 5-0 Ivy) dominated matches against Brown (4-6, 3-2 Ivy) and Harvard (5-12, 2-3 Ivy) as the team completed its regular season schedule.
“[Winning the Ivy League] is real exciting, but it’s really just the beginning,” said sophomore Corey Manson. “We’ve got the EIWA tournament and the NCAA tournament coming up. Our goal is to ultimately win the National Title.”
[img_assist|nid=35450|title=Eat mat!|desc=Wrestling took the Ivy League by storm for the seventh consecutive season, finishing its sweep of the Ancient Eight at Brown and Harvard this weekend. The team now heads to NCAAs.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
The wrestling team has a chance to continue its run of Ivy League domination this weekend. Cornell, which is ranked second in the nation, will travel to face Brown today and Harvard tomorrow. If the Red wins both matches, it will capture a seventh consecutive Ivy League Championship.
“We really expect to win it,” said junior Troy Nickerson. “We don’t consider it one of our top goals. We see it as something that we should win every year.”
The Red (10-2, 3-0 Ivy) should be optimistic about its chances. Brown (3-5, 2-1 Ivy) and Harvard (4-10, 1-2 Ivy) lost to Penn by scores of 34-6 and 35-12, respectively. Cornell defeated the Quakers, 24-9, last weekend.
Last season, the Red won, 31-9, against the Bears, and beat the Crimson, 37-9.
Commissioner Bud Selig chastised Alex Rodriguez for “shaming the game” when he used steroids.
“While Alex deserves credit for publicly confronting the issue, there is no valid excuse for using such substances, and those who use them have shamed the game,” said Selig, according to ESPN.com.
First off, Selig’s comments are horribly hypocritical. He praises Rodriquez for facing the issue, yet Selig put off an honest discussion of the steroid situation for a long while and still has not been completely open about the subject.
[img_assist|nid=35150|title=Hug it out|desc=The wrestling team routed Princeton and Penn this weekend. Penn, the Red’s closest Ivy rival, didn’t put up much of a fight. The Red is looking to stay in top form going into future matches.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
On Saturday, the Red faced Princeton (2-15, 0-4 Ivy) in what turned out to be a rout of the Tigers. Cornell used four pins and three forfeits as they romped to a 54-0 victory.