Post Las Vegas Cornell Update With Rob Koll


By Rob Koll 

Finals started this week which means amazingly we are almost halfway through the season.  I am pleased with the team’s first semester performance but of course we still have dual meets against Missouri and Oklahoma State to change my mind. This past weekend we competed at the Las Vegas Invitational.  This is typically a brutal test for our guys and this year was no exception.  Although the travel and time change is tough on the team I enjoy the competition because we get to face many Western and Midwestern competitors. 

Vegas Recap

Photo by BV

125 Nahshon Garrett (2nd) is currently 17-1 and I believe he should be 18-0.  He lost a tight might to the #4 ranked wrestler from Missouri. Fortunately he will have an opportunity to avenge his only loss next weekend at the Grapple in the Apple.  Nahshon started wrestling in eighth grade so his learning curve is ridiculously high.  He gets better every practice.  I called this one early and I don’t mind saying I told you so!

133 Bricker Dixon (DNP) wrestled hard but got a little overpowered on the mat.  His losses were all to good wrestlers but there is no such thing as a good loss.  Bricker needs to add a few pounds over the break.

141 Mike Nevinger (4th) continues to improve after getting off to a painfully slow start.  He continues to be difficult to score upon on his feet and he is brutal on top.   Going forward Mike needs to get his offense back on track.  He has a history of finishing strong therefore I expect to see continued improvement over the next couple months.

149 Chris Villalonga (6th) came into the tournament’s deepest weight unseeded and came away with a 6th place finish.  I guess we should be pleased, but Chris is much better than his placement.  Chris has been banged up and he let his injury affect his performance.  We don’t expect the injury to bother him throughout the season, but if it does, he will learn to tolerate the pain by wrestling through it.  The good news is that Chris’s worst would be considered very good on most teams.  Of course we won’t accept his worst so you can be assured he will improve.

157 Chris Dowdy (DNP) won two matches and looked very good at times.  As I’ve said before, Chris needs to gain some power to go along with his speed and technique.  This will only come with time but Chris is only a freshman so we have high hopes for his future!

165 Kyle Dake (1st) was his normal dominant self.  Kyle dominated every opponent he faced. His closest match came in the finals where he won 6-0 against the country’s #7 ranked wrestler.

174 Duke Pickett (DNP) went 2-2 on the weekend. Duke is very good on his feet but is getting beat up on the mat. This is not atypical of freshman but is unacceptable for a Cornell freshman.  Duke knows this and is working intensely to fix this weakness.

184 Craig Scott (DNP) like fellow freshmen Dowdy and Pickett, also went 2-2.  Craig also struggled getting off bottom and I attribute a great deal of that to physical strength.  Craig is 6’3’’ so when he gets extended he does not have a great deal of power.  He needs to do a better job of keeping perfect position on bottom.  He also needs to do a better job of using his length in his attacks.  He permitted a couple of his opponents to tie him up and to wrestle from the inside.  This negates his length.

197 Jace Bennett (7th) came away with a 7th place finish.  Jace has the ability to beat just about anyone.  He has great offense and is brutal on top.  His weakness is an unattractive quality of getting reversed to his back.  This is a habit that needs to get kicked quickly.

285 Stryker Lane (6th) was our third unseeded wrestler to place. Stryker has made slow but consistent improvements over his career.  He is tough to take down, good on top and bottom. He struggles offensively but has been competitive in every bout this year.

For complete results go here.

Grapple at the Apple Important Information

Ticket Information (After Friday tickets will be returned to MSG)

To purchase tickets in the Cornell section please go to:

Bus Trip (Friday cutoff)

We have 16 fans signed up to travel to the city for on December 16th for the Grapple. We need a few more travelers to make this possible. The round trip from Ithaca to NYC is $40.00 – shopping for the day if they don’t want to do wrestling …

If interested e-mail Cathy Pace –


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