Cornell head coach Rob Koll provided the following update on last weekend’s opening action at the Binghamton Open and some big upcoming events in Ithaca.
Our guys opened the season wrestling “unattached” this past weekend in Binghamton. It was a great opportunity to put our practice room training to the test. I am pleased to say that the vast majority of our guys passed. Here is a brief synopsis of the weekend.
I’m pretty sure I/we said that Nahshon Garrett would be a national champion before he graduated from Cornell. The good news is it looks like he will make us look prophetic sooner rather than later. Nahshon absolutely dominated the field. This domination included a 7-4 finals victory over Penn State’s 2x NCAA runner-up Nico Megaludis. Nahshon has improved every facet of his wrestling.
When we recruited current assistant coach Mike Grey almost seven years ago, we did so with the sole intent of attracting his much tougher brother Mark. Our master plan is currently paying dividends. Mark blew through the weight class and wasn’t challenged until the finals where he defeated his Penn State opponent by a 3-1 score. Over the past year, Mark has developed into an incredibly physical and athletic 133 pounder. He is strong in every position and is brutally tough. I do not recall ever having a freshman who hand-fights or controls the position as well as Mark. That being said, I have to say that in all honesty brother Mike still kicks his a… in practice! (Sophomore Logan David was 1-2).
Mike Nevinger is nursing an injury but will be back in time for the Grapple at the Garden, if not sooner. Corey Dake won two matches in his freshman debut while fellow freshman Eli Bienstock claimed one victory.
Chris Villalonga looked great, pinning two opponents and winning by major decision in two other bouts. He has put on a few pounds of muscle and he is wrestling with confidence. Freshman Alex Cisneros also looked great as he dominated his way to the finals. The two did not wrestle in the finals.
Freshmen Brian Realbuto (7-1) and Taylor Simaz (5-1) both wrestled well. This weight was a major question mark going into the season. I am quite comfortable that this weight class will not be a weakness for the Big Red! (Chris Dowdy was 4-2)
Junior Craig Eifert made a successful return to the mats after sitting out last year due to a knee injury. Craig cruised to the finals before falling to NCAA champion David Taylor. Craig is as good as anyone on his feet but needs to commit to his mat work. Marshall Peppelman and Dylan Palacio were unable to compete due to injury and sickness. Marshall will be back in two weeks and Dylan will compete this weekend. Jake George was 2-2.
Sophomore Owen Scott wrestled his way to the finals before falling to All-American Matt Brown. Owen is long, lanky and funky. He got a little banged up and will miss this weekend’s Red/White match. Jesse Shanaman went 6-1 on his way to third place.
Freshman Gabe “Bear” Dean mauled his way to the finals before falling to 2X NCAA champion Ed Ruth. On his way to the finals Dean defeated the country’s 10th and 15th ranked wrestlers.
Junior Jace Bennett placed second. Jace has made improvements every year and this year is no exception. Jace has the physical and technical skills to be on the podium in March. This will occur when he dedicates himself to dominating for seven complete minutes. Jace still takes mental breaks but we will fix this weakness. Freshman Steve Congenie went 5-2, and placed 4th.
285: Stryker Lane went 4-2.
For complete results go to: http://www.bubearcats.com/sports/wrest/jkopen13.pdf
The Weekend Ahead
This weekend we have our Red/White wrestle-offs on Saturday at 3:00. We originally set the time for 1:00 but moved it back to allow anyone who is at the football game to attend. The matches are scheduled to be:
Red/White Wrestle Off
125- Nahshon Garrett vs Bricker Dixon
133- Mark Grey vs Logan David
141- Corey Dake vs. Josh Kennedy
149- Conner David vs Alex Cisneros
157- Brian Realbuto vs Taylor Simaz
165- Dylan Palacio vs Craig Eifert
174- Jake George vs Jesse Shanaman
184- Gabe Dean vs Michael Alexander/Billy George
197- Jace Bennett vs Steve Congenie
HWT- Jacob Aiken-Phillips vs Stryker Lane
USA vs. Russia Featuring Big Red Stars Dake, Simaz and Perrelli
On Sunday, the Russians come to town to face the USA team featuring Kyle Dake, Cam Simaz and Frank Perrelli. The match starts at 1:00. Admission is free for the Red/White and only $10 for the Russian dual.
Here is a great video promoting the Russian dual:
Hope to see you there!
All the best, Rob