I was pleased with the team’s performance from top to bottom. As I expected every guy wrestled with spirt and pride. When we lost a match we were inevitably the aggressor. Every wrestler placed up to or above their seed and the element that I am most proud of is that we did not take a single injury time-out. This is so important to me because this statistic is representative of the nature and personality of our team. This group of young men are just plain physically and mentally tough. One reason I am confident that we will do well next week at the NCAA tournament is because this charachteristic is necessary to excel in the post season. We also have a history of performing well in the post season and I see every indication that this trend will continue.
125 Troy Nickerson dominated the field pinning his first three opponents in the first period. In the finals he won a hard fought 5-2 decision. Troy will score many bonus points for the team on his quest for the title. He always sets an aggressive tone that inspires the entire team.
133 Mike Grey wrestled as well as I have seen him wrestle all year.
He also dominated on his way to the finals. In the finals Mike lost an exciting match to a very tough opponent. Mike controlled the tempo of the match but was unable to finish on many excellent attacks. Mike has regained his championship form and has his sights set on an NCAA title.
141 As usual Corey Manson gave it his all but ended up on the short end of two one point matches. Corey wrestled the best I have seen him wrestle all year. He won two matches and showed that he has the ability to compete with anyone. Although Corey will not be traveling with the team to the NCAA’s he has been and will continue to be an inspiration to the team through his work ethic and resilience.
149 DJ Meagher went 2-2 and sits on the “wild card bubble”. He entered the tournament with a computer ranking of 18th in the country. Although he did not receive an automatic I believe he has a realistic chance to receive an at-large a bid. We should know on Wednesday.
157 Jordan Leen wrestled like the national champion that he is. He dominated one of the toughest weight classes and should have been awarded the tournaments Outstanding Wrestler Award after his impressive 8-2 victory over returning Harvard All-American JP O’Conner. I do not see anyone beating him this year.
165 Mack Lewnes earned his second EIWA title in as many years. Mack is currently 33-0 and ranked #1 going into the NCAA tournament. He is not bad.
174 Steve Anceravage wrestled a great tournament. He lost in the finals but completely dictated the action. Steve had numerous scoring opportunities that could have been awarded. Unfortunately the close calls did not go our way and his opponent did a great job of scrambling out of some precarious situations. If Steve continues to wrestle with this type of attitude, which he will, he will be standing very high on the podium next weekend.
184 Justin Kerber placed second knocking off 10th ranked Louis Caputo of Harvard in the semi-finals. Although Justin lost in the finals this was a huge weekend for him. He has come close all season to beating many “upper echelon” wrestlers. He finally pulled one out and I expect this to be the first of many big wins for Justin. Justin has done an incredible job of handling the larger 184 pound wrestlers.
Justin is a natural 174 pounder who hits the weights extremely hard in order to keep the weight on.
197 Cameron “the beast” Simaz continues to improve every time he steps on the mat. He currently boasts a 31-8 freshman record. His worst loss (other than an injury default) was by three points. I have been bragging about Cam for some time and I just want to say “I told you so” to all the doubters out there. Cameron is destined to be one of Cornell’s all-time greats. He absolutely physically dominates his opponents. It is such a pleasure to be in his corner that the coaches fight it out for the privilege.
285 Zach Hammond like DJ has to wait until tomorrow to find out if he has wrestled his last match for the Big Red. If this weekend was Zach last time in a Cornell singlet then he did himself proud. Zach placed 5th, by pinning the Penn opponent who ended Zach’s season last year.
He has had a great stint as our heavy and hopefully he will get another shot at the NCAA tournament.
For complete brackets, team scores and pictures go to: