Match #8: No. 2 Iowa State at No. 6 Cornell
Time: Sunday, January 31, at 1:00 p.m.
Site: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca, N.Y.
2009-10 Records: Iowa State (9-2, 2-0 Big 12); Cornell (3-3-1, 0-0 Ivy League)
Series Record: Iowa State leads 4-2
Last Meeting: Cornell won 22-15, January 11, 2009 in Cedar Falls, Iowa
TV: Time Warner Cable Sports
Live Stats: available at CornellBigRed.com
Live Video: available at CornellBigRed.com
Live Blog: available at lighthousewrestling.com
Tickets: available by calling (607) 254-BEAR
COUNTDOWN TO NATIONALS
The Big Red wrestling team enters the weekend ranked sixth in the nation by the InterMat Division I poll. Cornell has seven wrestlers ranked individually with freshman Kyle Dake (141) and returning All-American Mack Lewnes (174) leading the country at their weight classes. The Big Red returns five All-Americans and seven NCAA qualifiers.
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION
After finishing third at the 2009 NCAA championships, Iowa State is primed for another great tournament run and is currently ranked No. 2 in the country. Six of Iowa State’s wrestlers sit in the top 10 at their respective weight classes, while two others are in the top 15, headlined by No.1 Jake Varner at 197 pounds. The Cyclones are off to a 9-2 start in dual match action, with its only two losses coming in close matchups with No. 1 Iowa. Included among its wins are victories over Minnesota, Maryland, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. First-year head coach Kevin Jackson is a former Olympic gold medalist and was a member of the 1987 NCAA tournament champion Cyclones squad. Iowa State has won eight NCAA championships and 15 Big 12 titles.
Cornell and Iowa State have hit the mats for six dual meets since the first meeting during the 1958-59 season, with the Cyclones holding a 4-2 advantage. The last meeting between the programs was last season at the National Duals, a 22-15 Big Red victory in the semifinals.
If both teams have their full lineups, fans will see six matchups of top 20 wrestlers, including two of top five competitors. Highlighting the field, No. 2 Troy Nickerson of Cornell will grapple with No. 5 Andrew Long at 125 pounds, while Cornell’s fifth-ranked Cam Simaz will wrestle No. 1 Jake Varner at 197 pounds.
NEW YORK STATE OF MIND
The Big Red took home its seventh New York State team championship in program history with 194 points, easily outdistancing Army (158) for the title. Individual crowns were taken home by Frank Perelli (125), Mike Grey (133), Colin McDonald (174), Cam Simaz (197) and Taylor Moore (HWT).
A STREAK OF IVY
Cornell opens the 2010 Ivy League schedule boasting an impressive 38-match win streak against league foes.
Cornell ranks sixth in the Intermat/NWCA dual meet rankings, but with 78.5 points as calculated by the team’s individual rankings, the Big Red places second in the NCAA tournament rankings.
TOP OF THE HEAP
Cornell has placed in the top 10 as a team at the NCAA championships in five of the last seven seasons. Prior to 2003, the Big Red had just three top 10 team finishes since 1960.
ALL THINGS IVY
With another 5-0 season against Ancient Eight foes, the Big Red won its seventh-straight Ivy League title last season. Cornell had eight wrestlers earn All-Ivy honors. Mack Lewnes was named Ivy League Wrestler of the Year, while Cam Simaz earned Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors. Lewnes and Simaz were joined by Troy Nickerson, Mike Grey and Steve Anceravage ‘09 on the first-team. DJ Meagher, Jordan Leen ‘09 and Justin Kerber all earned a second-team nod.
ENTERING THE HALL
The Hall of Distinguished Wrestling Alumni was created during the 2005-06 season to recognize former Cornell wrestlers who have contributed to the sport of wrestling and their communities both on and off the mats. This year’s four inductees have done just that, even being recognized nationally for their achievements. After graduating from Cornell, these individuals have continued their dedication to their alma mater and Big Red wrestling.
Mark Fergeson ‘93
Mr. Fergeson graduated from Cornell in 1993. A four-time first-team All-Ivy pick, Mr. Fergeson finished his career with a school-record 134-19 record and was named Ivy Wrestler of the Year twice. He was a two-time All-American and a two-time EIWA champion at 134 pounds. A two-time GTE Academic All-American, he received a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Mr. Fergeson is a member of the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame.
Gene Nighman ‘81
Mr. Nighman graduated from in 1981, and after a successful coaching career, returned to his alma mater as the Assistant Director of Athletics/Sports School and Ticket Office. Mr. Nighman was the EIWA champion at 142 pounds as a senior and earned All-America honors. He was a three-time first-team All-Ivy selection who finished in the top four at the Eastern championships each of his final three seasons. Mr. Nighman is a member of the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame.
Dale Porter ‘75
Mr. Porter graduated from Cornell in 1975. A three-time EIWA place-winner, he won the 150 pound championship in 1974. The EIWA runner-up as a senior, he was named the team’s most outstanding wrestler two consecutive years. Mr. Porter is a member of the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame.
Patrick Welch ‘85
Mr. Welch graduated from Cornell in 1985. A two-time EIWA champion at 150 pounds, he competed in a pair of NCAA championships. Mr. Welch was a three-time first-team All-Ivy selection and took home three straight New York State collegiate championships. He compiled a four-year record of 73-12, including a 29-2 mark as a senior. Mr. Welch is a member of the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame.
CORNELL AT THE SCUFFLE
Cornell captured its second-straight team title at the Southern Scuffle Dec. 29-30. Kyle Dake (141), Mack Lewnes (174) and Cam Simaz (197) all captured individual titles. Additionally, Lewnes was named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler. Troy Nickerson (125) took second after a cautious injury default in the finals. Other place winners included Mike Grey (133, 3rd), Justin Kerber (165, 5th) and Steve Bosak (184, 5th), and Josh Arnone (HWT, 6th). Cornell totaled 164.00 points to defeat second-place Minnesota (151.50) and third-place Indiana (131.50).
WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS…
The Big Red wrestling team placed second at the Las Vegas Invitational where Mack Lewnes won the individual title at 174 pounds. Five other Big Red wrestlers placed in their respective weight classes including Mike Grey (2nd, 133), Cam Simaz (3rd, 197), Kyle Dake (4th, 141), Steve Bosak (5th, 174) and Frank Perrelli (5th, 125). Cornell finished with 121.5 team points just one point behind team champions Ohio State (122.5)
LEWNES EARNS EIWA WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
Mack Lewnes was named EIWA wrestler of the week on Dec. 7 after winning the title at 174 pounds at the Las Vegas Invitational. Lewnes went 5-0 for the weekend with three bonus wins to help the Big Red to finish in second place as a team. The Big Red junior opened the tournament with two wins by major decision and one victory by fall. In the semifinals, he defeated Oklahoma’s Jeff James, 7-3. The Big Red junior won his second-straight individual title in as many tries with a 5-3 victory over Nebraska’s Stephen Dwyer in the finals. Lewnes won the title at the Reno Tournament of Champions as a freshman at 165 pounds. Lewnes is 15-0 for the season with nine bonus wins.
AT THE HELM
Rob Koll, the David R. Dunlop ’59 Head Coach of Wrestling, is in his 17th season as mentor of the Cornell wrestling program. In that time, Koll has amassed a 187-72-5 overall record in duals and has led the Big Red to 10 Ivy League titles. Cornell has captured three EIWA team championships and earned 27 EIWA individual titles. Koll, a four-time All-American and former NCAA champion, has helped Big Red wrestlers to capture five individual NCAA titles and 31 All-America honors.
Rob Koll has directed his team to 187 dual meet victories, second all-time at Cornell behind Jimmy Miller, who registered 203 victories from 1948-74. Koll has coached a Cornell-best five NCAA champions and 31 All-Americans.
Cornell had 25 wrestlers competing unattached at the Binghamton Open, and the Big Red captured the title at five weight classes. Winning the championship in their respective weight classes were Mike Grey (133), Kyle Dake (141), Mack Lewnes (174), Steve Bosak (184) and Cam Simaz (197). Seven other wrestlers also placed for the Big Red including Tyler Biscaha (fourth, 125), Corey Manson (sixth, 149), Derek Schreiner (fourth, 157), Nate Holley (second, 184), Taylor Moore (second, HWT), Stryker Lane (third, HWT) and Josh Arnone (fourth, HWT). Big Red wrestlers picked up bonus points in 30 matches, with 13 winning by fall.
THE FALL GUYS
With nine falls so far this season, junior Mack Lewnes has earned 35 career pins. Lewnes now ranks second in the Big Red record books for career falls. Troy Nickerson ranks in third place with 31. All-American Steve Anceravage ’09 broke the record last season and ended his four-year career with 37 falls.
STATE OF THE PROGRAM
Cornell’s 37 wrestlers on the active roster come from 20 different states. Big Red wrestlers come from California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington. The Big Red also has a wrestler from Washington, D.C.
Cornell will open Ivy League play against Columbia on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 2 p.m. at the Friedman Wrestling Center, then will meet Hofstra later that afternoon at 5 p.m.