|Cornell wins seventh straight EIWA title, as Dake, Bosak & Garrett lead Big Red over Navy|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Cornell team poses with EIWA trophy, their seventh straight conference title. Lindsey Mechalik photo
PISCATAWAY, New Jersey - Cornell won their record seventh EIWA Championships title in a row, breaking the record of six which it shared with another Cornell team from 1912-1917. This is the nation’s oldest college wrestling conference, over a century old, with its first event held in 1905. Cornell finished with 142 points, well ahead of runner-up Navy with 117.5 points.
Rob Koll’s Big Red swept their three finals matches, with Nahshon Garrett (125), Kyle Dake (165) and Steve Bosak (285) coming home with titles. Dake, a three-time NCAA champion, won his third EIWA title, to go with one runner-up finish. Bosak, an NCAA champion last year, won his first career EIWA title as a senior. Garrett, a freshman, won the title on his first try.
Dake scored an impressive technical fall in the finals, putting away Columbia’s Josh Houldsworth, 20-5 in the finals. He had two pins, a tech fall and a major decision. Dake was named Outstanding Wrestler, and also won awards for scoring the most team points in the tournament, as well as having the most falls.
“I wrestled pretty well. I pushed the pace in the last match and wrestled hard. I got another EIWA title,” said Dake. “Everybody is wrestling well now, but we can still get better. We still need to peak at nationals and that is what we are planning to do.”
Bosak, who was seeded second, beat No. 4 seed Mason Bailey of Navy, 7-1. One of his top rivals, top seed Robert Hamlin of Lehigh, was injured in the semifinals and did not continue. Bosak lost a bout to Hamlin earlier this year.
“I haven’t won the EIWAs yet. I won NCAAs last year. It feels good to get something like this,” said Bosak. “Obviously, I didn’t see Hamlin in the finals, like I wanted to, but it is nice to get this win. I am really happy about this.”
Garrett beat Mark Rappo of Penn, 6-1 in the finals to get Cornell off to a great start in the finals.
Cornell qualified seven for the NCAA Tournament automatically, which took a little bit of the joy of the conference title away for head coach Rob Koll.
“I’d rather have 10 at the NCAAs and lose, than have seven and win, but it’s out of my control right now,” said Koll. “I am happy to win it because we had our fans heare and they wanted to win it. Obviously, I am not happy about only taking seven to nationals.”
Navy had a strong team performance, led by individual champion Daniel Miller at 285, and a pair of runners-up. Miller, the No. 4 seed, beat No. 2 seed Blake Herrin of American, 2-1 in the first tiebreaker. Navy Coach Bruce Burnett said that his Navy team had great balance, and performed well to come in second in such a challenging tournament.
Penn came through in third with 110.5 points, led by individual champion Micah Burak at 197 pounds, and a pair of runners-up. Burak, a senior, won his first EIWA title, after being a four-time finalist. He stopped James Fox of Harvard, 6-3 in the final.
Lehigh finished fourth with 110.5 points, and had three individual champions, Randy Cruz (133), Joey Napoli (157) and Nate Brown (174). Cruz beat Matt Brystol of Columbia, 6-0. Napoli beat top-seed Walter Peppelman of Harvard, 5-0. Brown stopped Mathew Miller of Navy, 3-2.
Lehigh’s chances were dimmed when two of its top athletes, No. 1 seed and returning champion Robert Hamlin at 184 pounds and No, 2 seed and returning champion Shane Welsh at 149 pounds were injured on Friday and unable to continue. Had those two athletes been able to compete, Lehigh might have been right in the team race.
Host Rutgers did not put a single athlete into the finals, but had nine placewinners to claim fifth with 91 points. Rutgers hosted the EIWA Championships for the first time, and it will also be for the last time, as the Scarlet Knights have joined the Big Ten in all sports.
The other two champions were Richard Durso of Franklin and Marshall at 141 pounds, and Steve Santos of Columbia at 149 pounds.
Durso was the first EIWA champion for Franklin and Marshall since 1996. Seeded No. 5, Durso stopped No. 3 seed Charles Cobb of Penn in the finals, 5-4.
Santos, the top seed, beat No. 3 seed Daniel Young of Army, 7-2 for the title.
The EIWA had 45 automatic qualifiers for the NCAA Championships, second only behind the Big Ten in the number of qualifiers among conferences.
At Piscataway, N.J., March 8-9
125 lbs. (top 4 qualify for NCAAs)
1st – Nahshon Garrett (Cornell) dec. Mark Rappo (Penn), 6-1
3rd – David Terao (American) dec. Billy Waterson (Brown), 5-3
5th –Jeffrey Ott (Harvard) maj. dec. Hunter Wood (Army), 13-0
7th –Patrick Prada (Navy) dec. Penn Gottfied (Columbia), 4-2
133 lbs. (top 2 qualify for NCAAs)
1st – Randy Cruz (Lehigh) dec. Matt Brystol (Columbia), 6-0
3rd –Vinnie Dellafave (Rutgers) dec. Jeff Canfora (Penn), 5-2
5th –Jordan Thome (Army) pin Paul Petrov (Bucknell), 4:28
7th –Bricker Dixon (Cornell) dec. Shay Warren (Harvard), 4-2
141 lbs. (top 7 qualify for NCAAs)
1st – Richard Durso (F&M) dec. Charles Cobb (Penn), 5-4
3rd –Mike Nevinger (Cornell) dec. Steven Keith (Harvard), 3-0
5th –Anthony Salupo (Lehigh) dec. Trevor Melde (Rutgers), 7-4
7th – Connor Hanafee (Army) dec Joe Locksmith (Navy), 3-2
149 lbs. (top 4 qualify for NCAAs)
1st – Steve Santos (Columbia) dec. Daniel Young (Army), 7-2
3rd –Ray Borja (Navy) inj. dft. Chris Villalonga (Cornell)
5th –Kevin Tao (American) med forfeit Ken Theobold (Rutgers)
7th – Andrew Lenzi (Penn) dec. Zachary Bintliff (Princeton), 7-5
157 lbs. (top five qualify for NCAAs)
1st –Joseph Napoli (Lehigh) dec. Walter Peppelman (Harvard), 5-0
3rd –Bobby Barnhisel (Navy) dec. Jake O’Hara (Columbia), 4-0
5th –Scott Winston (Rutgers) dec. Jesse Shanaman (Cornell), 2-0, sv.
7th – Troy Hernandez (Penn) maj. dec. Mark Cirello (American), 11-2
165 lbs. (top five qualify for NCAAs)
1st – Kyle Dake (Cornell) tech. fall Josh Houldsworth (Columbia), 20-5
3rd – Paul Hancock (Army) dec. Peyton Walsh (Navy), 6-1
5th –Nicholas Viscaro (Rutgers) pin Corey Lear (Bucknell), 2:25
7th – Devon Gobbo (Harvard) dec. Phillip Barreiro (American), 9-7
174 lbs. (top 4 qualify for NCAAs)
1st – Nate Brown (Lehigh) dec. Mathew Miller (Navy), 3-2
3rd – Ian Korb (Penn) dec. Greg Zanetti (Rutgers), 2-1
5th –Coleman Gracey (Army) pin Ryan Callahan (Princeton), 3:35
7th – Marshall Peppleman (Cornell) dec. Cameron Croy (Harvard), 4-2
184 lbs. (top 5 qualify for NCAAs)
1st – Steve Bosak (Cornell) dec. Mason Bailey (Navy), 7-1
3rd –Ophir Bernstein (Brown) dec. Dan Rinaldi (Rutgers), 7-2
5th –Canaan Bethea (Penn) medical forfeit Robert Hamlin (Lehigh)
7th – Scott Gibbons (Princeton) dec. Robert Marchese (Bucknell), 5-3
197 lbs. (top 5 qualify for NCAAs)
1st – Micah Burak (Penn) dec. James Fox (Harvard), 6-3
3rd – Jace Bennett (Cornell) dec. Bryce Barnes (Army), 4-2
5th – John Bolich (Lehigh) medical forfeit Peter Huntley (Navy)
7th – Dan Seidenberg (Rutgers) dec. Tyler Lyster (Bucknell), 3-1
285 lbs. (top 4 qualify for NCAAs)
1st –Daniel Miller (Navy) dec. Blake Herrin (American), 2-1, t.b. 1
3rd –Joe Stolfi (Bucknell) maj. dec. Stryker Lane (Cornell), 12-0
5th – Stephen Graziano (Penn) dec. Billy Smith (Rutgers), 3-2
7th –Max Wessell (Lehigh) pin David Ng (Harvard), 0:37
1. Cornell, 142
2. Navy, 117.5
3. Penn, 110.5
4. Lehigh, 101.5
5. Rutgers, 91
6. Army, 81
7. Harvard, 78.5
8. Columbia, 75
9. American, 57
10. Bucknell, 47
11. Brown, 38
12. Princeton, 24.5
13. Franklin and Marshall, 215.
14. Sacred Heart, 0