Cornell Wins Seventh-Straight EIWA Championship
Photo courtesy of Cornell Athletic Communications
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Of the 45 NCAA Wrestling Tournament automatic qualifiers from the EIWA Championship, 21 are Ivies, after an impressive performance that saw four of the League’s six squads place among the top eight at the two-day event that took place at The RAC in Piscataway, N.J.
A total of 23 Ivies will compete in the NCAA Tournament
The NCAA Tournament will take place from March 21-23 at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
No. 9 Cornell won its seventh-straight EIWA Championships title
with 142 team points, followed by No. 21 Penn (third, 110.5),
Harvard (seventh, 78.5), Columbia (75.0), Brown (11th, 38.0) and
Princeton (12th, 24.5).
On the individual side, the Ivy League won five of the 10 weight classes, including three title-winners by the Big Red. Cornell senior Kyle Dake (165) won his third EIWA title, while fellow classmate Steve Bosak (184) won his first after placing second each of the past two seasons.
Dake, who was unanimously voted Ivy League Wrestler of the Year, added three more awards to his mantle, as he was earned Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament, Fletcher Award (most team points in his career – 82.5) and Sheridan Award (most pins in the championship bracket – 2). Freshman Nahshon Garrett, the Ivy League Rookie of the Year, won the 125-pound championship.
Cornell will also send junior Mike Nevinger (third, 141), junior Chris Villalonga (fourth, 149), sophomore Jace Bennett (third, 197) and senior Stryker Lane (fourth, HWT) to the NCAAs.
Columbia senior Steve Santos became the 19th EIWA Champion in program history after winning at 149 pounds for his first career title. He will be joined at the NCAA Tournament by junior Matt Bystol (second, 133), junior Josh Houldsworth (second, 165) and senior Jake O’Hara (fourth, 157). Columbia also received the Team Sportsmanship Award, given by the mat officials.
Penn senior Micah Burak became the Quakers’ first four-time finalist since Matt Valenti (2003-07), but Burak had never won the championship. He can finally put EIWA Champion next to his name, as he defeated Harvard sophomore James Fox in the title bout, 6-3.
The Quakers sent a total of five wrestlers to the NCAA Tournament. Joining Burak will be senior Mark Rappo (second, 125), sophomore C.J. Cobb (second, 141), sophomore Ian Korb (third, 174) and junior Canaan Bethea (fifth, 184).
For Harvard, seniors Walter Peppelman (second, 157) and Steven Keith (fourth, 141) will travel with Fox to Des Moines, Iowa. Brown sends a pair of wrestlers to NCAAs, as junior Billy Watterson placed fourth at 125 and sophomore Ophir Bernstein took third at 184.
A total of 23 Ivies will compete in the NCAA Tournament after the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee selected the remaining 40 at-large qualifiers, which included Columbia senior Stephen West (174) and Penn junior Steven Graziano (285).