Photo courtesy of Hunter Martin/EIWA and Cornell Athletic
PHILADELPHIA -- For the eighth-consecutive year, the Cornell wrestling team is the EIWA champion.
After the two-day event held at The Palestra and hosted by Penn,
the Big Red won four individual titles and garnered 165.5 points,
more than 60 ahead of the second-place finisher, Lehigh (101).
Columbia placed fifth with 69 points, followed by Harvard (ninth,
55.5), Penn (t-10th, 53), Princeton (12th, 50.5) and Brown (16th,
Seven Cornell wrestlers earned automatic berths to the NCAA Wrestling Championships, including the four Big Red who won their respective weight class, sophomore Nahshon Garrett (125), senior Chris Villalonga (149), freshman Gabe Dean (184) and junior Jace Bennett (197).
Moreover, freshman Mark Grey placed third at 133 to earn an automatic trip to Oklahoma City for NCAAs, where he will be joined by senior Mike Nevinger (fifth, 141) and freshman Brian Realbuto (fourth, 157).
Columbia placed six at EIWAs, including three who won their way to the NCAA Championships. Freshman Markus Scheidel was the runner-up at 157, sophomore Zack Hernandez finished fourth at 184 and senior Josh Houldsworth placed third at 165 for his second-straight trip to NCAAs.
Harvard sophomore Todd Preston won at 141-pounds and earned Most Outstanding Wrestler for his efforts, the first Crimson to win a title at EIWAs since J.P. O'Connor in 2010 and the first Harvard 141-pound champion since Dustin DeNunzio in 1999. Preston is the fourth Crimson to earn Most Outstanding Wrestler and the first since Jesse Jantzen in 2002.
Host Penn saw three wrestlers receive automatic berths to the NCAA Championships. The championship bout at 184 featured a pair of Ivy League Rookie of the Year recipients in Quakers junior Lorenzo Thomas (2012) and Cornell freshman Gabe Dean (2014), as the latter defeated the former, 3-1. At 174, Penn senior Brad Wukie made a surprise run to runner-up status and sophomore Casey Kent took fourth at 165.
Princeton and Brown each will send at least one wrestler to NCAAs. Bears junior Ophir Bernstein made it three-for-three in NCAA Championships appearances, as he placed third at 184. In fact, the Ivy League took the top-four spots at 184-pounds. Tigers sophomore Abram Ayala took fifth at 197 to ensure that his season will continue in Oklahoma City.
More Ivies received berths to the NCAA Championships as at-large selections, which were announced on March 12. Columbia junior Shane Hughes (174) will be making his first trip to NCAAs, while Harvard junior James Fox (197) will be making his third-straight.