ITHACA, N.Y. – No. 5 Cornell stunned No. 4 Minnesota on Friday night after battling its way to a 21-16 victory against the Golden Gophers. Senior Cam Simaz pinned No. 2 Sonny Yohn at 197 pounds, while sophomores Mike Nevinger (141) and Craig Eifert (157) upset two top-10 ranked wrestlers in their respective weight classes. In his debut in a Cornell singlet, freshman Billy George picked up a win at 174 pounds, while returning two-time NCAA champion Kyle Dake earned a decision at 157 pounds. At 184 pounds, No. 4 Steve Bosak defeated sixth ranked Kevin Steinhaus.
The dual opened at 125 pounds, with No. 8 Frank Perrelli facing off against No. 2 Zach Sanders. Sanders held a 2-1 lead after the first period with a takedown from which Perrelli escaped. Perrelli escaped from his opening down position in the second, but Sanders notched another takedown. With eight seconds left in the period, Perrelli escaped to come within a point. Sanders escaped to open the third period and with 1:29 in riding time, he won a 6-3 decision.
At 133 pounds, Minnesota’s seventh ranked David Thorn had a 4-2 lead against Joe Stanzione before he won by fall in 2:25.
No. 17 Nevinger took on No. 10 Nick Dardanes at 141 pounds. Nevinger was down 4-1 after two takedowns by Dardanes in the first period. Dardanes chose neutral to start the second period and held a 6-2 lead after two periods with a takedown. Nevinger chose top to start the third period, and with one minute left in the bout, turned his opponent to earn three back points. The Big Red sophomore fought for another three-point nearfall, and with 1:04 in riding time, won a 9-6 decision.
At 149 pounds, No. 17 Eifert faced No. 6 Dylan Ness. With 20 seconds off the clock, Ness notched a takedown, but Eifert escaped. Eifert took a 3-2 advantage with a takedown, but Ness reversed him to hold a 4-3 lead going into the second period. Ness reversed Eifert from his opening down position to start the second, but Eifert came within a point with a reversal of his own. Ness would escape, but Eifert took him down to tie the score at 7-7. Eifert chose to start the third period down and quickly escaped. Midway through the period, Eifert took his opponent down once again to win a 10-7 decision.
Top-ranked Dake squared off against No. 8 Jake Deitchler at 157 pounds. Dake grabbed an early takedown in the first period and rode out his opponent. Dake chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped. Deitchler called injury time and Dake chose down when the action resumed. The junior increased his lead to 4-0 with an escape. Deitchler chose neutral in the third period, but neither wrestler scored again. With 2:25 in riding time, Dake won a 5-0 decision to tie the team score at 9-9.
After halftime, action resumed at 165 pounds with No. 17 Marshall Peppelman facing No. 8 Cody Yohn. With a scoreless first period, Yohn turned Peppelman from his starting down position in the second for three quick back points. Peppelman escaped to come within two. Yohn chose down to start the third period and escaped. Peppelman came within a point with a takedown. Peppelman depleted the riding time advantage before letting his opponent up looking to score. Yohn evaded the Big Red sophomore to win a 5-3 decision.
At 174 pounds, George took on Alec Ortiz. After a scoreless first period, George escaped from his opening down position in the second. He lengthened his lead to 3-0 with a takedown before the period was over. Ortiz escaped from his opening down position in the third. With one second left on the clock, George notched another takedown. With 2:01 in riding time, the rookie won a 6-1 decision.
One minute into the first period at 184 pounds, No. 4 Bosak took down No. 6 Steinhaus. He took a 4-0 lead into the second period with two back points. Bosak escaped to start the second for the only point of the period. Steinhaus chose neutral in the third, but Bosak took him down once again. With 30 seconds left in the bout, Steinhaus reversed Bosak. With 1:41 in riding time, Bosak won an 8-2 decision.
At 197 pounds, No. 1 ranked Simaz faced No. 2 Sonny Yohn. Simaz held a narrow 2-1 lead after the first period with a takedown from which Yohn escaped. Yohn escaped to open the second period, but Simaz notched two more takedowns to take a 6-3 lead. Simaz quickly reversed Yohn to start the third period. With 56 seconds left in the bout, the Big Red senior earned three back points. Simaz was leading 14-4 when he turned his opponent to his back and won by fall in 6:46. It was Simaz’s fifth-consecutive pin of the season. With the six team points, Cornell sealed the dual victory against Minnesota.
At heavyweight, freshman Jace Bennett took on No. 4 Tony Nelson. Nelson held a 3-0 lead after two periods, but the Golden Gopher won a final 15-5 major decision.