Cornell grabs another EIWA crown
Big Red grab three individual titles, qualify eight for NCAA meet
PRINCETON, N.J. -- Cornell won its sixth consecutive EIWA team title on Sunday night after crowning three individual champions. It was the first time that a team has won six consecutive EIWA titles since before World War II.
Senior Cam Simaz became just the 11th EIWA wrestler to win his fourth individual title. Simaz was also named the tournament's most outstanding wrestler. Senior Frank Perrelli (125) and junior Kyle Dake also won titles at their respective weight classes. The Big Red placed a total of nine wrestlers in the top six and qualified eight wrestlers for the NCAA tournament.
Simaz is the 10th Cornell wrestler to earn the Coaches' Trophy for the tournament's outstanding wrestler. The last was Mack Lewnes in 2010. He was also the eighth Cornellian to win the John Fletcher Memorial Trophy that is given to the wrestler who has earned the most team points in his EIWA career. Simaz is the fourth consecutive Big Red wrestler to earn the honor and the first EIWA wrestler to win four individual titles at 197 pounds.
Cornell's NCAA qualifiers include Frank Perrelli (125), Nick Arujau (133), Mike Nevinger (141), Chris Villalonga (149), Kyle Dake (157), Marshall Peppelman (165), Steve Bosak (184) and Cam Simaz (197).
The Big Red finished in first place as a team with 151.5 points. The team race came down to the heavyweight bout with No. 1 ranked Ryan Flores of American taking on returning NCAA champion Zach Rey of Lehigh. Flores came out the winner by decision in sudden victory to help Cornell secure the team championship. A win by Rey would have given the title to Lehigh. Lehigh finished in second place with 149 points followed by American (103), Penn (94.5) and Navy (85).
Cornell had nine wrestlers finish in the top five of their respective weight classes including Perrelli (1st, 125), Arujau (5th, 133), Nevinger (2nd, 141), Villalonga (3rd, 149), Dake (1st, 157), Peppelman (4th, 165), Bosak (2nd, 184), Simaz (1st, 197) and Maciej Jochym (5th, HWT).
Big Red freshman Billy George advanced to the consolation semifinals at 174 pounds. He was disqualified from the tournament for unsportsmanlike conduct at the end of his match. Due to the disqualification from the tournament, Cornell lost all of his points as well as was penalized a team point.
At 125 pounds, Perrelli faced Princeton's Garrett Frey. Perrelli attacked early in the period for a takedown. The Big Red senior racked up 1:44 in riding time before Frey would escape. Perrelli immediately spun out of his starting down position to start the second and reversed Frey to take a 4-1 lead. Frey allowed Perrelli to rack up an extra minute of riding time before working back to neutral. Frey chose to start the third period down on the mat, and after almost a minute off the clock he escaped. With 20 seconds left in the bout, Perrelli notched another takedown to seal his win. Frey escaped, but with 3:53 in riding time, Perrelli won a 7-4 decision. Perrelli is now a two-time EIWA champion and has qualified for his second NCAA tournament.
Nevinger faced American's Matt Mariacher at 141 pounds in the final. Mariacher was very quick on his feet and notched a takedown one minute into the first period. Nevinger was down by two points after the first period after the American wrestler grabbed another takedown from which Nevinger escaped. Mariacher chose to start the second at neutral and grabbed another takedown before the period was over. Nevinger chose to start the third period on top looking to score back points. The Big Red sophomore rode tough for the entire two minutes, but was unable to tilt Mariacher. Mariacher won the EIWA championship by a 6-4 decision.
At 157 pounds, No. 1 Dake took on Walter Peppelman of Harvard. After a scoreless first period, Peppelman chose neutral to start the second. Dake took a 2-0 lead with a takedown as time ran out. Dake chose down to start the third and escaped for another point. Dake won his second EIWA championship with a 3-0 decision against Peppelman and qualified for his third NCAA tournament.
Bosak faced Robert Hamlin at 184 pounds in a rematch from last year's final. After a scoreless first period, Hamlin escaped for the only point of the second period. Bosak chose down to start the third and immediately escaped to tie the bout at 1-1. With 30 seconds left on the clock, Hamlin took Bosak down. Bosak quickly escaped once again looking to score. Bosak shot in on Hamlin and almost had a takedown but time had run out. Hamlin won a 3-2 decision. The returning All-American qualified for his third NCAA tournament.
At 197 pounds, Simaz faced Penn's Micah Burak for the eighth time in their career. The two wrestlers had met in the final each of the last three seasons. After a scoreless first period, Simaz chose down to start the second. He reversed Burak and added two back points before the Quaker wrestler escaped. Burak chose down to start the third. Simaz was moved into an awkward position which allowed Burak to come within a point with a reversal. The Big Red senior captain escaped to hold a 5-3 lead late in the bout. Simaz never let up and notched two more takedowns to win a 9-4 decision. Simaz, a three-time All-American, qualified for his fourth NCAA tournament.