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Cornell Athletics | February 19, 2017

Cornell seniors lead No. 8 Big Red past No. 4 Ohio State

  The Big Red pulled off a 19-18 upset at Sunday's NWCA National Duals Championship Series.

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Senior Brian Realbuto beat top-ranked Bo Jordan at 174 pounds and No. 1 Gabe Dean defeated defending NCAA champion Myles Martin at 184, but it was sophomore Jeramy Sweany's victory at heavyweight that lifted Cornell to a 19-18 upset win over No. 4 Ohio State on Sunday afternoon. The eighth-ranked Big Red closed its regular season with a 13-2 record after knocking off the Buckeyes in the NWCA National Duals Championship Series. Ohio State fell to 11-3 on the year.

Realbuto, a two-time NCAA All-American and 2015 national finalist, upset the unbeaten Jordan thanks to a first period takedown just 16 seconds in. That was the difference, as both earned escape points at the change and scrambles in the late second and third resulted in no scoring, much to the chagrin of Ohio State's coaching staff that requested a video review on one. The call was upheld, and Realbuto defended a shot late to pick up the win, his 111th in a Cornell singlet.

Dean was just as impressive against the reigning champion at 174 pounds, controlling the center against Martin throughout. Dean used four swipes in the third as he locked in a cradle for a six-point move in the third, but the very near pin wasn't called and the two-time defending champion at 184 pounds improved to 27-0 on the season with a 10-5 victory.

Trailing 18-16 heading into the heavyweight match and with Buckeye Olympic gold medalist Kyle Snyder sitting the dual out, Cornell's Sweany picked up the lone takedown, earned an escape and a riding point for the clinching 4-0 win over Josh Fox, igniting the crowd and giving the Big Red its win over a top five team for the first time since knocking off fourth-ranked Minnesota 19-17 at the 2015 National Duals. It was the program's first home win over a top five squad since a 21-16 victory over the third-ranked Gophers in 2011, also at Newman Arena.

Sweany ended the match right, but it was freshman Noah Baughman's dominant 4-0 win of his own over 16th-ranked Jose Rodriguez at 125 pounds that set the tone. Cornell closed strong, winning five of the final six matches to overcome Ohio State's bonus points and take a 7-6-1 lead in the all-time series. The Buckeyes led as much as 14-3 after Micah Jordan's pin at 149, but that lead would be cut over the final six matches before being overcome at heavyweight.
Sophomore Brandon Womack won of those swing matches, using a third period takedown to claim a 4-2 win over Cody Burcher at 165 pounds. Ohio State got in deep on a shot midway through the third, but Womack was able to lift him into a cradle, before scoring with 30 seconds left. Burcher was able to escape the cradle and back points, but Womack rode him out for the victory.

The Buckeyes showed their strength at the top, as top-ranked Nathan Tomasello earned a technical fall at 133 and Micah Jordan, No. 5 at 149, earned a third period fall to give Ohio State key bonus points. Luke Pletcher added a hard-fought 5-2 win over Will Koll at 141 to build its 11-point lead heading into 157. Senior Dylan Palacio changed the momentum with a thoroughly dominant 19-8 win over Anthony Decarlo. 

With dual meet season over, Cornell will look to earn its 11th consecutive EIWA title and qualify wrestlers for NCAAs during the two-day tournament at Bucknell from March 3-4.

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