Cornell wins EIWA's with four champions, Harvard's Preston named OW
PHILADELPHIA, Penn. – Coming into the 2014 EIWA Championships the Cornell Big Red were heavy favorites to take home the first place team trophy, and for the eighth consecutive year the EIWA Championship heads to Ithaca, N.Y.
On Sunday evening the University of Pennsylvania’s famed Palestra played host to a racious crowd and exciting wrestling despite the team race being locked up before the finals began.
The big winners on the day, Cornell earned four individual championships to go along with its team title.
“I think I’m spoiled,” said Cornell Head Coach Rob Koll. “I think we have scored more points in this tournament than whe have scored in any of the eight championships we have had and this is probably the least satisfying we’ve felt as far as the team performance because the expectations are so high.”
The nations top ranked 125 pounder Nahshon Garrett opened things off for Cornell with a hard fought 2-1 victory over David Terao of American. This marks EIWA Championship number two for Garrett, who is expected to be the No. 1 seed at the 2014 NCAA Championships held in Oklahoma City, Okla. on March 20-22.
Cornell 184 pound star Gabriel Dean continued his winning ways earning a 3-1 victory in the EIWA Championship finals over Lawrence Thomas of Penn. Dean dethroned Penn State’s two-time NCAA Champion Ed Ruth in January at the Southern Scuffle and is expected to be a top contender for the NCAA title at 184 lbs.
Rising star for the Big Red Chris Villalonga took home the title at 149 lbs. with a 4-2 victory over Mitchell Minotti of Lehigh. This was the only finals bout between the top two teams at the 2014 EIWA Championships.
Much to the delight of Rob Koll, freshman 197-pounder Jace Bennett was able to secure Cornell’s last individual championship on the evening with a 5-4 victory that went down to the wire.
“We have got a lot of things to be thankful for. We have four champions in a really tough tournament” said Koll.
Cornell aside, no other team produced more than a single individual champion at the 2014 EIWA Championships, speaking to the depth of the new field of 18 teams.
Champion at 141 lbs. for Harvard Todd Preston was named Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament after defeating Hofstra’s Luke Vaith 8-6 in sudden victory.
“It means a lot. It shows how hard I have been working. I know I deserve it but it’s only a stepping-stone. The big thing is in two weeks and that is where I hope to get some titles,” Preston said.
Sophomore Mason Beckman led the charge for tournament runner-up Lehigh as he captured his first EIWA Championship with a 4-1 win over Drexel’s Kevin Devoy in the 133-pound finals.
In the last year of competition for the Boston University wrestling program 157 pound star for the Terriers was able to give the program an EIWA Champion. Taffur defeated Columbia’s Markus Scheidel 8-2 in impressive fashion in the finals.
“With the whole team thing going on this year we are faced with so much adversity, but we have the best team, best family to take it on,” said Taffur. “It’s just encouraging to see, to look out in the crowd and know how many guys really care about our progam and fighting for what we have and the legacy that they have had over the past fifty years.”
Others who claimed 2014 EIWA individual championships were Hofstra’s Joseph Booth at 165 lbs., Navy’s Mathew Miller at 174 lbs. and Bucknell’s Joe Stolfi at 285 lbs.
For compete brackets and results from the 2014 EIWA Championships please visit trackwrestling.com.
Final Team Standings
Cornell 165.5, Lehigh 101.0, Rutgers 91.0, Hofstra 81.0, Columbia 69.0, Navy 64.5, American 59.5, Binghamton 59.5, Harvard 55.5, Penn 53.0, Boston 52.5, Princeton 50.5, Drexel 47.5, Army 46.0, Bucknell 42.5, Brown 23.0, Franklin & Marshall 20.0, Sacred Heart 0.0
NCAA Automatic Qualifiers Per Team
Cornell 8, Lehigh 5, Hofstra 4, Rutgers 3, Columbia 3, American 3, Penn 3, Boston 3, Navy 2, Binghamton 2, Drexel 2, Bucknell 2, Harvard 1, Princeton 1, Army 1, Brown 1, Franklin & Marshall 1, Sacred Heart 0
Nahshon Garrett (Cornell) dec David Terao (American) 2-1
Mason Beckman (Lehigh) dec Kevin Devoy (Drexel) 4-1
Todd Preston (Harvard) dec Luke Vaith (Hofstra) 8-6 SV2
Chris Villalonga (Cornell) dec Mitchell Minotti (Lehigh) 4-2
Nestor Taffur (Boston) dec Markus Scheidel (Columbia) 8-2
Joseph Booth (Hofstra) dec Dylan Palacio (Cornell) 6-4 TB1
Mathew Miller (Navy) fall Bradley Wukie (Penn) 2:46
Gabriel Dean (Cornell) dec Lawrence Thomas (Penn) 3-1
Jace Bennett (Cornell) dec Cody Reed (Binghamton) 5-4
Joe Stolfi (Bucknell) dec William Smith (Rutgers) 9-7
Third Place Results
Darian Cruz (Lehigh) fall David White (Binghamton) 3:28
Mark Grey (Cornell) fall Vincent Dellefave (Rutgers) 6:42
Richard Durso (Franklin & Marshall) dec Tyler Scotton (Boston) 3-0
Ken Theobold (Rutgers) medical forfeit Cody Ruggirello (Hofstra)
Anthony Perrotti (Rutgers) dec Brian Realbuto (Cornell) 11-7
Josh Houldsworth (Columbia) dec Casey Kent (Penn) 3-2
Elliot Riddick (Lehigh) dec Frank Affronti (Hofstra) 2-1
Ophir Bernstein (Brown) dec Zack Hernandez (Columbia) 6-0
Dan Mitchell (American) maj dec Paul Rands (Navy) 15-1
Max Wessell (Lehigh) medical forfeit Blake Herrin (American)