USA Wrestling Cornell, Nebraska, I...

Cornell, Nebraska, Illinois, Rutgers to be featured at fourth annual Grapple at the Garden

By The Madison Square Garden Company | Oct. 08, 2015, 1:03 p.m. (ET)

 NCAA champion Isaiah Martinez of Illinois.
Photo: Tony Rotundo,
New York, NY —The fourth annual Grapple at The Garden dual meet, featuring the nation’s top programs, will take place on Sunday, November 29 at Madison Square Garden, it was announced today. A total of 22 colleges and universities, including 11 Division I programs led by five top 20 NCAA 2015 national tournament finishers -- Cornell (No.5), Nebraska (No.9), Illinois (No.12), and Northwestern (No.15) -- along with local programs Rutgers and Hofstra, will all compete as part of their season-long march towards the 2016 NCAA Division I wrestling championships taking place March 17-19 – also at Madison Square Garden and hosted by Hofstra University.

Tickets, priced at $20.00, $35.00 and $55.00, are currently on sale and can be purchased online at, all Ticketmaster locations and the Madison Square Garden box office.

The annual Grapple at the Garden, which has become a staple on the college wrestling calendar, will once again bring together the largest group of college programs, including 11 Division I, one Division II, and seven Division III institutions featuring Cornell, Drexel, Franklin & Marshall College, George Mason, Illinois, Maryland, Muhlenberg, Nebraska, Northwestern, Oswego State, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Wilkes University, as well as local programs Hofstra, LIU Post, Mount Saint Vincent, New York University, Princeton, Rutgers, and Stevens Institute. In addition, the club teams from Penn State University, Stony Brook University, and SUNY Farmingdale will also be participating.

Grapple at the Garden will feature many accomplished student-athletes including 2015 NCAA Champion Gabe Dean and the 2014 Grapple at the Garden Most Outstanding Wrestler Nahshon Garrett from Cornell along with 2015 NCAA and Big Ten Champion Isaiah Martinez from Illinois. Additionally, Anthony Ashnault from Rutgers achieved All-American status as a redshirt freshman, marking two consecutive years for the Scarlet Knights with an AA (Anthony Perrotti, 2014).

In addition, many student-athletes who will be competing at the Grapple at The Garden rank in Flo Wrestling’s top 10 in their respective weight classes including: 133lb – Garret #5 (Cornell) and Zane Richards #9 (Illinois); 141lb – Anthony Abidin #7 (Nebraska), Ashnault #8 (Rutgers), Richard Durso #9 (Franklin & Marshall); 149lb – Jason Tsirtsis #1 (Northwestern), Jake Sueflohn #5 (Nebraska); 157lb – Martinez #1 (Illinois); 165lb – Austin Wilson #7 (Nebraska), Dylan Palacio #8 (Cornell); 174lb – Robert Kokesh #2 (Nebraska), Luke Smith #10 (Illinois); 184lb – Dean #1 (Cornell); and 197lb – Abe Ayala #9 (Princeton), Aaron Studebaker #10 (Nebraska).

The Grapple at The Garden will also feature the best New York City high school wrestlers from the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL), Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) and independent school wrestlers in each weight class against some of their best counterparts from around the state as well as middle school and elementary school championships. Additionally, two high school age all-star club teams from local areas that have not started their high school seasons will clash for Metropolitan bragging rights. Interested wrestlers interested in the elementary or middle school tournament can register at

The full day of wrestling on November 29 will feature three collegiate sessions with the first starting at 8:00 a.m. with Mt. St. Vincent v. SUNY Farmingdale, and Stony Brook v. PSU. Session two begins at 10:00 a.m. and will include Cornell v. Nebraska, George Mason v. Rutgers, Illinois v. Maryland, Northwestern v. Drexel, Hofstra v. Princeton, Franklin & Marshall v. Oswego State, LIU Post v. Wilkes, and NYU v. Stevens. Session three starts at noon and will showcase Cornell v. Rutgers, Princeton v. Nebraska, Northwestern v. Franklin & Marshall, Illinois v. Drexel, Maryland v. Hofstra, George Mason v. Pitt – Johnstown and Muhlenberg v. Oswego State.

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