March 19, 2012-
Another season in the books and I simply could not be more pleased or proud to be the head coach for Cornell wrestling. We have such a great group of wrestlers, alumni, fans, assistant coaches and administrators that it is no surprise that Cornell Wrestling is a perennial power. Oh, and by the way, we just had three national champions! You have to forgive me but I really like saying that and writing it feels equally good. As a matter of fact I think I might have mentioned that we had three national champions about 100 times over the course of the past 48 hours. And if I wasn’t saying it someone with a giant white C on their chest was. Joe Simaz, otherwise known as Cam’s dad personifies how I felt after the tournament. If you haven’t already seen it you have to check it out, http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=3522122215572
The entire weekend was tremendous. Win or lose everyone wrestled with a great deal of heart. We had three national champions, but Frank Perrelli and Mike Nevinger also earned All-American honors. With five All-Americans, three of which were national champions, we continued our streak of placing four or more All-Americans for eight consecutive years. We have also placed three or more All-Americans for ten consecutive years. By scoring 102.5 points we broke the Cornell all-time record for points scored at the NCAA tournament. Despite placing two spots lower than our last two year’s finish, everyone came away feeling like we had done our best.
125 Frank Perrelli finished up his Cornell career as an All-American. Frank came into the tournament ranked 6th but fought his way through a staked weight class eventually earning a fourth place finish.
133 Nick Arujau went 1-2 and did not place. Nick has All-American talent on his feet and on top but needs to make significant improvements off the bottom. We have all summer to work on this area so I do not anticipate this will be an issue in the future.
141 Mike Nevinger, aka “Woodchuck” proved his coaches correct that he would be an All-American this year. Mike went 5-2 and placed 7th. Along the way he defeated the 7th, 8th and 9th seeds.
149 Chris Villalonga did not win any matches. Chris had a tough draw but certainly has the ability to do much better. He had to watch the entire tournament from the sidelines. This allowed him to watch many wrestlers who he had defeated during the year, get to compete for All-American honors. I am certain this was a sickening feeling and I am hopeful and certain it will be a feeling not soon forgotten.
157 Kyle Dake became the first wrestler to ever win three NCAA championships at three different weights. He is only the 40th person to ever win three NCAA titles. Next year he will become the first wrestler to ever win four NCAA titles without ever red-shirting. Kyle was the first of our three national champions.
165 Marshall Peppelman went 1-2. Marshall struggled at times this year but by the EIWA’s and NCAA’s showed that he can compete with the nation’s elite. I know next year Marshall will pick-up where he left off and will challenge for All-American honors.
184 Steve Bosak was the second of Cornell’s three NCAA champions. He avenged an early season loss to returning NCAA champion Quinton Wright. Wright is very athletic and Steve did a great job of slowing the pace of the match down. His game plan was to take the match to the mat and win by riding Wright out. All was going as planned until midway through the second period Steve gave up a reversal. He quickly escaped and after escaping again in the third the match went into sudden death O.T. After a brief scramble, Steve hit a slick single leg and finished the match.
197 Cam Simaz, 4x All-American, 4x EIWA champ, 4x All-Ivy and NCAA champion. Cam did everything right all season long and was justly rewarded as he become Cornell third NCAA champion on the night. Hopefully by now all of you have watched his father’s reaction. I honestly believe that is how every Cornell fan in the arena felt as Cam’s hand was raised in triumph.
This was the greatest night in Cornell wrestling history. Now it is time to start working to create the next greatest night in Cornell wrestling history! Thank you for all your support whether you were there in body or in spirit.
Kyle Dake, Cam Simaz Named Co-Wrestlers of the Year
Cornell wrestlers Kyle Dake and Cam Simaz have been named EIWA Co-Wrestlers of the Year by the EIWA head coaches. Dake, a junior currently wrestling at 157, won his third NCAA Championship at the NCAA Championships in St Louis last weekend. It was his third NCAA crown at three different weights, a feat which no wrestler has ever accomplished before. He had only one point scored against him in five bouts, and only two points over the past two NCAA tournaments. Both of these points were penalty points. Dake also is a three-time EIWA champion, and finished his season with a perfect 39-0 record. Simaz, a senior, won his first NCAA title after winning four EIWA titles at 197. He finishes with a record of 35-1. His only loss was by medical default.
Check out videos interviews of Cornell wrestlers and staff at:http://newyorkwrestlingnews.com/2012-nc ... ip-videos/
All the best,