Nov. 19, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The tenth ranked University of Maryland wrestling team made final preparations this morning before traveling to Ithaca, N.Y., for a highly anticipated matchup with No. 4 Cornell Friday at 6:30 p.m.
The Terps, who have four wrestlers ranked in their respective weight classes in Intermat's top 10, will face a number of tough tests with the Big Red, who have six wrestlers ranked in the top 10 and eight in the top 20. Maryland has won back-to-back Atlantic Coast Conference championships, while Cornell has won seven straight Ivy League titles.
"I am very excited about this weekend," said head coach Kerry McCoy. "There will be a lot of great matches. Having two teams from the east ranked this high is great for our sport and for it to be Maryland and Cornell is even better. Our guys are excited and ready to go. They want to show everyone what we are capable of."
Maryland is off to a 2-0 start to the season, with dual wins over Drexel and York. Seven Terps have won individual championships at open meets since the season began on Nov. 1. This will be Cornell's first match of the season, and it is the first ever meeting between the two schools.
James Knox is off to a 7-0 start for Maryland at 125 pounds, and will face a difficult match with No. 1 Troy Nickerson. Nickerson went 25-0 last season en route to a NCAA championship.
The matchup at 133 is the first of four bouts between top 10 wrestlers. No. 8 Steven Bell, off to a 6-0 start with an individual title at the Buffalo Open, takes on No. 6 Mike Grey.
No. 4 Alex Krom, the defending ACC champion at 141 pounds, goes against No. 8 Kyle Dake in what could be a crucial match for the Terps.
Maryland will need to take points at the middle weights to give their upper weights a chance to seal victory. Jon Kohler (149) and Kyle John (157) will both take on unranked opponents and will look to improve upon solid starts to both of their seasons. The Terps, at least on paper, are underdogs at 165 and 184.
In what could be one of the most closely-contested matches of the night, No. 4 Mike Letts, off to a 7-0 start, takes on No. 2 Mike Lewnes at 174 pounds.
Two-time All-American Hudson Taylor, ranked No. 3 in the nation, will be in another pivotal match for the Terps as he takes on No. 5 Cam Simaz at 197.
In the final match, Patrick Gilmore (5-2) takes on No. 12 Josh Arnone at heavyweight.
No. 10 Maryland at No. 4 Cornell - Probable matchups:
125 - James Knox (7-0) vs. No. 1 Troy Nickerson
133 - No. 8 Steven Bell (6-0) vs. No. 6 Mike Grey
141 - No. 4 Alex Krom (2-0) vs. No. 8 Kyle Dake
149 - Jon Kohler (5-2) vs. Corey Manson
157 - Kyle John (6-0) vs. DJ Meagher
165 - Josh Asper (6-1) vs. No 10 Justin Kerber
174 - No. 4 Mike Letts (7-0) vs. No. 2 Mike Lewnes
184 - Corey Peltier (2-0) vs. No. 20 Steve Bosak
197 - No. 3 Hudson Taylor (2-0) vs. No. 5 Cam Simaz
HWT - Patrick Gilmore (5-2) vs. No. 12 Josh Arnone