CEDAR RAPIDS – Freshman Jim Kirby finished third at 197 pounds to head three Cornell placewinners at Saturday's Turkey Open hosted by Coe College. No team scores were kept.
Kirby posted a 4-1 record to lead Cornell's 10 wrestlers, a group that did not include those who competed in Friday's Iowa City Duals. Kirby lost by a first-period fall to Harper's Dan Draski in the quarterfinals, but then worked his way back through the consolation side and handled Draski in the third-place match, 11-5.
"Kirby came back and beat the (Harper) guy soundly for third place," Cornell coach Mike Duroe said. "To place in the top four in this tournament is a nice accomplishment. It was a good competitive field."
The Rams received fourth-place efforts from freshman 174-pounder Michael Maksimovic and sophomore heavyweight Eric Tucker. Maksimovic went 4-2 with a pin, technical fall and major decision. He was edged 5-3 in the third-place bout against Simpson's Brett Roberts.
Tucker finished 3-2 with an impressive run of three straight falls in the consolation round. He dropped a 6-1 decision to Grand View's Dean Broghammer for third place.
Maksimovic leads the Rams in wins with an 11-5 mark. Kirby is second on the team at 9-5. Phillip Opelt, a freshman 133-pounder, is tied for third at 7-4.
"I have been impressed with those young guys. We just have to get more production out of our top guys," Duroe said. "The guy who has really impressed me is Maksimovic. To have 11 wins in his first collegiate season this early in the year is very good."
Zach Becicka was one win short of placing, finishing 2-2 at 141.
Coming up – The 28th-ranked Rams (2-1) have some time off over Thanksgiving Break before returning to competition Dec. 7 at the Candlewood Suite Duals in La Crosse, Wis. Cornell wrestles UW-Eau Claire at 9 a.m., No. 23 UW-Stevens Point at 11 a.m., and No. 20 Saint John's (Minn.) at 1 p.m.
"We'll give our guys a couple days off the mat to heal up. We'll work with individuals in technical areas," Duroe said. "We have five duals in December and face two teams ranked ahead of us at La Crosse. Right now, our guys are making a lot of the same technical mistakes. Ultimately, we need to make adjustments."