MOUNT VERNON – Cornell's No. 19 nationally-ranked wrestling team earned a hard-fought 22-16 win over Luther and then pummeled UW-Stevens Point, 39-9, during Saturday's Ram Duals inside the Small Multi-Sport Center.
Third-ranked Josh Martin (JR/Lombard, Ill.) led the Ram charge with a pair of first-period pins at 141 pounds in his first competition in nearly a month. The team also received two wins apiece from Nathan Shank (SR/Iowa City, Iowa) (133), Leonard Bloom (JR/Deerfield, Ill.) (149), Ben Hewson (SO/Loveland, Colo.) (165) and Michael Maksimovic (SR/Northbrook, Ill.) (174) while improving its season dual mark to 6-4.
The Cornell-Luther dual boiled down to the final match, which saw Ram heavyweight Tyler Ortmann (JR/Forsyth, Ill.) outlast Clayton Jennings, 2-1, in the first tiebreaker period to propel Cornell to the team win.
Ortmann and Jennings were tied 1-1 through regulation, and the score remained locked after the first one-minute overtime. Ortmann rode his opponent the entire 30 seconds of the first tiebreaker session, and then escaped Jennings with 15 seconds remaining for the winning point.
The Rams won six of the 10 contested bouts with Luther, and took control early with a 13-3 lead. Shank put Cornell's first points on the board with a 7-4 decision at 133. The Rams then opened it up with bonus-point wins from Martin and Bloom.
Martin used just 31 seconds of mat time to pin Gilbert Valedez. Bloom collected four takedowns and a four-point near fall in his 15-5 major decision over Travis Ostby.
At 165, the marquee match of the dual went in favor of Hewson and the Rams. Hewson built a 4-0 advantage over 2016 all-American Tristan Zurfluh and added a couple third-period escapes to claim a 6-4 decision, which stretched Cornell's team margin to 16-6.
Maksimovic gave the Rams three more points at 174 with a 7-4 decision over Javier Reyes. Luther climbed back into the dual, getting a major decision from top-ranked Justin Kreiter at 184 (10-2 over Brian Cristion (SR/Port Angeles, Wash.)) and then a second-period fall from Derek Stork (over Ben Bergen (SO/Oak Park, Ill.)) to make the score 19-16.
But Ortmann came through in the crunch for Cornell, notching his team-leading 12th victory of the season.
Cornell dropped tight matches at 125 (Connor Murphy 7-5 over Gage Griffin (FR/Lake Forest, Ill.)) and 157 (Michael Suarez 4-3 over Seth Niichel (JR/Charles City, Iowa)). The Rams finished with a 13-12 edge in total takedowns against the Norse (4-4).
The Rams piled up bonus points in all eight of their wins against UW-Stevens Point (2-9). The rout began with a 16-1 technical fall from 125-pounder Gage Griffin. Martin pinned his 141-pound opponent in 1:41, while newcomer Nic Jarvis (FR/Iowa City, Iowa) also decked his foe in the first period (1:57) at 157.
Cornell got technical falls from Bloom (20-5 at 149) and Maksimovic (17-2 at 174). Shank (20-7 at 133), Hewson (11-1 at 165) and Bergen (14-2 at 197) all dominated in recording major decisions.
The Rams registered 31 takedowns, to the Pointers' one. Cornell had a whopping 30 near fall points.
Coming up – Cornell is back home Thursday to face ninth-rated Stevens Institute (9-0) for a 7 p.m. dual meet in the Small Multi-Sport Center.