DUBUQUE – Cornell's wrestling team closed out another successful dual season Monday night with a dominant 33-12 victory over the Dubuque Spartans in Stoltz Sports Center.
The 17th-ranked Rams won seven matches, ending four of them by fall, to notch their fourth consecutive series win over Dubuque.
Cornell raised its meet record to 9-6, marking the program's eighth winning season in the past nine years under Coach Mike Duroe. All six of the team's dual losses came against top-25 competition.
The Rams, coming off an impressive 28-7 victory at Coe Feb. 2, scored bonus points in five matches against the Spartans. Gage Griffin (FR/Lake Forest, Ill.) (125 pounds), Nathan Shank (SR/Iowa City, Iowa) (133), Ben Hewson (SO/Loveland, Colo.) (165) and Ben Bergen (SO/Oak Park, Ill.) (197) all won their matches by pin, while Michael Maksimovic (SR/Northbrook, Ill.) (174) posted a major decision.
Cornell hung 12 quick points on the board to start the meet and maintained a safe lead the rest of the night. Griffin (14-12) opened the scoring with a fall in 5:39 over Javier Guillen, his team-best seventh pin of the season. Then it was Shank's turn at 133, putting Steve Rosenburg to his back in 6:22.
Dubuque (7-11) cut the margin to 15-9 at the midway point of the dual. Momentum turned back to Cornell's corner at 165, when Hewson (20-9) stuck Jared Packer for an abrupt fall in 49 seconds.
Maksimovic (21-9) rolled to an 11-2 major decision over Patrick Mooney at 174, increasing Cornell's advantage to 25-9. The Ram senior tallied his team-high 21st victory of the season.
The Rams finished the night with a first-period pin in 2:32 from Bergen at 197, followed by Tyler Ortmann (JR/Forsyth, Ill.)'s 6-2 decision over Jordan Hill in the heavyweight bout. Bergen improved to 19-11, Ortmann 19-12.
Aaron Engle (SR/Kansas City, Mo.) (15-8) was also victorious for the Rams, earning a 9-7 decision over Greg Krulas at 149.
Cornell's sixth-rated 141-pounder Josh Martin (JR/Lombard, Ill.) (16-7) was forced to injury default his bout with Jeremy Melendez. Nic Jarvis (FR/Iowa City, Iowa) fell 9-4 at 157, and Joseph Keller (SO/Windsor, Colo.) came up short, 10-6, at 184.
Coming up – Cornell competes at the Central Region Championships Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Five Flags Center in Dubuque. The top three finishers in each weight class qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships March 10-11 in La Crosse, Wis.