WAVERLY - Cornell head coach Mike Duroe
took a young group of wrestlers to Saturday's Dick Walker Invitational hosted by Wartburg College.
The Rams had 11 freshmen in their 16-man traveling party and tied for sixth in the team standings with 35.5 points. Duroe held out all of his starters in the seven-team tournament.
"We were not looking at the event from a scoring standpoint, but rather from an experience point of view," Duroe said. "We gave our younger guys a chance to wrestle some matches."
Cornell came away with six placewinners, led by a third-place showing from freshman 184-pounder Aburough Abegesah. The Beltsville, Md., native capped a 3-1 day with an 11-8 victory over junior teammate Patrick Loughlin in the third-place match.
Abegesah (4-4) scored a 6-0 decision in the first round, before falling 9-8 in the semifinals to Wartburg's Gerard Roman in the first tiebreaker. Abegesah won his first consolation match, 10-6.
"I was pleased with the outcome of Aburough," Duroe said. "He's one of the guys who has really been working hard from the beginning. It's nice to see him make progress and have success."
Loughlin wound up fourth with a 2-2 mark. He recorded a pair of decisions. Loughlin lost 11-1 in the semifinals to eighth-ranked Sam Upah of Wartburg.
Freshman 125-pounder Scott Smith registered a 5-4 win over Trine's Matthew Frane to take fifth in his weight class. Smith (9-5) earned a 19-6 major decision in the first round, followed by a pin in 5:53 in the quarterfinals. He lost by fall to Wartburg's second-ranked Gilberto Camacho in the semifinals.
Freshman Colton Kelly finished 2-2 and placed fifth at 197. He won his place match, 10-4, over Coe's Casey Rohret. Kelly (8-5) posted a 19-3 technical fall earlier in the day.
The Rams received sixth-place finishes from freshman Daniel Klema at 157, and freshman Daniel Ball at 165.
Wartburg outdistanced Loras for the team title, 164-93.
Rams to support military - The 13th-ranked Rams (5-1) carry a five-dual winning streak into Wednesday's top-20 showdown with 19th-ranked Augustana (2-2) at 7 p.m. on Military Appreciation Night in the Small Multi-Sport Center.
Cornell will recognize all military members and their families prior to the meet. Admission is free for all military personnel.
"I'm excited to hold an event to honor our service men and women," Duroe said. "I'd like to do it every year. I think it's that important to recognize them."