ITHACA, N.Y.—The Big Red wrestling team has released its 2011-12 schedule that is filled with action at home on East Hill. Cornell will play host to six dual matches, the Body Bar Invitational, the New York State Intercollegiate championships and is a regional site for the National Duals. Coming off a second-place NCAA finish a year ago, Rob Koll’s Big Red team opens its season at home against Minnesota on Friday, Nov. 18 at Newman Arena.
The Golden Gophers finished seventh at the NCAA tournament last season. Cornell and Minnesota squared off at the 2011 National Duals, with the Big Red earning a 20-16 victory. One day later, the Big Red will play host to the Body Bar System Invitational in Newman Arena. Cornell will face competition from Army, Binghamton, Buffalo, Clarion, Drexel, Ithaca College, Kent State, Lock Haven, Minnesota, Sacred Heart and Virginia.
The Big Red travels to Las Vegas, Nev. to defend its 2010 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational title on Dec. 2-3 before breaking for the winter holidays. In its first action of the new year, Cornell will compete at the Southern Scuffle, held for the first time in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Cornell will take on EIWA foe Lehigh at home on Jan. 8 before opening its Ivy slate. The Big Red will be in search for its 10th straight Ivy League title and looks to extend its 48-match conference win streak beginning Jan. 14 when it heads to Penn and Princeton.
On Jan. 21-22, the Big Red will play host to the New York State Intercollegiate championships with the junior varsity competing against the best teams in the state. A week later, Cornell will hit the road for a dual match on the campus of perennial powerhouse Iowa State.
On Sunday, Feb. 12, Cornell will welcome Central Michigan, Oklahoma, Purdue, Illinois and American to Newman Arena as a regional location for the NWCA/Cliff Keen Division I National Dual Meet Championship. There are four regional competitions from which the final team from each location will advance to the championship on Feb. 19. The final event will be held on one of the final team’s campuses.
The National Duals rounds out Cornell’s dual schedule. The Big Red will be in search of its sixth-straight EIWA team title on March 3-4 at Princeton. The 2012 NCAA championships return to St. Louis, Mo. March 15-17.
Cornell returns six starters including five NCAA qualifiers and three All-Americans. Included among the returners are two-time NCAA champion, junior Kyle Dake, three-time All-American Cam Simaz and All-American Steve Bosak.
AUDIO INTERVIEW: Rob Koll