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EIWA plans to host 117th annual conference tournament in February

Mats fill the arena for the 2019 NCAA Division I championships. (Photo courtesy Sam Janicki/SJanickiphoto.com)

Nothing is certain at this time in the world of collegiate sports. With the COVID-19 pandemic hindering the ability to keep people and athletes safe, all one can do is plan and hope they are ready to go when the time comes.

The Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) hopes to host their 117th conference tournament in February, according to EIWA spokesman John Aadland. Sacred Heart, Connecticut’s lone Division I program, is a member of the EIWA.

It will be a smaller tournament than usual. Each of the six Ivy League schools in the league – Brown, Cornell, Columbia, Harvard, Pennsylvania and Princeton – will be on the sideline this winter. The Ivy League cancelled competition in all winter sports, including wrestling, in November.

Aadland estimates it will be a one-day tournament at a neutral location off campus. Normally, it is a two-day event. Cornell was scheduled to host this year’s tournament and schools seem to be hesitant about bringing the event on campus, he said.

“As with everything else this season, all plans are subject to change,” he said.

For the third consecutive season, Lehigh won the tournament a year ago with a 34-point win over Cornell, 154-120, with Army finishing third (112) and Navy taking fourth (104½). The Pioneers were 17th in the field of 17 with 5 ½ points.

The EIWA tournament dates back to 1905 and has never been cancelled.

Penn State won their second EIWA championship at the tail end of the last pandemic in March 1919 in their home gym at State College. The 1918 EIWA tournament was held in March before the flu began to rapidly spread across the world.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of Connecticut Wrestling Online. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 35 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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