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Youngsters pause tournament to watch No. 7 Cornell dominate Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart’s Andrew Fallon has won his first five matches of the season. Fallon earned a 8-7 decision Saturday as the Pioneers lost to Cornell.

Wrestling mats were spread across the floor at Barton Hall Saturday on the campus of Cornell University for the Finger Lakes National Duals youth wrestling tournament.

Athletes from across the country were competing in three divisions – third grade and under, fifth grade and under and sixth grade and under.

But the tournament came to a full stop on Saturday noon as No. 7 Cornell hosted their first dual meet of the season against Sacred Heart. The mats remained on the floor around the complex but all eyes were on Cornell and Sacred Heart.

In the first-ever dual meet between the two schools, the Big Red won nine of 10 weight classes with four technical falls and three pins in a 48-3 EIWA win over the Pioneers in Ithaca, N.Y. It was the first Cornell match at Barton Hall since 2003.

“This is something I’ll remember,” Cornell freshman Meyer Shapiro said of the atmosphere at Barton Hall. “For it to be my first college dual, that makes it even more special. It was awesome to see how many fans came out today.”

Shapiro, a U20 world freestyle champion, beat Sacred Heart’s Michael Ritacco, 15-0 in his collegiate debut.

The only win for Sacred Heart (0-5) came from Andrew Fallon, who remains undefeated on the season at 133 pounds. Fallon outlasted freshman Ethan Qureschi, 8-7 for the win. Qureshi fell behind early, 3-1, but tied it and took a 6-3 lead thanks to a second period takedown.

Fallon recorded two escapes to cut the lead to one but took the lead for good with a takedown in the third period.

Cornell, which finished third at last year’s NCAA championships, has won 27 EIWA titles, including the last two conference championships.

Opened in 1915, Baton Hall served as a ground school for military aeronautics during World War I. It was an armory and drill deck during World War II. Renovated in 2015, Barton Hall has a 200-meter track, the widest allowable by the NCAA for NCAA qualifying purposes.

Sacred Heart continues their busy weekend. The Pioneers will be in Philadelphia on Sunday for the Keystone Classic at the Palestra. Participating teams this year include Penn, Drexel, No. 9 Virginia Tech, No. 29 Indiana, Utah Valley, Sacred Heart, Appalachian State, Duke, Franklin & Marshall and Harvard.

No. 7 Cornell 48, Sacred Heart 3
At Ithaca, N.Y.
125: Brett Ungas (Co) forfeit
133: Andrew Fallon (SH) dec. Ethan Qureshi, 8-7
141: Vinny Cornella (Co) pin Vinny Milazz
149: Ethan Fernandez (Co) dec. Mike McGhee, 11-2
157: Meyer Shapiro (Co) tech fall Michael Ritacco, 15-0
165: Julian Ramirez (Co) pin Scott Jarosz, 1:34
174: Benny Baker (Co) tech fall Nick Eboli, 18-0
184: Chris Foca (Co) pin Logan Michael, 0:47
197: Jacob Cardenas (Co) tech fall Jake Trovato, 15-0, 1:21
285: Lewis Fernandes (Co) tech fall Marc Berisha, 19-2
Records: Cornell 1-0, Sacred Heart 0-5

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 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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