ITHACA, N.Y. – The transformation of Columbia wrestling as one of the best in the EIWA over the last three seasons under the leadership of Andrew F. Barth Head Coach of Wrestling Carl Fronhofer was on display in full force Saturday afternoon in Ithaca, N.Y., as Columbia posted its best showing in 22 years against fourth-ranked Cornell. The final match score favored the Big Red, 22-15, but the 15 points for the Lions was the most since Feb. 8, 1991, and the seven-point margin was the slimmest defeat in 26 seasons.

Columbia captured four bout victories against the Big Red, highlighted by No. 11 Shane Hughes’ sixth fall of the season at 174 pounds. Going up against Craig Eifert, Hughes wasted little time taking control, earning a takedown and three-point nearfall in the beginning stages of the first period. At the 1:51 mark, Hughes closed out the victory with a pin of Eifert to bring the Lions within three in the team scoring, 15-12.

Zack Hernandez provided the three equalizing points for the Lions in the next bout at 184 pounds, posting a 6-3 decision against Billy George. Hernandez and George entered the third period tied at 2-2, but Hernandez chose down to start the third period and was able to escape and then took down George to gain control of the bout.

Cornell though, would capture the final two bouts of the dual to edge past the Lions.

Angelo Amenta recorded the Lions’ first win of the day at 133 pounds. Trailing Bricker Dixon, 1-0, heading into the final period, Amenta chose to start neutral, leading to a takedown that gave him a 2-1 advantage. Dixon was able to escape Amenta to tie the bout, 2-2, but the riding time favored the Lion at the final horn to give Columbia three team points.

First-year Markus Scheidel picked up his 21st victory of the season at 157 pounds in exciting fashion, winning his first overtime bout as a Lion.  Scheidel looked to be in control late with a 5-2 lead, but Taylor Simaz escaped and then took down the rookie Lion to even the bout score at 5-5, with riding time not factoring in. The comeback did little to faze Scheidel, as his takedown in the extra period ensured him the sudden victory.

The Ivy League road swing continues for Columbia next weekend with visits to Princeton and Penn on Friday, Feb. 14 and Saturday, Feb. 15, respectively.