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Red Dragon Roundup: Rivals split Beauty/Beast event

Bob Ellis/staff photographer

Cortland’s Maverick Passaro, right, takes a moment to ponder his next move en route to a 6-1 win over Ferdinand Mase of Ithaca during Wednesday’s “Beauty and the Beast” event at Corey Gym.

The SUNY Cortland women’s gymnastics defeated Ithaca College and the nationally 15th-ranked wrestling team lost to the fourth-ranked Bombers Wednesday night during the College’s “Beauty and the Beast” event in which the two teams competed simultaneously at Corey Gymnasium.

The gymnasts posted the third-best score in school history in a 191.00-188.80 victory, while the wrestlers dropped a 27-17 decision.

Ithaca won the combined “Beauty and the Beast” team trophy. Since the schools split the two events, a tiebreaker was used awarding one point for each wrestling win and one point for each top-three gymnastics finish. Ithaca won that tiebreaker, 12-10.

WOMEN’S GYMNASTICS

Cortland’s team score of 191.00 is tied for third best in school history, and not far off from the school record of 191.65 and the second-best mark of 191.45, both set two seasons ago. The Red Dragons recorded season-bests in all four events with a 48.05 on vault, a 46.925 on bars, a 47.70 on beam and a 48.325 on floor. All of those event scores rank in the top seven in school history.
Rachel Filipski won vault with a career-high 9.775, finished fourth on uneven bars with a career-best 9.30, and was fifth on floor with a career-high 9.70. Meghan Cobb won bars with a 9.625, with Sidney McConnell second with a career-high 9.60.

Bailey Gildemeyer tied for first on beam with a career-high 9.775, tied for second on vault with a career-best 9.65, and tied for third on floor exercise with a career-high tying 9.725. Lily Szafranski matched Gildemeyer on floor with a career-high 9.725.

Mckenna Passalacqua turned in a fourth-place finish on beam (9.675) and tied teammate Michaela Stumpf for fourth on vault, each with a 9.60. Stumpf’s score was a career high. Arianna Turso finished fifth on bars (9.25).

For Ithaca, Emily Szembrot and Carolyn Nichols shared top honors on floor (9.75), Kendra Balcerak tied for first on beam (9.775), and Victoria Gery tied for second on vault (9.65).
Cortland will compete at Brockport in a dual meet Sunday at 1 p.m.

WRESTLING

Ithaca won three of the final four matches after holding on to a 12-11 lead as the Bombers defeated the Red Dragons in the dual-match season finale for both teams. Cortland completes the season with a 15-7 dual mark and Ithaca wraps up at 12-2. Both teams will compete at the NCAA Division III Regional Qualifiers Feb. 25-26 at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I.

Ithaca opened the night with a 6-2 win by Jimmy Kaishian at 125 pounds, but Cortland responded with a 6-1 decision by Maverick Passaro at 133 pounds. Passaro improved to 9-0 with the win. The Bombers extended their lead to 12-3 with a pin from Nick Wahba at 141 and an 8-3 decision by Ben Brisman at 149. Cortland’s Bobby Dierna, ranked first nationally at 157 pounds, recorded a 23-6 technical fall in 23-6, and Zack Zupan won 8-4 at 165 pounds to cut Cortland’s deficit to one. Dierna is 13-0 on the season with five pins, four tech falls and four major decisions, and Zupan is now 10-0 this winter.

In the tightest match of the night, Ithaca’s Jaison White defeated Cortland’s Colin Barber at 174 pounds, 4-2 in overtime. Barber almost won the match in regulation, but his potential winning takedown was ruled to have occurred after time expired. White earned the victory with a takedown 41 seconds into the first one-minute sudden-victory overtime session.

Jake Ashcraft’s pin at 184 pounds pushed Ithaca’s lead to 21-11. Nick Bellanza now 7-1 on the year, kept Cortland’s hopes alive with a pin in 4:44 at 197 pounds to cut Ithaca’s lead to 21-17, but the Bombers wrapped up the win when Jake O’Brien registered a pin at 285 pounds.