Moments after his second-round win over Penn State’s Jimmy Gulibon in the NCAA Championships in St. Louis March 16, Matthew Kolodzik ’20, still catching his breath, talked about the tournament in an interview with USA Wrestling. “There’s nothing like it,” the Tigers’ star 141-pounder said with a smile. “It’s the best time in the world.”
Two days later, Kolodzik again was all smiles as he received the seventh-place trophy in his weight class, becoming the first freshman in team history to earn All-America honors.
Kolodzik’s finish capped a season of milestones for the Tigers, who sent a program-best seven wrestlers to the NCAA Championships. Kolodzik and Jordan Laster ’17 (149 pounds) won individual championships at the EIWA meet, and Pat D’Arcy ’19 (133 pounds), Mike D’Angelo ’19 (157 pounds), Jonathan Schleifer ’18 (174 pounds), and Ray O’Donnell ’17 (heavyweight) earned automatic NCAA bids. Brett Harner ’17, an All-American in 2016, received an at-large bid to the NCAA meet.
At the EIWA meet, where Cornell won its 11th consecutive team title, Princeton finished third, 4.5 points behind second-place Lehigh. The Tigers placed 25th at the NCAA Championships, their best national finish since 1985.