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On Friday, February 1st, 1974, captain Walt Grote led the Cornell wrestling team to a decisive victory over Yale. The Big Red “Matmen” defeated the Bulldogs with a score of 21-19. Athletes Andy Little, Dave Schaefer and Ron Duckstein all contributed to the early momentum Cornell gained. Yale then managed to secure a couple of wins, but Cornell’s Dale Porter ultimately defeated his opponent, giving the wrestlers the motivation they needed. This put the team’s record for the season at a respectable 9-7, including a 2-1 record within the Ivy League. The team ended the season with a decent record of 13-8, and although this was not enough to get into the Top 10 D1 wrestling list, it went 6-1 in the Ivy League.
The most exciting match of the night was the bout between Grote and so-far-undefeated Neal Brendel. The first period went by without any takedowns, but in the second period things got interesting. The fight had to be stopped in the middle because Grote passed out onto the mat. After a brief injury time-out, Grote returned to the ring and managed an escape in less than 15 seconds after returning, putting him up 1-0. He managed to stay in the for the entire match and secured his win with a double grapevine that left Brendel unable to move. His win put Cornell up 21-13, securing its victory over Yale. Grote won honors for his athleticism and was placed on the All-Ivy First Team in 1973 and 1974. He was also the recipient of the James Meldrim ’63 Memorial Award in 1972 and
was an All-Ivy League Honorable Mention in 1973 and 1974.