Rev Profile: Mack Lewnes (Cornell)
ITHACA, N.Y. -- Big Red wrestling's Jordan Leen was named the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association's (EIWA) Wrestler of the Year, while rookie Mack Lewnes earned Freshman of the Year honors. Leen won the NCAA title at 157 pounds in St. Louis last weekend to earn his second All-America honors. Placing fourth at 165 pounds, Lewnes also became an All-American. The duo helped lead the Big Red to a ninth-place team finish with 67 points.
Leen (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) upset three ranked wrestlers en route to his title. In his opening bout, he defeated returning All-American Ryan Hluschak of Drexel, 4-3, and followed with a 4-1 decision over Maryland's Brian Letters. In the quarterfinals, Leen defeated the No. 1 seed, Gregor Gillespie of Edinboro, 8-6, before advancing to the finals with a 9-2 victory over No. 12 Josh Zupancic of Stanford. Leen, the lowest seeded wrestler in the finals, won the title with a 5-4 win over No. 2 Mike Poeta of Illinois. The junior became just the second collegiate wrestler from Tennessee to ever win a NCAA championship.
Leen registered a 3-1 mark at the EIWA tournament to place second and qualify for his third NCAA tournament. He continued his perfect record against Ivy competition over his career (14-0) to earn his third first-team All-Ivy honor. Leen captained the Big Red to its sixth-straight Ivy League title this season. He opened his junior campaign by placing second at the Brute Binghamton Open and followed by winning the title at the Body Bar Invitational. Leen also placed first at the Reno Tournament of Champions. In dual matches this season, he had a 7-1 record. With eight major decisions, he has the second most on the team. Leen has 89 career victories, which ties him for 17th on the Big Red all-time wins list.
At 165 pounds, Lewnes (Annapolis, Md.) earned his first All-America honors placing fourth at the NCAA tournament. He was the only freshman to advance to the semifinals. The rookie opened the tournament with a 5-3 win over Old Dominion's Chris Brown, and followed with a pin in 4:09 against West Virginia's Donald Jones. In the quarterfinals, he won 6-5 in a tiebreaker against No. 5 Stephen Dwyer of Nebraska. Lewnes then faced No. 1 seed, and eventual NCAA champion, Eric Tannenbaum of Michigan. Tannenbaum advanced to the finals with a 4-0 win over the Big Red wrestler. In the wrestlebacks, Lewnes pinned No. 10 Michael Cannon of American to advance to the third-place bout. He placed fourth after being edged out, 3-2, by No. 3 Nick Marable of Missouri.
Lewnes defeated all four of his opponents at the EIWA championships en route to winning his first individual title at 165 pounds and earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Lewnes is second on the team in wins with 36, and has just five losses. He also is second among the Big Red in pins with 13. Lewnes opened his rookie campaign with a 12-match win streak where he won titles at the Brute Binghamton Open and Body Bar Invitational. He also placed first at the Reno Tournament of Champions and Southern Scuffle.