WRESTLING NOTES: Aiken-Phillips commits to No. 1 Cornell

One of the nation’s best wrestling programs is getting Georgia’s top wrestler.

Central Gwinnett’s Jacob Aiken-Phillips committed to No. 1-ranked Cornell over the weekend.

“I liked that and I like that they are Ivy League,” Aiken-Phillips said.

Aiken-Phillips has dominated Georgia wrestling for the last year and a half. The heavyweight posts a 215-16 career record. He’s 56-0 this season and will go for his fourth-straight Area 8-AAAAA title this weekend.

Aiken-Phillips was 61-0 last year on his way to the Class AAAAA state championship and set a Gwinnett County record for pins with 51. He allowed just one takedown all season and won every match but one by pin.

Aiken-Phillips made a name for himself nationally over the summer. He placed third at the NHSCA nationals and became the first Georgian to win the Super 32.

After Aiken-Phillips won Super 32, he started to get interest from some of the nation’s top programs like Cornell and Lehigh. He chose Cornell over Lehigh, Duke and North Carolina.

“I liked all the schools,” Aiken-Phillips said. “It’s kind of hard to pass up an opportunity to go to the No. 1 school and it’s Ivy League. It’s a good education and wrestling.”

Aiken-Phillips maintains a 3.5 GPA and plans to major in applied economics and business management.

Aiken-Phillips, who trains at The Wrestling Academy in Lawrenceville, will sign on April 13.

Still undefeated

The postseason begins this weekend with the area tournaments and there are a handful of wrestlers that are still undefeated.

Aiken-Phillips, Archer’s Ryan Millhof, Buford’s Chip Ness, North Gwinnett’s Carl Rider and Peachtree Ridge’s Michael Chapman and Tsvetomir Petrushev are the six undefeated wrestlers in the county.

Patriots’ time to shine

Berkmar struggled to put a full lineup together for duals this season. With the individual part of the year gearing up this weekend, it will give four Patriots a chance to get noticed.

Jaime Cruz has been Berkmar’s top wrestler this year with a 44-11 record at 215 pounds and Phillip Nguyen (112) is 32-15. Justin Malone (285) and Landon Dao (119) are the Patriots’ only returning state qualifiers from last season. Malone is 41-10 and Dao is 33-11.

Mustangs on record-setting season

Second-year head coach Richard Schumacher has led Meadowcreek to a record season so far. The Mustangs tied the school record for dual wins with 27 on Wednesday, matching the mark set by the 1989 squad.

Meadowcreek can add to the standout year this week at the area meet. The Mustangs didn’t have a wrestler qualify for state last season. They have several potential state qualifiers this year with Richard Williams (32-8), Alex Steele (38-12), and Jose Olivares (35-9).

Title defense

Collins Hill and Parkview have dominated the Area 7-AAAAA and Area 8-AAAAA tournaments for the last decade. Both programs are the front-runners to defend their titles again this weekend.

Parkview will go for its eighth Area 8 crown at Dacula, while Collins Hill seeks its seventh Area 7 title at Mountain View.

Eagles nationally ranked

Collins Hill was ranked No. 38 in the nation by Amateur Wrestling News this week. The three-time defending dual and traditional state champions were ranked has high as No. 18 in December, but have faced tough national competition over the last month.

The Eagles are 27-2 in duals this season with one of the losses coming to No. 20 Easton (Pa.). Collins Hill’s No. 1 varsity team hasn’t lost a dual to a Georgia team since November 2008 in a 33-29 loss to Pope.

Staying close to home

Gwinnett’s Class AAAAA schools won’t have to travel far the last month of the season. Both area tournaments will be held in Gwinnett, followed by the state sectional at Central Gwinnett in two weeks. The state tournament will be held at the Arena at Gwinnett Center for the sixth year from Feb. 17-19.

The Class AAAAA state duals will be held the last weekend in February at Mountain View.