EVERETT — Garret Cornell has used the 100-win wrestler banner that hangs in the Everett Area High School gymnasium as that extra bit of motivation over the years.
And when this season is done and Cornell’s name gets put up there, the Warriors’ senior will be the one to look at for the younger generation, as he became the school’s all-time win leader earlier this week.
On Thursday night, Cornell was honored with a plaque commemorating the achievement. Then in the first contested weight of Everett’s 62-6 victory over Claysburg-Kimmel, Cornell scored a quick pin at 132 pounds to secure his 114th career win.
He eclipsed the mark on Tuesday with win No. 113, breaking past the 112 victories Tom Brambley accrued when he graduated in 2003.
“It’s been my goal ever since elementary school,” said Cornell. “I’ve always wanted to be that kid that was up at the top (in wins). I’ve looked at it and always said I could probably beat that, and I’ve been working hard up until this moment to beat it.”
Three days ago, Cornell got his record-breaker in fine style with a dominating 13-0 major decision over Glendale’s Brock McMillen. Cornell was third in the state last year at 126, while McMillen was the 113-pound Class AA runner-up.
Each of them won a tournament championship at this past weekend’s Panther Holiday Classic, Cornell at 132 and McMillen at 126. McMillen moved up for the dual meet to challenge Cornell.
“I had a good guess that I was going to see him,” Cornell said of McMillen. “I was prepping and getting myself ready for that match. I’m happier beating the record knowing that I wrestled a good kid rather than wrestle kids that aren’t that experienced. That will help me get better as the season goes.”
Cornell is 10-0 this season and his overall record at Everett stands at 114-17.
“What a way to beat the record,” Everett coach Robbie Ripple said of Cornell’s win against McMillen. “I’m proud of Garret. I think he knows this is just one of his goals — the main goal (a state title) hasn’t been reached yet. That’s what we’re working towards.”