Battle at the Birthplace

Photography by
Ryan Plett
Rutgers and Princeton ignite their historic rivalry



Nicholas Gravina vs. Charlie Cohen

Rutgers 184-pounder Nicholas Gravina and Princeton’s Charlie Cohen fight for arm control, a position that sets up a take-down attempt


Billed as the Battle at the Birthplace, Rutgers University hosted their historic crosstown rival, Princeton University, in a NCAA dual wrestling match on November 19th. Over 16,000 fans filled High Points Solutions Stadium in central New Jersey to watch the Scarlett Knights defeat the Tigers. It was their 21st strait win in the series. 

Photographer Ryan Plett documented the event. “I wanted to create a story on sport in its rawest form, showing athleticism while capturing the beauty. And I wanted to shoot all film. With the perfect outdoor stadium location and the ability to be close to the athletes, Battle at the Birthplace was exactly what I was hoping for.”



Flag Battle

The American flag and Rutgers 149-pounder Ken Theobold. 


Phil Bakuckas and Matthew Kolodzik, battle at the birthplace

174-pounder Matthew Kolodzik of Princeton, left, and Phil Bakuckas from Rutgers, right, get ready for their match.

Phil Bakuckas of Rutgers

Phil Bakuckas of Rutgers after a hard fought battle

Sean McCabe vs. Ty Agaisse

Action between Rutgers Sean McCabe and Princetons Ty Agaisse at 125 pounds.

Ken Theobold defeats Jordan Laster

149-pounder Ken Theobold with a victory over Princeton’s Jordan Laster

Richie Lewis vs. Joe Tavoso

Third round, dead tired. Richie Lewis from Rutgers vs. Princetons Joe Tavoso at 165

Richie Lewis vs. Joe Tavaso

Victory and Defeat. Rutgers’ Richie Lewis  bests Princeton’s Joe Tavaso at 165 lbs.

Jon Schleifer vs. Phil Bakuckas

Battle between Jon Schleifer from Princeton and Phil Bakuckas from Rutgers at the 174-pound weight class


Details after loss