ITHACA, N.Y. (WETM) – The time is almost now for Cornell wrestling and the NCAA Championships.
The Big Red will send a total of seven wrestlers to compete in Tulsa starting Thursday for the D-I Championships. Each wrestler brings plenty of talent to the mat and Cornell storms into the tournament after earning an EIWA team title in Philadelphia just two weeks ago.
Senior Yianni Diakomihalis will look to make history for Cornell this weekend. The top seed at 149 pounds, Diakomihalis (16-1) will battle for his fourth NCAA Championship. If he can secure it, Cornell will become the first-ever D-I program to have two four-time winners. Lansing’s Kyle Dake accomplished the incredible feat first back in 2013 for Cornell.
Only four wrestlers in D-I history have ever won four NCAA Championships (Pat Smith at Oklahoma State 1994, Cael Sanderson at Iowa State 2002, Dake and Logan Stieber at Ohio State 2015). Iowa’s Spencer Lee is also on a quest to make history of his own in 2023. Lee can win his fourth NCAA title at 125 pounds this weekend.
Cornell Junior Vito Arujau returns at 133 pounds and looks to finish high on the podium. Arujau, a two-time All-American, has racked up a (20-1) record this year and like Diakomihalis, won another EIWA Championship. Vito is seeded third in his bracket.
Sophomore Julian Ramirez just missed All-American status last year and narrowly finished outside the top eight. Ramirez (22-3) returns at 165 pounds and also earned an EIWA Championship after besting Quincy Monday of Princeton. Julian is tabbed as the fourth seed at 165.
Juniors Chris Foca (174) and Jake Cardenas (197) both won EIWA titles, as did freshman Vince Cornella (141) for Cornell. Fellow freshman Brett Ungar finished second to Princeton’s Pat Glory at 125 pounds and punched his ticket to the NCAA Tournament at EIWA’s.
Top-ranked Penn State is favored to win the overall team title, but Cornell is knocking on that championship door. Some wrestling analysts have The Big Red picked to finish as high as third in the final team rankings. Cornell’s best finish as a team was in 2010 and 2011 when The Big Red finished as national runner-up in both seasons.
Below, a full breakdown of each Cornell wrestler and what their first round opponents will be. Stick with NBC Elmira as we will have plenty more on Cornell and we’ll share more interviews with each NCAA qualifier Tuesday night.
Full brackets, courtesy of NCAA.com can be viewed here: https://www.ncaa.com/_flysystem/public-s3/files/2023-ncaa-di-wrestling-brackets.pdf
Cornell Wrestlers in NCAA Tournament
Brett Ungar – 125 pounds, seeded 15th with (14-10) overall record as a freshman. Faces Penn’s Ryan Miller (19-10) in the opening round.
Vito Arujau – 133 pounds, seeded third (20-1) record as a junior, back-to-back EIWA Champion, two-time All-American, finished third at NCAA Championships last year at 125 pounds. Will square off with Angelo Rini (12-15) of Columbia in first round.
Vince Cornella – 141 pounds, seeded seventh, (20-4) record as a freshman. EIWA Champion, faces Mckenzie Bell (26-8) of Rider in opening match.
Yianni Diakomihalis – 149 pounds, seeded first (16-1) record as a senior. Three-time NCAA Champion, looks to make college wrestling history and win a fourth title. Career record of (110-2), just won fourth EIWA Championship. Faces the winner of Isaiah Delgado (15-14) from UVU or Anthony White (14-13) of Rutgers.
Julian Ramirez – 165 pounds, seeded fourth with (22-3) as a sophomore. Won first EIWA title, will take on Caleb Fish (26-9) of Michigan State in the first round.
Chris Foca – 174 pounds, seeded fourth with (25-1) record as a junior. Won EIWA Championship, will face Cael Valencia (12-10) of Arizona State in first round.
Jake Cardenas – 197 pounds, seeded 10th with (16-3) overall record as a junior. Won EIWA Championship by beating the then second-ranked wrestler Michael Beard of Lehigh. Squares off with Luke Stout (20-9) of Princeton in first match.