Cornell lost exactly two starters from 2022 to 2023. So are they still lethal? Yes. Can they pack a heavy punch? Yes. Let's take a look. . .
Who's Returning & Leaving?
The only starters leaving Cornell are Hunter Richard and Dominic LaJoie. Both are national qualifiers, so those are tough gaps to fill.
But the good news is All-Americans Vito Arujau (3rd), Yianni Diakomihalis (1st), and Jonathan Loew (8th) are all returning.
On top of that, round of 12 guys who just missed the podium are also returning: Julian Ramirez (165) and Lewis Fernandes (285). Qualifiers Chris Foca (174) and Jacob Cardenas (197) round out the dangerous bunch.
Filling in the "Gaps"
Vito dropped to 125 last season, but I see him wrestling 133 this year now that Spencer is back. This also gives Greg Diakomihalis, Flo's #15 recruit of 2020, a chance to start as the lightweight.
Cornell failed to qualify 141 lbs for NCAAs in 2022; so, Senior JJ Wilson's weight will be contested by top 50 recruit of 2021 Vince Cornella and #8 recruit of 2020 Josh Saunders. I'd predict Saunders starts since he already has a win over Wilson.
Finally at 157, look for Colton Yapoujian to take over the spot again. He started last season until he was injured.
2023 Lineup Preview
Here's how I expect the team to look in 2023:
- 125. Greg Diakomihalis
- 133. Vito Arujau (*3rd at 125)
- 141. Josh Saunders
- 149. Yianni Diakomihalis (1st)
- 157. Colton Yapoujian
- 165. Julian Ramirez (R12)
- 174. Chris Foca (NQ)
- 184. Jonathan Loew (8th)
- 197. Jacob Cardenas (NQ)
- 285. Lewis Fernandes (R12)
What to Expect
Cornell can realistically qualify all ten wrestlers for the 2023 NCAA Championships, and I fully expect them to dominate the EIWA again. 2023 could be historic year for Big Red as Yianni Diakomihalis could become a 4Xer, making Cornell the first school to have two 4X Champs.
As far as the team race, I see Cornell realistically scoring 60 points. If a few guys right outside of the top 8 find a way onto the stand, then Cornell could even crack the top 5. It's going to have to be a total team effort.
👉 If you think Yianni will become a 4Xer, reply to this email with one word you'd use to describe him. . .
Josiah Hritsko Wrestling Fan & Founder of Fanco Wrestling
Wrestling Fan & Founder of Fanco Wrestling
P.S. Thanks to Gerard Freisinger, Felix Morales, Brian Hritsko, Gary Poole, Bruce Reeves, El McMeen, Mitch Coleman, and the other Cornell fans who requested this preview.