2024-2025 Early NCAA D1 Lineup Looks

Cornell Big Red 2024-25 Early Lineup Look

Cornell Big Red 2024-25 Early Lineup Look

A peak ahead at what Cornell Big Red fans can expect in the 2024-25 NCAA college wrestling season.

May 17, 2024 by Andrew Spey

Is it time to consider the 2024-25 college wrestling season already? Yes, the inexorable march of time stops for nothing. That’s precisely what makes it inexorable! 

And since the 2024 NCAA Championships are firmly in our rearview, there's no better time like the present to start looking ahead as to what the 2024-25 season might look like. 

Today we turn our attention to the Cornell Big Red, who, despite losing their talismanic two-time individual champ Vito Arujau being, still return a sizable cache of firepower next season. 

What might head coach Mike Grey's Big Red lineup look like next season? We will hazard our best guess in the section below.

Projected Lineup

125: SR Greg Diakomihalis

133: JR Brett Ungar

141: JR Vince Cornella

149: JR Ethan Fernandez or SR Josh Saunders

157: SO Meyer Shapiro

165: SR Julian Ramirez

174: FR Simon Ruiz

184: SR Chris Foca

197: FR Michael Dellagtta or SO Eric Carlson

285: SO Ashton Davis

Lineup Notes

141, 157, 165 and 184 all appear to be solidified spots.

Rising sophomore Meyer Shapiro, who just placed third at NCAAs, and returning senior Julian Ramirez, who is a three-time bloodrounder, provide Cornell with a powerful one-two punch in the middle of their lineup. 

Watch Shapiro win a 2024 EIWA Championship:


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Vince Cornella is a high-potential junior who has yet to make the podium though he qualified for the 2023 tournament and received an at-large bid in 2024, however, and injury would not allow him to compete.

Chris Foca is another veteran who placed third in 2023 but fell one match shy of returning to the podium in 2024. 

Simon Ruiz will also have pole position at his weight class (174) after having the best grey shirt season of any incoming Cornell freshman. Ruiz deferred college eligibility for a season and competed unattached in open tournaments, beating All-American Lenox and going to overtime with eventual NCAA runner-up Rocco Welsh.

Cornell has a couple of options at 133 with Ethan Qureshi and Tyler Ferrera available, however, look for junior and two-time NCAA qualifier at 125 Brett Ungar to bump to 133 in an attempt to fill the Arujau-sized hole in the Cornell lineup. 

That move would make Ungar the favorite to start at 133 and senior Greg Diakomihalis (young brother to Yianni) the favorite at 125. Greg D had a solid season despite not getting the postseason nod, defeating multiple national qualifiers in the regular season.

Ethan Fernandez, who went 1-2 at the 2024 NCAAs, will be the favorite to start again at 149 in 2025, though he will likey be challenged by Josh Saunders. 

197 will contested between Mikey Dellagatta and Eric Carlson, while heavyweight will likely be held down by another sophomore, Ashton Davis. 

Last Season

The 2023-24 season was Mike Grey's third as the head coach of the Big Red, although Grey has been on the Cornell coaching staff since 2011 and was a member of the team from 2007-11. 

Cornell did exceptionally well in Kansas City last March, placing three in the top five and securing a team trophy with a second-place finish. The Cornellians earned 72.5 points at the tournament, squeaking by third place finisher Michigan by a point in a half, though still an astonishing 100 points shy of first-place Penn State.

Hear from Coach Grey after the conclusion of the 2024 NCAA Championships:


Can Cornell earn another team trophy despite losing two All-Americans in Vito and Cardenas?

The Offseason

While you can bet that Mike Grey, Kellen Russell, Scottie Boykin, and Nick Gwiazdowski will be hitting the recruiting trail this summer, one place where you won't see a lot of Cornell activity is the transfer portal. 

Every school has its own specific standards regarding scholarships, NIL, and transfers, but Ivy League schools are traditionally the most restrictive in all those areas. While there are no NCAA rules stopping Cornell from signing transfers, if history is any indication, don't expect Cornell to add to their roster this summer from the transfer portal. 

Next Season

Great Case Scenario: 10 NQs, 6 AAs, 1 Champ

Base Case Scenario: 6 NQs, 2AAs, 0 Champs

Medium Case Scenario: 8 NQs, 3 AAs, 0 Champs

And now go weight by weight and provide a S.W.A.G. for the NCAA points Cornell will earn at the 2025 NCAAs. 

125: Though it'll be his first season in the lineup, Greg D is an All-American threat, especially if 125 is as volatile as it was last season. Let's call it 5 points. 

133: It's safe to assume that Ungar will be able to perform at 133 similarly to how he did at 125, with a low AA a distinct possibility. Call it another 5 points. 

141: A lot will depend on how healthy Cornella is here. If he's charged up and ready to go, a podium placement is not an impossibility. His record as it stands, though, suggestions a round of 12 finish, so we'll say 3 points for now. 

149: Fernandez gave Casey Swiderski a heck of a match at NCAAs, falling in tiebreakers to the eventual 7th placer. However, that was the closest Fernandez came to beating an AA last season, so we'll keep it conservative with 3 points.

157: Shapiro avenged his only loss at the 2024 NCAAs, beating Candiel Cardenas in the third-place bout after falling to him in the quarterfinals. The U20 world gold medalist has the potential to run the table, though Levi Haines or Mitchell Mesenbrink (depending on who Penn State trots out at 157) will be the preseason favorite. Still, a finals run is a reasonable expectation for the young Marylander, so we'll mark 16 points down.

165: As a freshman, Ramirez lost in the bloodround after receiving the #13 seed, so he technically wrestled a bit better than his seed would suggest. In 2023 and 2024 he received the #4 and #3 seed respectively, but again finished in the round of 12 both times. The law of averages suggests that Ramirez should find his way to the middle of the podium next year (though the top is a possibility) so we'll go with 12 team points. 

Watch Ramirez win his second EIWA title in a row:


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174: The transitive property is hardly an ironclad rule in wrestling results but a 14-1 record with a win over Wolak and a sudden victory loss to Welsh strongly suggests Ruiz will be an AA contender. We'll stay conservative and pencil in 6 points. 

184: Nothing captured Foca's 2024 season more succinctly than his rivalry with Columbia Aaron Ayzerov, who beat him three times in a row in the regular season -- first at the CKLV, then in a dual, then at EIWAs -- before Foca teched him 16-1 at NCAAs. When Foca is on, he's one of the most dangerous upperweights in college, however, he still drops head-scratchers on occasion. Third, where he placed in 2023, and the bloodround, where he finished in 2024, are both possibilities in 2025. We'll split the difference and say 10 points at NCAAs. 

197: No knock on either Dellagatta (who we don't see on the roster at the moment) or Carlson, but they are both inexperienced and qualifying for the NCAA would be a solid season for both. We'll mark down two points. 

285: The same can be said for Davis at heavyweight, and so we'll pencil in two points here as well. 

Before we tally all the hypothetical points, a reminder that these are what I think are reasonable projections based largely on previous results, however, I would like nothing more than for Cornell's wrestlers to all out-place my estimates and prove my predicting skills to be laughably inadequate.

Additionally, all that I truly hope happens next season is everyone has as productive a year as possible with as minimal injuries as possible. Anything beyond that is gravy. 

So anyway my estimates total up to 64 points. That would have been good enough for ninth place at the 2024 NCAAs. I think Cornell will be aiming higher but I also think that losing a two-time champ and another two-time All-American and still finishing in the top 10 is a heck of an accomplishment.