NCAA Preseason Coverage

Way Too Early Lineup Look: 2021-2022 Cornell Big Red

Way Too Early Lineup Look: 2021-2022 Cornell Big Red

Taking a look at who should be the starter at all 10 weight classes for the Cornell Big Red during the 2021-2022 season.

Apr 13, 2021 by James Rader
Way Too Early Lineup Look: 2021-2022 Cornell Big Red
It’s truly unfortunate we didn’t get to see Cornell compete this season. They were a legitimate trophy team contender. Luckily for us, they’ll be rolling out pretty much the exact same lineup in 2021-2022 that they would have this season.

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It’s truly unfortunate we didn’t get to see Cornell compete this season. They were a legitimate trophy team contender. Luckily for us, they’ll be rolling out pretty much the exact same lineup in 2021-2022 that they would have this season.

2021-2022 Cornell Projected Lineup Look

125: Greg Diakomihalis

133: Vito Arujau

141: Josh Saunders

149: Yianni Diakomihalis

157: Colton Yapoujian

165: Julian Ramirez

174: Andrew Berreyesa

184: Chris Foca

197: Ben Darmstadt

285: Lewis Fernandes

Lineup Looks: Iowa | Penn State

Please note that with how strict the Ivy League can be about eligibility years, I am not 100% certain how any of these wrestlers will be classified.

125: Greg Diakomihalis, FR

The younger brother of Yianni, Greg Diakomihalis was a top-15 overall recruit coming out of the class of 2020. He was a 5X New York state champion, made the Super 32 finals, and finished 3rd at Akron. Assuming he has a fraction of drive and passion for the sport of wrestling as his older brother, Greg D will be an immediate AA threat at 125.

Watch Greg Diakomihalis earn his #1 ranking against Jakason Burks at Who’s #1 2018 below.

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133: Vito Arujau, SO

We’ve been deprived of Vito Arujau competing on the college scene for two years now, but in 2021, he makes his return. Before taking an Olympic redshirt in 2020, Vito placed fourth at the NCAA Championships with wins over Nick Piccininni, Pat Glory, Ronnie Bresser, and more. As we’ve seen from his freestyle results, Vito’s gotten much better since 2019. He just made the Olympic Trials finals and beat Daton Fix on the way. That makes him a title contender.

141: Josh Saunders, FR

Even higher on the Class of 2020 Big Board than Greg D? Josh Saunders. A 2018 Cadet and Junior World Team member, after Austin Gomez was forced to withdraw from Juniors due to injury, Saunders finished #8 on the 2020 Big Board. Clearly, if Yianni Diakomihalis wants to stay at 141, he can, but the talk since 2019 has been Yianni to 149. Either way, Cornell will be in good hands at 141. 

Watch Josh Saunders tech fall Shayne Van Ness at the Last Chance Qualifier below.

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149: Yianni Diakomihalis, JR

The top-three finishers at 149 lbs will be returning, but Yianni will be the favorite to win his 3rd national title if he chooses to move up. He was the #2 pound-for-pound NCAA wrestler heading into this season before the Ivy League decided to cancel fall sports. Now, Yianni does have international aspirations at 65 kg (143.3 lbs), so maybe that will keep him down. If Yianni stays at 141, I think we’ll either see Saunders move up or talented freshman Ryan Sokol at 149.

Watch Yianni tech fall Sam,y Sasso at the 2020 RTC Cup below.

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157: Colton Yapoujian, SO

157 could become a log jam for Cornell in the coming years between Colton Yapoujian, Cole Handlovic, and Sokol. However, I think this is Yapoujian’s spot in 2022. He had a good start to his freshman year before getting injured at CKLV. The Colorado native had wins over Zach Hartman, Elijah Cleary, and Markus Hartman and his only losses were to Hayden Hidlay, Kendall Coleman and Jared Franek.

165: Julian Ramirez, FR

Julian Ramirez went 23-6 as a grayshirt in 2019/2020. The #10 overall commit in the class of 2019, Ramirez is from Florida originally before attending Blair Academy in New Jersey his final two years of high school. A three-time Beast of the East champion, Ramirez notched a win over David Carr en route to his 2016 title. The talent is clearly there, but 165 is a deep weight class. 

174: Andrew Berreyesa, SR

With Max Dean leaving, I think we see freshman Chris Foca move up 184 which makes way for some competition for the 174 spot. Andrew Berreyesa will be a fifth-year guy including his year at Finger Lakes. He went 16-11 as the starter at 165 in 2019. In 2020 Berreyesa came out of Olympic redshirt and competed at 174, but was beat out by Brandon Womack for the spot by EIWA time. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some weight shifting and/or a younger guy here who is less proven but with a little more upside.

184: Chris Foca, FR

Foca competed at 174 during his grayshirt season, but since then has only competed at 182+ lbs. With Aaron Brooks and Trent Hidlay returning, it’s going to take a bit more evidence for me to call Foca a title threat right away. However, he’s had a great past couple months in freestyle notching wins over Brett Pfarr and former teammate Max Dean.

Watch Chris Foca tech fall Max Dean at the Last Chance Qualifier below.

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197: Ben Darmstadt, SR

Ben Darmstadt was the #2 ranked 197-pounder before the season, I’m sure making the Ivy League’s decision to cancel sports a brutal one for Cornell veteran. This will be Darmstadt’s sixth year in Ithaca. First-year he went 18-4 for Finger Lakes, second-year he took 6th at NCAAs, third-year he took a medical redshirt, fourth-year he was the fourth seed at NCAAs before it was canceled, and his fifth year was 100% canceled. A very unfortunate past three years. However, 2021-2022 will be different. Darmstadt will be a big player in what will be one of the most fun weight classes in college wrestling next season.

285: Lewis Fernandes, FR

A two-time New Jersey state champion, Lewis Fernandes was a big recruit coming out of high school. He had a solid grayshirt year going 26-4 capping it off with a win over Oklahoma’s national qualifier Josh Heindselman in the Edinboro Open finals.

Watch Lewis Fernandes beat Heindselman below.

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