After day one of the NCAA wrestling championship, three wrestlers have advanced to the quarterfinals for Cornell wrestling. The Red is currently tied for seventh in the team standings.
The quarterfinal trio consists of only freshmen — No. 3 Yianni Diakomihalis at 141, No. 9 Max Dean at 184 and No. 2 Ben Darmstadt at 197. Each grappler stands one win away from clinching All-American honors. However, Diakomihalis and Dean will face reigning national champions in their next matches.
Of the seven wrestlers competing in Cleveland, six have advanced to day two, with the three wrestlers in the back draw also still eligible for All-American honors.
In his second round match, Diakomihalis executed a resounding 13-4 major decision, including over three minutes of riding time, against No. 14 Nicholas Gil of Navy. Standing in Diakomihalis’ path to the semifinal is two-time national champion No. 6 Dean Heil from Oklahoma State.
Dean also had over three minutes of riding time in his 6-0 decision over Northern Iowa’s No. 8 Drew Foster — his second win in three matches against Foster this season. Dean, too, will face a reigning national champion. The rookie will take on No.1 Bo Nickal of Penn State. Nickal defeated Dean’s Brother, Gabe Dean, in the 184-pound final match last year to win the title.
The last of the quarterfinal trio is Darmstadt, the highest seed in the tournament representing the Red. In his second round match, Darmstadt majored No. 15 Matt Williams of Cal-Bakersfield, 15-4, tallying two four-point nearfalls in the final period. Up next for Darmstadt in the quarterfinals will be unseeded Chris Weiler of Lehigh. The two met just a couple weeks ago at the EIWA Championship, where Darmstadt executed a late comeback to top Weiler in a 10-6 decision.
Junior Jon Jay Chavez (165) was the only other Cornell wrestler to advance past the first round. But Chavez, who was hitting his stride as of late, was stopped in his tracks. Two-time national champion No. 1 Isaiah Martinez from Illinois sent Chavez to the consolation bracket with a 10-5 decision.
Late Thursday evening, unseeded juniors Chas Tucker (133) and and Jeremy Sweany (285) won their consolation matches. Both fill face ranked opponents in the second consolation round.
After dropping his first round match to Ohio State’s No. 6 Bo Jordan, junior Brandon Womack (174) lost in a 8-5 decision to Kimball Bastian of Utah State in his consolation match. The 2017 All-American finished the season with a record of 18-11.