Down in the Sunshine State, No. 12 Cornell wrestling went 2-2 at the inaugural South Beach Duals, topping No. 8 Minnesota and Kent State but fell short against North Dakota State and No. 4 Missouri.
The Red (4-2) started off the weekend with a tough 20-16 loss to unranked North Dakota State on Friday morning. The dual came down to a single point in the final match at heavyweight –– where junior Ben Honis lost to the Bisons’ Daniel Stibral, 8-7, resulting in Cornell’s first defeat of the season.
Just a couple of hours later, the fate of the Red would once again rest on Honis. Against a top-ranked Minnesota squad, Cornell found itself tied at 19 heading into the final heavyweight bout.
But this time around, the deciding point went in favor of Honis, who defeated the Gophers’ Rylee Streifel by decision, 4-3.
With its 22-19 victory over Minnesota on Friday, Cornell won its 800th dual meet in program history.
On Saturday morning, Cornell came out with a 27-7 handling of Kent State for its second dual meet win of the weekend and fourth of the season. The Red won all but one of two of its matches against the Golden Flashes with one of its losses, at 125, coming via forfeit.
To close out the weekend, the Red fell short against a strong, top-five ranked Missouri squad that won the first seven matches of the dual. The Red went down early with another forfeit at 125, and the Tigers never looked back, cruising to a 27-11 victory.
At 141, the Tigers’ No. 5 Jaydin Eierman handed freshman No. 1 Yianni Diakomihalis the first loss of his young career in a 9-6 decision. In the final minute of the match, a video review awarded the Missouri wrestler a reversal to cut Diakomihalis’ lead to 6-3. And with only seconds to go, Eierman executed a six-point cradle to squeak by the top-ranked grappler.
The Red was able to find a bright spot in the meet against the Tigers at 197 when freshman Ben Darmstadt won by major decision over No. 2 Willie Miklus, 9-0.
After picking up its first two losses of the season, Cornell will look to improve its record when it takes the mat again on Jan. 19 against EIWA rival No. 6 Lehigh at Friedman.