Julia Nagel/Sun Photography Editor

Wrestling has jumped out to a 9-2 record to start the season.

February 1, 2023

Wrestling Continues Excellent 2023 with Wins Against Army and Columbia

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Wrestling’s past weekend was nothing short of dominant. No. 5 Cornell (9-2, 3-0 EIWA) secured its 42nd and 43rd consecutive dual meet victories against opponents from New York when it bested conference opponents Army (4-5, 2-2 EIWA) and Columbia (3-6, 3-2 EIWA) in a pair of meets characterized by strong starts. 

The contest against Army started out at 125 pounds with an extremely tight match. Freshman Brett Ungar, ranked No. 17 at his weight nationally, took down No. 33 Ethan Berginc 1-0 with a dramatic escape in the second overtime. 

Using this momentum, No. 3 junior Vito Arujau secured a 15-0 technical fall at 133, and a 12-0 major decision from No. 16 freshman Vince Cornella at 141 put Cornell up 12-0 as a team.

The rest of the dual was more competitive, with the Black Knights winning the next two matches before Cornell showcased its superiority at the heavier weights. Sophomore Julian Ramirez and junior Chris Foca, ranked No. 8 and No. 4 respectively, securing decision victories at 165 and 174. Army’s only other win in the afternoon came when Cornell No. 6 senior stalwart Jonathan Loew had to default due to injury at 184. 

Sunday’s match against Columbia was even smoother sailing for the Red. No. 17 junior Jacob Cardenas. Senior Brendan Furman and Ungar started the meet off strong at 197, 285 and 125 pounds as Cornell once again took the first three matches.

This time, the Red never let its foot off the gas. The next six matches all went Cornell’s way, including major decision victories from Arujau and Foca. After taking the meet against Army off for rest, three-time national champion senior Yianni Diakomihalis returned to cruise to a 17-5 win at 149, securing another four points.

The match of the weekend occurred at 157, where sophomore Cole Handlovic defeated Cesar Alvan, Columbia’s highest ranked wrestler at No. 22. Handlovic was trailing heading into the final seconds of the third round, but managed to secure a takedown to tie the score at 4-4 and force overtime, where he quickly wrapped up the match, 6-4. 

Cornell’s only loss of the night came in the last match, where sophomore Ethan Hatcher, filling in for the injured Loew at 184, lost in a decision to Aaron Ayzerov, concluding the dual in a 30-3 overall victory for the Red. 

Next weekend, Cornell returns home to the Friedman Wrestling Center, where it takes on Princeton (2-8, 1-3 EIWA) at 1 p.m. on Saturday and perennial EIWA contender No. 25 Penn (6-4, 5-0 EIWA) on 1 p.m. on Sunday.