Photo: Tony Rotundo

#12 Cornell vs Oregon State Wrestling Collegiate Duals Preview

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#12 Cornell makes their first appearance at the Journeymen Collegiate Duals at 1 p.m. Est on Monday afternoon, when they take on Oregon State inside of the New Orleans Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Cornell’s last and only dual of the 2022-2023 season was 19-13 loss to Wisconsin on Nov. 19th, and has since sent their starters to the Cliff Keen Invitational that was held on Dec. 2nd. The Big Red look to get their first dual win of the season against the Oregon State Beavers, who come into the contest with a 2-2 dual record.

125 – #21 Brett Ungar vs. #10 Brandon Kaylor

Cornell’s true freshman #21 Brett Ungar (7-5) has shown the potential Big Red fans have been waiting for. Just a couple weeks ago at the Cliff Keen Invitational, Ungar placed seventh at a competitive 125-pound bracket. In Las Vegas, Ungar had notable wins over Ohio State’s #11 Malik Heinselman, Air Force’s Tucker Owens, and NC State’s Jarrett Trombley. Although Ungar has looked good to start the season, he’ll have another tough test in Oregon State’s #10 Brandon Kaylor (13-3). Kaylor is coming off Oregon State’s only win against #1 Penn State, where he defeated Gary Steen 4-0 in the first match of the dual. Kaylor also placed fourth at the Cliff Keen Invitational, and looks to get another win over a top-25 ranked opponent.

133 – #3 Vito Arujau vs. #16 Jason Shaner

#3 Vito Arujau (6-0) has been a hammer for the Big Red his entire career, and comes into his junior season the exact same. Arujau won the Cliff Keen Invitational at an unbelievably stacked 133-pound bracket, and did so with only allowing seven total points throughout the entirety of the tournament. Arujau knocked off Virginia Tech’s #11 Sam Latona, and Arizona State’s #5 Michael McGee, both by a score of 6-1. For the Beavers, #16 Jason Shaner has had an impressive 14-4 start to his season, and picked up a fourth place medal at the Cliff Keen Invitational just a couple weeks ago. Although Shaner was not in the lineup against Penn State last weekend, he also had a victory of Virginia Tech’s #11 Sam Latona, beating him 3-1. Expect Arujau to have the edge, but I would not be surprised if this match is closer than expected.

141 – #16 Vince Cornella vs. Cleveland Belton

Cornell freshman #16 Vince Cornella is ranked well within the top-20 in his first season starting for the Big Red, and comes into the dual with an 8-2 record. Cornella was perfect on the season until entering day two of the Cliff Keen Invitational, when he dropped consecutive matches to South Dakota State’s #15 Clay Carson, and Purdue’s #19 Parker Filius. However, the freshman will look to pick his hot start back up on Monday. Oregon State’s Cleveland Belton (11-3) has also shown potential in wrestling close matches against ranked opponents. Last week Belton almost came away with a win over Penn State’s #5 Beau Bartlett, dropping that match 5-3. Belton almost had another ranked victory at the Cliff Keen Invitational, losing to Navy’s #17 Josh Koderhandt in a barn burner of a match (15-14).  Belton transferred from Arizona State this past offseason, and is proving to be a consistent option for the Beavers at 141-pounds.

149 – #1 Yianni Diakomihalis vs. Noah Tolentino

Just last weekend, Cornell’s #1 Yianni Diakomihalis represented Team USA at the World Cup, helping the U.S. win gold. Even though he dropped two matches, it’s obvious he belongs competing with the best wrestlers around the world, and will be the future of 65 kilos for Team USA. This weekend, he should return to the Big Red lineup, and it seems he’ll square off against Oregon State’s Noah Tolentino (8-7). True freshman Noah Tolentino has been a consistent option for Oregon State. Just last weekend, Tolentino made Penn State’s #13 Shayne Van Ness work for his 6-1 victory over Tolentino, and proved he could limit damage against some of the best wrestlers in the country. 

157 – Colton Yapoujian/Gage McClenahan vs. Graham Gambrall

Colton Yapoujian (3-0) is back in the lineup for the Big Red after his 2021-2022 season was cut short due to injury. Yapoujian proved he hasn’t lost a step after bringing home gold at Lock Haven’s Mat Town Open, yet did not compete for Cornell at the Cliff Keen Invitational. Gage McClenahan (4-2) stepped in for Cornell in Las Vegas, and finished with a 1-2 record.  Oregon State’s Graham Gambrall (7-7) has proved to hang in with very tough opponents. Gambrall dropped a 10-5 decision to Purdue’s #3 Kendall Coleman at the Cliff Keen Invitational, who has been on a huge roll since that tournament.

165 – #8 Julian Ramirez vs. #18 Matthew Olguin

This will be an exciting matchup to look towards this Monday afternoon, as Cornell’s #8 Julian Ramirez (9-2) will square off against Oregon State’s #18 Matthew Olguin (13-3). Surprisingly the two did not face off at the Cliff Keen Invitational, as Ramirez took home the gold and Olguin finished third. Ramirez was a win short of All-American honors last season, and was an honorable mention for All-Ivy League team with a 22-10 record. Olguin took out a top-25 ranked opponent in Las Vegas, and came home with a third place medal. Just recently Olguin dropped a very close match to Penn State’s #17 Alex Facundo by a score of 3-2. Either way, this matchup at 165-pounds will be fun to watch.

174 – #6 Chris Foca vs. Aaron Olmos

Cornell’s #6 Chris Foca (10-1) is a returning NCAA Qualifier and has first team All-Ivy League honors after an impressive 2021-2022 season, and is set to square off against the Beavers’ Aaron Olmos once again. Foca and Olmos wrestled each other in the second round at the Cliff Keen Invitational, where Foca picked up the fall at 3:12. After getting pinned by Foca, Aaron Olmos went 4-1 in the consolation bracket to earn a seventh place medal, and improve his record to 5-3. I would expect that this match will end a bit differently, as Olmos has proven to be a tough opponent for most.

184 – #9 Jonathon Loew/Nathan Thracker vs. #8 Trey Munoz

There is a chance both Cornell’s #9 Jonathon Loew (5-1) and Oregon State’s #8 Trey Munoz (11-2) miss the dual, since both medically forfeited out of the Cliff Keen Invitational. The two also squared off last March in the NCAA Tournament, where Munoz picked up a big win by a score of 12-2. If both are ready to go, expect this to be a great match and one not to miss.

197 – Jacob Cardenas/Ethan Hatcher vs. #13 Tanner Harvey

Oregon State’s #13 Tanner Harvey (13-3) has looked really good to start the 2022-2023 season, especially after a silver medal at the Cliff Keen Invitational a couple weeks ago. Harvey also gave Penn State’s #1 Max Dean all he could handle, but dropped the match by a 6-3 decision. It’s not totally sure who Cornell will send out at 197-pounds, as returning NCAA Qualifier Jacob Cardenas (0-1) wrestled his only match against the Wisconsin Badgers, yet it was Ethan Hatcher (1-2) who competed in Las Vegas for the Big Red. Either way, it seems Harvey will have the edge in this bout based off of the mat time he’s gotten this year, compared to Cardenas and Hatcher.

285 – #15 Lewis Fernandes vs. JJ Dixon

Returning NCAA Qualifier #15 Lewis Fernandes (4-2) returns to Cornell’s lineup, and will take on Oregon State’s JJ Dixon (8-3) to wrap up the dual. Fernandes picked up two wins at the Cliff Keen Invitational, and looks to have an advantage over the Beavers’ Dixon. For the Beavers, JJ Dixon has had a good start to the year, compiling a 8-3 record just eight weeks into the season. Although Dixon didn’t compete in the Cliff Keen Invitational, he wrestled against Penn State and was defeated by #1 Greg Kerkvliet.

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Cael Turnbull
Cael Turnbull
Journalism Major at Temple University Graduating in May of 2023

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