Cornell Big Red 19/20 Preview

Cali_Nittany

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The PRC
Cornell

Cornell completed another solid season finishing 7th place with 59.5 points and 4 AAs compared to 8th place with 43 pts in 2018. This was their 12th appearance in the top 10 in a row (don’t be jealous, New Brunswick/Piscataway). The Big Red went 13-3 over the dual season with the losses coming against Ohio State, Missouri and Lehigh. Their biggest win came at Virginia Tech on a 17-16 squeaker. Cornell finished second at the EIWAs to Lehigh for the second year in a row. The Big Red had won 11 years straight from 2007 through 2017. {Fun fact: the last team to win the EIWA besides Cornell and Lehigh was Harvard in 2001.} At the only in-season tournament Cornell attended, Cliff Keen, they finished 21st (w/o Arujau and Yianni).

Cornell is in punt formation this season with the big three of Arujau, Yianni and Dean all taking redshirts. The Big Red’s streak of top ten finishes will almost assuredly come to an end. The future prospects look better as they do have a loaded incoming freshman class coming in. Moomey is the only one of the top incoming freshmen listed on their website roster so I'm guessing the rest are going to the FLWC for the Cornell gray shirt. The Big Red should be back with a vengeance in 2020/21 to challenge Iowa and Ohio State for 2nd place. Cornell has not yet released their 19/20 schedule.


125
Dominic LaJoi (So) <Gaylord, MI>
Noah Baughman (Sr) <Wadsworth, OH>

It looks like Arujau is taking a redshirt. So that leaves 125 to Baughman or LaJoi. Baughman was the starter in 2017/18 (and 16/17) when he went 22-9 and just missed qualifying for the NCAA Championship. LaJoi went 8-3 last season with no wins against NCAA qualifiers.

Vitali Arujau (Fr) began last season at 133 before dropping down to 125. He went 31-4 overall and secured the 8 seed at the NCAA championships. Arujau had a great tournament with upsets over #4 Bresser and #2 Piccininni before losing to Rivera in the 3rd place match.

133
Chaz Tucker (Sr) <Blair Academy, NJ>

Tucker is entering his final season and will be trying to get to the podium for the first time. Last season, he did very well up until the NCAA Championship, winning the EIWA championship and getting the 9 seed at the NCAAs. After a 1st round upset loss to #24 DJ Fehlman (LHU), Tucker ran into RBY in the wrestlebacks (and we know the end to that story). His season record was 28-6. <Bonus: 14.7%, RPI: .660>

141
Michael Venosa (So) <Victor, NY>

Phillip Moomey (Fr) <Kearney, NE>
With Yianni taking an Olympic redshirt, a new starter enters Cornell’s lineup. Venosa went 11-7 last year with no wins against NCAA qualifiers. Moomey was a three-time Nebraska state champion and the 2017 Fargo Cadet greco-roman national champion. Moomey is ranked #10 at 132 by InterMat. He's listed at 141 on Cornell's roster.

Last season, Yianni ran the table going 29-0, successfully defending his title from 2018. In last year’s tournament he ground through the competition with 10-5, 7-3, 5-1, 6-5, 6-4 (SV-1) victories. Four of his five opponents ended up being AAs. One could argue that he had an even tougher draw than a certain 165 pounder from west of the Mississippi.

149
Hunter Richard (Jr) <Holland Patent, NY>
Chris Schoenherr (Sr) <Bay City Western, MI>

Last season, outgoing senior Jonathan Furnas went 19-9 (mostly in opens) but he went 1-2 at the EIWA Championship and didn’t qualify for NCAAs. This weight class was unsettled over the course of the season with Will Koll, Hunter Richard and Chris Schoenherr also getting multiple starts. Koll has also graduated so it looks like it will be between Richard and Schoenherr this season.

157
Adam Santoro (Jr) <Fordham Prep, NY>

Freddy Stroker (Sr) <Bettendorf, IA>
Santoro went 17-11 on the season and didn’t qualify for NCAAs. He did have 3 wins against eventual qualifiers; Klucker (LHU), McClure (UNC) and Reed (Col). Stroker, formerly of the Golden Rodents, went 6-3 last season. He was Cornell’s starter @157 in 17/18.

165

Milik Dawson (Sr) <Carmen-Ainsworth, MI>
Andrew Merola (Fr) <Blair Academy, NJ>

Dawson went 6-9 last season and didn’t have any wins against NCAA qualifiers. Merola went 11-6 with the FLWC last season. He also didn't have any wins against NCAA qualifiers.

Andrew Berreyesa had to fill in last season for returning AA, Jon Jay Chavez, who missed the entire season due to injury. Berreyesa took over the starting position from Milik Dawson midseason, going 16-11 and didn’t qualify for NCAAs after placing 8th in the EIWA Championship (4 allocations). Berreyesa is also taking an Olympic redshirt this season.

174

Brandon Womack (Sr) <Scottsboro, AL>
Womack will be trying to qualify for the NCAA Championship for a 4th time and reach the podium for the <edit> second time. Last season, he place 2nd at the EIWA Championship and received the 16 seed for the NCAA Championship. He went 22-10 overall and 2-2 in the tournament. <Bonus: 25%, RPI: .645>

184

Ben Darmstadt (So) <Elyria, OH>
Darmstadt is back from injury and dropping to 184 in place of Max Dean who is yet another Cornell wrestler taking a redshirt. Darmstadt placed 6th at 197 in 2018. Last season, Dean followed up his 8th place All-American finish in 2018 with reaching the finals this season. He had perhaps the biggest upset of the tournament, defeating #1 Myles Martin in the semis before losing to Drew Foster in the finals. The 3rd time was the charm for Dean. He had 17-7 and 13-6 losses to Martin during the season. Dean went 25-6 overall and was the 5 seed in the tournament.

197

Jonathan Loew (Fr) <Wantagh, NY>
Loew went 17-11 for the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club last season. He didn’t have any wins against NCAA qualifiers but he did hold Shakur Rasheed to a major decision at the Southern Scuffle. With Ben Darmstadt out last season due to injury, outgoing senior Benjamin Honis reclaimed the starting spot at 197. Honis went 23-7 overall and finished 8th from the 9 seed becoming an AA for the first time. Honis was actually upset in the first round by Lehigh wrestler Jake Jakobsen but worked his way through the wrestlebacks, including a victory over #7 Jay Aiello (UVA).

Heavy
Brendan Furman (So) <Canon-McMillan, PA>

Furman went 8-4 last season. He didn’t wrestle any NCAA qualifiers. Outgoing senior Jeramy Sweany qualified for the NCAAs a 3rd time, going 15-10 overall and 0-2 in the tournament from the 23 seed.

New Faces
Cornell has a stellar recruiting class coming in with 6 wrestlers ranked in the top 10 of their weight classes. Koll is putting Cornell in good position to battle for 2nd place in a couple of years.

Phillip Moomey <Kearney, NE>
Listed above at 141

Julian Ramirez <Blair Academy, NJ>
Ramirez was a two-time Florida state champion before moving north to wrestle for Blair Academy. He won the National Prep Championship in 2018 and 2019 at 170. Ramirez is ranked #2 at 170 by InterMat.

Mason Reiniche <Baylor, TN>
Reiniche is a three-time Tennessee state champion. Coincidently, he was the runner-up to Ramirez at the 2019 National Prep Championship. Reinche is ranked #5 at 170 by InterMat.

Chris Foca <Bergen Catholic, NJ>
After a 3rd place finish in 2017 and a 2nd in 2018, Foca won his first New Jersey state title at 182 in 2019. He was also a two-time Beast of the East champion. Foca is ranked #5 at 182 by InterMat.

Jacob Cardenas <Bergen Catholic, NJ>
Cardenas is a two-time New Jersey state champion. Cardenas is ranked #1 at 195 by InterMat.

Lewis Fernandes <Voorhes, NJ>
Fernandes is a two-time New Jersey state champion and also a FloNationals champion. He is ranked #6 at 285 by InterMat.

cornell-campus-1125x420.png
 
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Cowbell Man

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I think that lineup in two and three years will look a lot more like a challenge for the title than a race for second.
 
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NothingMeaningful

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I think that lineup in two and three years will look a lot more like a challenge for the title than a race for second.
For 2020-21, they'll have Greg Diakomihalis (as a true freshman) and Josh Saunders, the entire recruiting class of 2019, four ORS returnees, and significant grads will be only Womack (at a weight at which they will be stacked) and Tucker (making room for Arujau at 133). And from that group, none will be a senior, I believe.
 

nitlion6

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I think that lineup in two and three years will look a lot more like a challenge for the title than a race for second.
So if they do finish second will the Red fans spend another decade whining about Cael being mean and unfair?
Just wondering.
 
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Cowbell Man

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For 2020-21, they'll have Greg Diakomihalis (as a true freshman) and Josh Saunders, the entire recruiting class of 2019, four ORS returnees, and significant grads will be only Womack (at a weight at which they will be stacked) and Tucker (making room for Arujau at 133). And from that group, none will be a senior, I believe.
Yes, and unlike Ryan....his wrestlers tend to perform to expectation and greater.
 
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Dogwelder

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Does anyone know if Jon Jay Chavez is still eligible to compete? Is he on the team?
 
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redblades

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Does anyone know if Jon Jay Chavez is still eligible to compete? Is he on the team?
Chavez graduated last Spring, so he is done with Cornell; he may have a year of eligibility left if he went somewhere else, but I have not heard any such thing.
 
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AgSurfer

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FWIW - I had a short chat with Chris Foca at the Doc Buchanan tournament two years ago. He's a really nice young man and a really good action wrestler. I would have liked to have seen PSU get him but I think he would have a tough time making the starting lineup with the firepower we have coming in at the upper weights. The kicker is that Foca looks a lot like Cael when he was 18!
 

NothingMeaningful

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Dec 21, 2018
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FWIW - I had a short chat with Chris Foca at the Doc Buchanan tournament two years ago. He's a really nice young man and a really good action wrestler. I would have liked to have seen PSU get him but I think he would have a tough time making the starting lineup with the firepower we have coming in at the upper weights. The kicker is that Foca looks a lot like Cael when he was 18!
Between recruits Ramirez (174) and Cardenas (197), and Dean and Darmstadt (both at 184?), he may have a tough time making Cornell's starting lineup until the latter two graduate in 2022. Even after a year of grey-shirting by all three of these recruits.