Cornell’s Yianni Diakomihalis wins his 4th NCAA wrestling title

TULSA, Okla. — Cornell’s Yianni Diakomihalis became the fifth Division I wrestler to win four national titles and Penn State won its 10th team title in 12 years at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships hosted by former President Donald Trump on Saturday. evening session.

Trump shook hands with fans, took selfies and greeted several national champions. He sat down with staff members and U.S. Sen. Markwayne Mullin. The crowd stood as he walked into the arena before the night session with Mullin and Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt began.

Diakomihalis closed out the evening with a 4-2 decision over Ohio State’s Sammy Sasso in the 149-pound final. He joins Kyle Dake, Pat Smith, Logan Stieber and Penn State coach Kyle Sanderson as the only four-time Division I champions.

“All these guys are great because they’re different,” Diakomihalis said. “You know, I have a different style. I might take bits and pieces from each guy, but when you see the final product, it’s his own form.

Diakomihalis, 23, won national titles in 2018 and 2019. He redshirted in 2019-20 while trying to make the USA national team, then was unable to wrestle in college during the 2020-21 season because the Ivy League canceled winter sports. The COVID-19 pandemic. He returned to winning ways in 2022 and 2023, and is now setting big goals for the 2024 Olympics.

“What I did this weekend was far from my best,” he said. “And this is far, far from what I need to be an Olympic champion, a world champion.

Penn State mathematically ran away with the team title before the evening session began. The Nittany Lions finished with 137.5 points. Iowa was second with 82.5 points, and Cornell was third with 76.5 points.

Two Penn State wrestlers won titles for the third time on the season – Penn State’s Carter Starocci at 174 and Aaron Brooks at 184.

Starocci pinned Nebraska’s Mikey Labriola early in the second period. He defeated Labriola in the Big Ten final to give him his only two losses of the season. At 184, No. 3 Brooks defeated Northern Iowa’s Parker Kekkeisen 7-2.

Things didn’t go as planned at Penn State. Cornell’s third-ranked Vito Arujau defeated Penn State’s Roman Bravo-Young — a two-time champion and undefeated No. 1 seed — 10-4 for the title at 133. Bravo-Young owns the nation’s longest hitting streak at 56 games. .

“The team had a great weekend,” Sanderson said. “A lot of gutsy, great performances. It’s as much an individual sport as it is a team sport. So as a coach, you’re always — your heart and mind is with the guys who didn’t reach their goals. But we have a lot to be happy about and proud of.”

Iowa State’s Spencer Lee made a run to win his fourth title Friday night at 125 before losing to Purdue’s Matt Ramos in the semifinals. Lee was medically out of Saturday’s race and officially finished sixth.

Ramos met his surprise upset with Princeton’s Pat Fame, the undefeated No. 2 seed who finished second in the class last year. The Glory won 3-1, giving Princeton its first national title since 1951.

Glory expected a fight from Ramos.

Glory said, “Not everyone is knee-jerk for Spencer Lee.” “It takes cojones, and I knew he was going to have the same mentality when he came into the match. I knew it was going to be a dogfight. I knew it was going to be an opportunity, I had to capitalize and I knew I was going to have to be ready for it when it came.”

In other finals at 141, Northern Colorado’s Andrew Alirez defeated Iowa’s Real Woods 6-4 in an undefeated match. There was a long delay in the second period to sort out a number of moves, and Northern Colorado’s challenge paid off. That gave Alirez four points for the nearfall, not two, and it pushed his lead to 6-2. He claimed his school’s first national title since 1962.

At 157, North Carolina’s Austin O’Connor won his second national title with a 6-2 decision over Penn State true freshman Levi Haynes. With 149 wins in 2021, O’Connor is now a five-time All-American. O’Connor got on the board with an escape early in the third period and then pulled down a double for the team.

At 165, Missouri’s Keegan O’Toole repeated with an 8-2 decision over Iowa’s David Carr. The second-ranked O’Toole has lost twice to Carr this season, leading in the third period and leaving. Carr, the 157th champion in 2021, is undefeated this season and the No. 1 seed.

At 197, Pitt’s No. 1 seed Nino Bonacorsi completed an undefeated season with a 5-3 decision over South Dakota State’s Tanner Sloan. Sloan, the No. 7 seed, jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. Bonacorsi took the lead with a 4-3 lead in the final minute. Bonacorsi lost in the 2021 197 final to Oklahoma State’s AJ Ferrari.

And at 285, Michigan’s Mason Parris, the No. 3 seed, completed an undefeated season with a 5-1 decision over Penn State’s Greg Kirkvliet. Parris and Kirkvliet had already played six times in college. Parris lost in the 2021 finals to Minnesota’s Gable Steveson.

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