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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    Losses from Returning NCAA Champions

    Cornell’s Vito Arujau has had quite the 2023. In March, he won his first NCAA title with an upset of two-time champion Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State). Six months later, he won a world title at 61 kg in freestyle. Despite the international accolades, Arujau returned for one final season of college wrestling. He entered the year as the prohibitive favorite at 133 pounds. However, this past weekend, his trip to another title hit a bit of a speed bump as he dropped an 8-4 decision against Ryan Crookham (Lehigh). Despite the loss, many still consider Arujau to be a heavy favorite this season. It is hard to argue with them especially when looking at the recent history of returning champions who happened to take losses the subsequent season.

    The following looks at the returning champions from the last two seasons who took at least one loss after returning the next season. In many cases, these wrestlers were able to repeat as champions, but this is not always the case.

    Returning Champions During the 2022-23 Season

    Yiannia Diakomihalis (Cornell)

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