2x NCAA champion Yianni Diakomihalis (Photo/Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarrior.com)
InterMat has released its preseason All-EIWA first and second teams, along with preseason conference Wrestler of the Year, preseason Newcomer of the Year, and preseason team favorite. We've used the term "Newcomer" since there is the possibility of wrestlers that competed at the national tournament in 2021, being called "freshmen."
The EIWA, as mentioned a hundred times before, will look very different this year compared to last season. Due to COVID-19, all six Ivy League teams, plus Franklin & Marshall, were forced to sit out the season. With sixteen teams in the EIWA, last year's conference tournament was missing seven of them. This year, the conference will bounce back in an unprecedented fashion. Just as an example, of the twenty wrestlers listed in the first and second teams below, ten of them were forced to sit out last year. Many of the conference's top wrestlers will be back in action this season.
First Team Preseason All-EIWA
125: Patrick Glory (Princeton) 2020 NCAA All-American, 2020 EIWA Champion, 2020 EIWA Wrestler of the Year
133: Brandon Paetzell (Lehigh) 2019 EIWA 3rd; 2019 NCAA #7 seed
141: Yianni Diakomihalis (Cornell) 2x NCAA Champion, 2x EIWA Champion
149: Anthony Artalona (Penn) 2019 NCAA R12, 2019 EIWA Champ
157: Josh Humphreys (Lehigh) 2020 NWCA All-American, 2x EIWA Champion
165: Zach Hartman (Bucknell) 2021 NCAA All-American, EIWA Champion
174: Chris Foca (Cornell) 21-3 unattached in 2019-20
184: Lou Deprez (Binghamton) 2021 All-American, 2x EIWA Champion
197: Ben Darmstadt (Cornell) 2018 All-American, 2x EIWA Champion
285: Jordan Wood (Lehigh) 2019 NCAA All-American, 4X EIWA Champion
Second Team Preseason All-EIWA
125: Vito Arujau (Cornell)
133: Michael Colaiocco (Penn)
141: Malyke Hines (Lehigh)
149: PJ Ogunsanya (Army)
157: Quincy Monday (Princeton)
165: Philip Conigliaro (Harvard)
174: Ben Pasiuk (Army)
184: David Key (Navy)
197: JT Brown (Army)
285: Yaraslau Slavikouski (Harvard)
EIWA Pre-Season Wrestler of the Year - Yianni Diakomihalis
Not only is he one of the best wrestlers in the conference, but also the nation. Yianni will be on the shortlist of finalists for both the EIWA Wrestler of the Year and Hodge Trophy this year.
Although his weight class is still undecided, for now, we expect Yianni to start the year ranked #1 in whichever weight class he decides to perform at.
After an Olympic-redshirt season during the 2019/2020 season, and being forced to sit last season, we have not seen Yianni in a Cornell singlet in quite some time.
He has been very busy on the international scene, however. One of those highs includes beating the top-ranked wrestlers in the world during an exhibition, while still in college. Unfortunately, he fell short of his ultimate goals by failing to make the U.S. Olympic Team, but did come back to earn a spot on the 2021 World Team. This year, he will look to claim his third EIWA and NCAA Championships.
Currently, Yianni has 47 straight NCAA wins, which is the third-most in school history. Kyle Dake had an incredible 77 consecutive wins, so Yianni is within range of breaking that record. He is already the best of the best ever at Cornell in terms of win percentage with a .985 career win percentage (66-1 record). If he will be at 141lb, he will most likely be on a "pitch count" due to the larger cut.
Newcomer of the Year - Luke Stout (Princeton)
The Pennsylvania native will be a true freshman in the starting lineup for the Princeton Tigers. The Tiger coaching staff has very high expectations for the 197lb wrestler. As a high school blue-chip recruit, he was a 3X PIAA state placer, capturing a gold, silver, and fourth-place medal. During his time as a four-year starter, he accumulated 153 wins with only 16 losses.
Preseason Team Favorites - Cornell
Cornell is poised to return as top team in the EIWA conference. With four wrestlers listed in the pre-season first team, Lehigh is behind them, with two wrestlers appearing on the list. Cornell is scary good, even with a handful of changes occurring to the program during the off-season. First, Max Dean, a returning NCAA runner-up, transferred out of the conference. It shows the amazing depth for Cornell to remain at the top. Secondly, longtime head coach, Rob Koll, has left the program to take over the revived Stanford program. His longtime assistant and Big Red alum, Mike Grey, has taken over the program.
Returning 2020 Ivy League Champions, Princeton, are locked and loaded to return to action as well. Lehigh will be back at full strength after some injuries left a few starters out of the lineup last year. The dual meets between these three teams will be close - and may be decided by bonus points or a key upset.