Four Big Red Wrestlers Seeded As NCAA Draw Revealed
March 07, 2018


ITHACA, N.Y. – Four Cornell wrestlers, including three freshmen, were seeded among the top 16 in their weight classes when the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championship draws were announced on Wednesday evening. The Big Red will kick off the three-day meet on Thursday, March 15 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

Ben Darmstadt is the No. 2 seed at 197 pounds and opens with Jacob Smith of West Virginia in the first round. With a win, the EIWA champion would advance to the second round against either 15th-seeded Matt Williams of Cal-Bakersfield or Jordan Atienza of Central Michigan.

Another 2018 EIWA champ, Yianni Diakomihalis enters as the No. 3 seed at 141 and kicks off his first tournament against Nick Zanetta of Pitt. A win would send him into the second round against either 14th-seeded Nicholas Gill of Navy or Irvin Enriquez of Appalachian State. He majored Zanetta 9-1 at the Cliff Keen Last Vegas Invitational and topped Gill 9-4 in the semifinals at Easterns.

The third freshman is ninth-seeded Max Dean at 184. The younger brother of four-time All-American and two-time NCAA champion Gabe Dean will meet Northern Colorado's Dylan Gabel in the first round and then either No. 8 Drew Foster of Northern Iowa or Arizona State's Kordell Norfleet. Dean split a pair of matches against Foster this season with a 9-7 win during a home dual.

EIWA champion Jon Jay Chavez is the No. 16 seed at 165 pounds and opens his tournament against Andrew Atkinson of Virginia, then possibly unbeaten Isaiah Martinez of Illinois in the second round if he can get past Eastern Michigan's Zachary Carson.

Cornell's unseeded wrestlers will all be looking for first round upsets to put them into position to continue into day two.

Junior Chas Tucker brings a 21-9 record and a EIWA runner-up finish into a first round matchup with No. 9 Dennis Gustafson of Virginia Tech. A win would pit him against either Montorie Bridges of Wyoming, the No. 8 overall seed, or Purdue's Ben Thornton. Tucker and Gustafson met earlier this year at the Las Vegas Invite with the Hokie earning a 3-2 win.

An All-American at 165 pounds a year ago, Brandon Womack will meet sixth-seeded Bo Jordan of Ohio State in the 174-pound bracket. A win would advance him to meet either 11th-seeded David Kocer of South Dakota State or Kimball Bastian of Virginia.

Jeramy Sweany will wrestle a pigtail match against EIWA foe Brett Dempsey of American with the winner getting a chance to meet seventh-seeded Nathan Butler of Stanford. No. 10 Jordan Wood of Lehigh and Cory Gilliland-Daniel of North Carolina are on the other side of the bracket. Sweany knocked off Dempsey by an 8-0 major decision in the second round at last weekend's league championship.