The final season for Yianni Diakomihalis as a cadet-age wrestler can be described as dominant, enough so that he is in position to win another world title.
Diakomihalis, a 17-year-old junior at Hilton, won the 63-kilogram or 138.9-pound weight class during the United World Wrestling Cadet Freestyle Nationals last weekend in Akron, Ohio. The four-time high school state champion won the UWW Cadet cadet world title at 127.8 pounds last July while representing the United States in Sarajevo.
The cadet national final in Ohio was a best-of-three format. Diakomihalis defeated Jamie Hernandez of Illinois by a9-0 decision and 10-0 via technical fall. None of Diakomihalis’ opponents scored a point in seven matches, and five of the wins were by technical fall, a gap of 10 at this tournament.
“My main goal was a little different,” Diakomihalis said. “Last year, I was mostly focused on making the team. This year, it’s strictly been, to win a world title.
“I’m coming to win, because that’s what I’m capable of. There’s no reason to think that I can’t.”
The UWW world championships for 15- to 17-year-olds are Sept. 13-18 in Tbilisi, Georgia, a nation once part of the former Soviet Union. Tbilisi is the European nation’s capital. Diakomihalis said he’ll wrestle at various camps, more than at tournaments, as the world cadet championships approach.
“He’s obviously at a different level than I’ve ever seen,” Clarence, Erie County, wrestling coach and Rush-Henrietta graduate Jason Chase said. “He’s just ab easy kid to like, too, if you watch him at tournaments, the way he interacts with his teammates and other kids.
“He’s in the corner, whether you are a first-year varsity wrestler or whoever, he’s coaching everyone. You never see him put himself above anyone else. Most kids when they get to that level, they are more concerned about their results than anything else. To him, it’s like he can care less.”
Diakomihalis has verbally committed to wrestle at Cornell University and enters his senior year at Hilton with wins in 199 consecutive matches sanctioned by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, a state record.