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As the son of World champ, Arujau has big goals Not long into the second period,


10 points were scored in two sequenc- es, giving the Iranian a 10-7 lead. The PDWFK HQGHG ZLWK D ZLOG ÁXUU\ DQG D 12-8 win for Maghsoudi, leaving Aru- jau to take home a silver medal. “I really do believe that skill-wise


I was better, but the way I wrestled that match wasn’t very smart,” he said. “I was trying to get the tech fall in the ÀQDOV 0HDQZKLOH , KDG WKH DGYDQWDJH in multiple situations in the match. I could have easily just locked him down and won that way, but I don’t know what was going through my head at that point. I do really believe I should have won that match and won the gold medal, but things happen. ´&DQ , VD\ ,·P VDWLVÀHG" 1R


Can I say it was a good experience? 100 percent.” Despite falling short of a gold


PHGDO $UXMDX WUHDWHG KLV ÀUVW :RUOG Championships as a learning experi- ence, walking away with some valu- able lessons, realizations and a strong VHQVH RI FRQÀGHQFH ´2YHUDOO , IHHO LW ZDV GHÀQLWHO\ D


learning process,” he said. “That was WKH ÀUVW PLOHVWRQH WR UHDOL]LQJ WKDW these foreign kids aren’t anything spe- cial. They’re just regular wrestlers like us from different parts of the world,


and they’re just trying to do the same thing I’m trying to do. I’m not that far behind them by any means. I believe I’m one of the best in the world at what I do.” One of the most valued things


to Arujau was the team he was a part of. One of the greatest U.S. Cadet World Teams of all time, earning three gold medals, a silver and three bronzes, Arujau created strong bonds with each member, regularly commu- nicating with them even nine months after competing together. One of those teammates was


Arujau’s fellow New Yorker and for- mer rival Yianni Diakomihalis, a two- time Cadet World champion. The two have faced each other


several times, with Diakomihalis tak- ing a majority of the wins. “We’ve had multiple matches


in the past, and I think he’s won four and I’ve won one,” Arujau said. “After the second time he beat me, we real- ized we’re both from New York and both really good, so wouldn’t it just be better if we became training partners instead of rivals? “We were both very skilled at


the time but could both improve a lot. That’s why we became training part- ners. I would come to his house for


made history in high school. Competing for Syosset High


School, he recently wrapped up his high school career as a four-time New York state champion, becoming only the third Long Island wrestler and ÀUVW 1DVVDX ZUHVWOHU WR GR VR “It was really just getting some


SAM JANICKI PHOTO


training camps and he would come to mine. I really do see him as one of my best friends.” Arujau and Diakomihalis will


continue their friendship as they head to Cornell next year to pursue their collegiate wrestling careers as team- mates.


Arujau said his decision to wres-


tle for Cornell was an easy choice be- cause his older brother, Nick, wrestled for the Big Red. He also said he felt a strong connection to the team and coaching staff. Additionally, he said he wants he


and his buddy, Yianni, to do their part in helping build a strong team. Arujau comes to Cornell having


of my dreams realized,” he said. “My name is going to be in the history books now. When people talk about some of the best to come through New York, they’re going to pull up my name, and I feel content with that. That’s one of my goals is for people to bring up my name when they talk about who was the greatest of all time.”


Being the greatest of all time


doesn’t stop with high school state ti- tles. His goals reach beyond to Olym- pic and World titles. The quest for a World championship starts as early as this summer with his sights set on a Junior World title. “I want to win the Olympics.


I think I have two prime chances to do that, 2020 and then another shot in 2024,” he said. “I’m going to try to make every World Team I can. This summer, I’ll be trying out for the Ju- nior World Team, and then we’ll see where things go.” Q


USA WRESTLER/WIN MAGAZINE 31


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