HILTON, N.Y. (WROC) — Greg Diakomihalis was born to wrestle.
“We’re small people. We couldn’t do a lot of other sports,” he said with a laugh.
The Hilton senior is a four-time state champ and is undefeated in high school matches over the last three years.
Last March, he tore his ACL and began the long road to recovery to get back on the mat. That road ended in early January.
“It was a little boring. A lot of nothing going on.”
The rehabbing and the waiting was a challenge. It was difficult being away from the sport that’s such a big part of his life.
“I think it was tough for him,” Hilton coach Craig Gross said. “I don’t want to say that he was depressed, but you can tell he wasn’t himself. Something you love being taken away from you is tough.”
“Even when practices are hard and stuff, I just remember, at least I’m not not doing this. It was so much worse when I wasn’t practicing,” Diakomihalis said.
Helping him throughout his recovery was his brother Yianni, a fellow four-time state champ. Yianni actually also tore HIS ACL on the same exact day, one year prior.
Yianni has been back to full strength for quite a while. He won a national championship as a Cornell wrestler and is taking this year off to make a run at the U.S. Olympic team.
“It helps your psyche a little bit to know that he’s fine,” Greg Diakomihalis said. “The same thing happened to him. His career’s fine. He’s doing good.”
Now that he is back… Greg doesn’t take it for granted.
The Cadet has picked up right where he left off and is expected to take down Section V’s best this weekend at sectionals.
“He’s a natural. He’s a very good athlete,” Gross said. “Some stuff he does, even some of my assistant coaches are like ‘how the heck did he do that?'”
While Greg’s injury eliminates the chance for him to set the New York state record for most consecutive wins, he does have a chance to break the Section V record for most state titles. He can win No. 5 this winter.
“I don’t really think of it in the big picture of like ‘oh I’m winning my fifth one’, I guess, just for me, I have to win this year.”
Greg will attend Cornell after graduation and join his brother on the Big Red wrestling team.