Each year at the state wrestling championships of late, you will find a number of wrestlers with an opportunity to become a four-time state champion in their high school careers.
The attention and buzz surrounding them headline the competition at Pepsi Center and draw extra focus from those in the crowd watching and the media covering the event.
In 2021, one of those wrestlers who will have the chance to become a four-time state champion will be Vince Cornella of Monarch after completing a dominant run to his third state title last month. For his efforts, Cornella has been named the BoCoPreps.com wrestler of the year for the 2019-20 season.
“Overall, I think it was a good season,” Cornella said. “There are some things to improve on. Every tournament and match you can learn, so I’m looking at those going into my freestyle season trying to prepare for next season as well.”
For the second straight year, Cornella did not lose to a wrestler from the state of Colorado during the high school season. His junior season finished at the top of the medal podium at state, where he won all four matches by technical fall to grab the title. The four points he did surrender to opponents were by his decision in letting his opponents back to their feet to score an escape point before quickly taking them down from neutral position.
Cornella’s pedigree and background in wrestling has opened the doors to compete in tournaments throughout the country, including during the high school season. In December, he traveled to Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and took seventh place in the Walsh Ironman. A week later he was in Las Vegas winning a tournament title in the Las Vegas Holiday Classic. And after winter break, he went to the Doc Buchanan Invitational in California and finished in third place in his weight bracket.
It’s unclear at this point how much Cornella will get to compete during the summer amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but in the meantime, he remains focused on staying ready for future tournaments and training for his senior year.
“We have some mats in my garage and a pretty good set of weights so I can still get my weight lifting in for the day,” Cornella said. “I’ve been able to bring one or two partners in and get workouts in on the daily in my garage. I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to train through all this chaos.”
All his training now is to also prepare him to wrestle at Cornell University, the school he made a verbal commitment to before the start of the high school season.
“I’ve been a big fan of Cornell since I was little,” Cornella said. “Kyle Dake was my favorite college wrestler, and ever since I saw his four-title run, I’ve been infatuated with the program to some extent.”
When Cornella and Monarch return to the mats for the 2020-21 wrestling season, all eyes will be on him as he tries to complete his high school career a four-time champion and go down as one of the best in the state to wrestle. Every match, he says, will be special on his journey to the top one final time.
“It’s going to be my last year competing in Colorado,” Cornella said. “I’m going to cherish every moment with my family and friends, the crowd and the supporters I have. Every match I’m looking forward to.”