Lehigh wrestling will be represented at the UWW World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia from September 16-24. Darian Cruz, a former NCAA Champion from Lehigh, will be competing in the freestyle category at 57 kg for Puerto Rico. This will be Cruz’s second consecutive World Championship appearance, as he reached the quarterfinals last year and finished ninth overall.
The competition in the 57 kg freestyle bracket will begin with qualification rounds on Sunday, September 17, with repechage and medal matches scheduled for September 18.
Cruz switched over to Puerto Rico after previously competing for the United States. In 2019, he made the U.S. national team after a runner-up finish at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament.
Despite his change in affiliation, Cruz has continued training at the Caruso Complex with the Lehigh Valley Wrestling Club. He has also served as a volunteer assistant coach on the Lehigh wrestling staff for three seasons, from 2019 to 2022, while training with the LVWC.
Cruz has invited first-year wrestler Ethan Smith to accompany him to Serbia as a training partner for his upcoming World Championships appearance.
Streaming of the 2023 UWW World Championships can be watched on FloWrestling.org.
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