Mar. 18, 1997
School-Record Seven Cavaliers Qualify for NCAA Wrestling Meet
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The Cavaliers are sending seven wrestlers to compete at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. This year's meet will take place at the University of Northern Iowa this weekend. The first-round matches are on Thursday, March 20, and the competition continues through Saturday, March 22. The seven wrestlers is the largest Virginia contingent to attend the championships in school history. Last year Virginia sent five wrestlers to the NCAA meet. There have been four All-Americans in Virginia history, the most recent being Mike Krafchick in 1994 at 134 pounds.
Among the Cavaliers wrestling this weekend is sophomore Steve Garland (Middletown, N.Y./Middletown) at 126 pounds, the ACC Champion at the 126-pound weight class. Garland was named the Outstanding Wrestler of the ACC Championships as he came back from a three-point deficit in the final fifteen seconds of his semifinal bout to take a 7-4 victory.
Senior captain Jason Mutarelli (Catasauqua, Pa./N. Catasauqua) took second-place honors at ACC's at 134, losing to undefeated and nationally-ranked Jim Guzzio from Maryland in the final seconds. Mutarelli qualified for the NCAA Championships in 1995 before taking a red-shirt year in 1996.
Jim Harshaw (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley), the Outstanding Wrestler at the Virginia State Championships following his title at 150 pounds, was the ACC Champion at that weight class as well. Harshaw qualified for the NCAA Championships last year as a freshman.
Alex Leykikh (West Hartford, Conn./Hall) finished fifth at the Virginia State Wrestling Championships and was runner-up at ACC's in the 158-pound weight class. This his his frist trip to NCAA's.
Freshman Martius Harding (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) was the champion at both the Virginia State Championships and the ACC at 177 pounds. Harding won both of his titles in overtime, claiming the Virginia crown in overtime criteria. He defeated the defending ACC Champion in the finals.
Craig Fenstermaker (Hilton Head, S.C./Northampton (Pa.) returns to the NCAA's as well following his second-place finish at ACC"s at 190. Last year as a freshman at the national meet, he wrestled his nemesis Scott Stay from UNC and defeated him after losing twice in the regular season.
Senior captain Zach Feldman (Dunwoody, Ga./Dunwoody) is also an NCAA returnee. He took runner-up honors at the ACC meet for the second year in a row.
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