Jan. 18, 1998
Virginia Claims Second Consecutive State Championship
Bernstein and Harshaw also repeat state honors
Harrisonburg, Va.-- The Virginia Cavaliers claimed a second consecutive state wrestling championship in grand style on Saturday, winning six individual titles and setting a new record for points in a meet with 177.5, easily outdistancing runner-up Virginia Tech. Led by 1996 and 1997's Outstanding Wrestler Jim Harshaw (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley), Virginia won six titles, was runner-up in two, and finished third in two, giving the Cavaliers no less than third place at each weight class. Furthermore, head coach Lenny Bernstein was named coach of the year for the second year in a row.
Virginia led after the first day of competition and never looked back. In the championship finals, a Cavalier claimed the first three titles as Steve Garland (Middletown, NY/Middletown) defeated Chris Mansueto from George Mason, last year's runner-up, 2-0 at 118. Matt Roth (Wescosville, PA/Parkland) upset the top-seeded Dave Vollmer from JMU 11-1, in the 126-pound bout, and Jason Mutarelli (N. Catasauqua, PA/Catasauqua), who broke the century mark in wins last week, also defeated the top seed with his major decision over Sean Gray 17-4 at 134 pounds. Harshaw successfully defended his title at 150 pounds with a decision over the nationally-sixth-ranked Mark Strickland of Old Dominion 3-1.
Virginia was guaranteed the winner at 177 pounds as Scott Reese (Annandale, VA/Annandale) and Tom Shaw (Wichita, Kan./Derby) faced off, which was won by Reese 3-1 in ot. Martius Harding (Baltimore, Md./McDonough) also defending his championship in much the same version as last year as he outlasted Isaac Moore of VMI in double overtime for the 1909-pound title. Jason Majestic (Patchogue, NY/Medford) finished as runner-up at Heavyweight with a 7-4 loss to Leslie Apedoe of VMI.
Other placers for the Cavaliers included PJ Bory (Suffern, NY/Sufffern), who was third at 134, John Frent, (Wayside, N.J./Ocean Township) third at 142, and Alex Leykikh (West Hartford, CT/Hall) , third at 158.
Virginia has won six team titles, more than any other school, and 67 individual titles, also a state record. The six titles won in 1997 is the most since 1973 when William and Mary won seven.
The Cavaliers return to dual match action this weekend as they take on ACC-rival North Carolina on Friday, January 23, at 7:00 pm in Memorial Gymnasium. Action continues on Saturday as the Hoos battle the Hokies of Virginia Tech and the Bulldogs from the Citadel in matches starting at 2:00 pm.