March 4, 1998
CHARLOTSVILLE, VA--Virginia's Jim Harshaw (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley), Martius Harding (Baltimore, MD/McDonogh) and Steve Garland (Middletown, NY/Middletown look to defend their ACC wrestling titles and help the Cavaliers claim the ACC Wrestling Championship this weekend in Durham, N.C. The Cavaliers, behind Wrestler of the Meet Garland, finished second to North Carolina in the 1997 Championships.
Last year at N. C. State, the Cavaliers sent seven wrestlers to the finals, the largest Cavalier contingent since Lenny Bernstein became Virginia's head coach. Virginia and Carolina faced each other four times in the finals, with the teams splitting the matches 2-2.
Garland, the 1997 ACC Meet Outstanding Wrestler, brings a 28-9 record into the championships. He was the ACC Wrestler of the Week February 2nd and is currently ranked 20th nationally in the Intermat/WIN rankings. His 28 wins is second on the team and he ranks fourth on the team in winning percentage. He was the ACC Champion at 126 pounds in 1997 but has dropped to compete at 118 in 1998. He was 3-1 in the ACC this year, with all three wins being major decisions. He leads the team with nine major decisions.
Matt Roth (Wescosville, Pa./Parkland) was the ACC Wrestler of the Week twice in 1998, one of only two wrestlers in the ACC to receive the honor multiple times. He leads the team in winning percentage with a 26-5 record (.838) and ranks fourth on the team with 26 wins. An NCAA qualifier in 1995 and 1996, Roth was the ACC Runner-up in 1995 at 118 pounds. His eight pins this season leads the Cavaliers.
Jason Mutarelli (Catasauqua, PA/N Catasauqua) is competing in his final ACC Championships and looks to add another ACC title to his collection. The ACC Champion at 126 in 1995, Mutarelli brings a 33-12 record into ACC's in 1998.e was undefeated in ACC competition this year, posting a perfect 4-0 reecord including a pin and a major decision. His 33 wins leads the team this season as do his four technical falls. He placed eighth at the Midlands Championships in December earlier this season and qualified for NCAA's in 1997 and 1995.
Harshaw is also a returning ACC Champion as he won the 150 crown last year. He ranks second on the Virginia squad in 1998 with a .818 winning percentage (18-4) and he was the Wrestler of the Meet for the second year in a row at the Virginia State Championships. He is currently ranked 19th in the Intermat/WIN national rankings with wins over 3 wrestlers also ranked in the top-20.
Alex Leykikh (West Hartford, CT/Hall) finished in the runner-up position at 158 in 1997, but he was undefeated in the ACC in 1998 with a perfect 4-0 record. He ranks third on the team with 27 wins (27-12) and qualified for the NCAA tournament in 1997.