CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. The Virginia wrestling team will be represented by three wrestlers at the 2008 NCAA Championships, which runs Thursday through Saturday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Ross Gitomer (So., Flemington, N.J.), Chris Henrich (Fr., Lansdale, Pa.) and Rocco Caponi (Jr., Uniontown, Ohio) will compete at 125, 174 and 184 pounds, respectively.
ESPNU, ESPN360.com and ESPN will combine to broadcast the championships with live coverage. Friday, ESPNU will air the quarterfinals at 11 a.m. and the semifinals at 7 p.m. Saturday, ESPNU will telecast the championship medal round, while ESPN will air the finals at 8:30 p.m. ESPN360.com will show live coverage of all four mats during the quarterfinals as well as both mats in the semifinals.
Gitomer (37-11) will compete in one of the first matches Thursday, as he takes on Central Michigan’s Luke Smith (24-7). The winner gets Tyler Clark (19-9) of Iowa State in another first-round match.
Henrich (25-8) is scheduled to wrestle third-seeded Brandon Browne (24-1) of Nebraska in the first round. He will face either Aron Scott (12-11) of Iowa State or Randy Oates (25-9) of George Mason in his match Thursday night. Henrich wrestled Oates earlier this season at the Virginia Intercollegiates and came away with a 5-0 decision.
Caponi (37-2) is seeded 11th at 184 pounds and has a bye before wrestling Edinboro’s Christopher Honeycutt (21-6) in the first round. In his match Thursday night, Caponi will take on either Matthew Gevelinger (15-8) of Brown or sixth-seeded Raymond Jordan (17-3) of Missouri. A matchup with Jordan would be a rematch from the 2007 championships when Jordan earned a hard-fought 3-2 win in the first round.
Caponi will be competing in his third NCAA event. He also participated in the 2005 and 2007 NCAA championships. Gitomer and Henrich each are wrestling in their first NCAA event.
Gitomer and Caponi earned automatic bids to the championships after winning their weight classes at the ACC Championships March 8. Henrich nabbed one of the ACC’s four at-large berths after taking second at the ACC Championships.NCAA Championships Schedule
Session I Thursday, Noon
Session II Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
Session III Friday, 11 a.m.
Session IV Friday, 7 p.m.
Session V Saturday, 11 a.m.
Session VI Saturday, 8:30 p.m.