- Seven Virginia wrestlers won matches Thursday to advance to the second day of competition at the 2010 NCAA Championships in Omaha, Neb. After one day of action, Virginia stands in 10th place in the team competition with 17 points and is tied with Central Michigan, Lehigh and Penn State.
Only five schools have more wrestlers left in the championships than Virginia after day one. The double-elimination event is being hosted through Saturday at Qwest Center Omaha.
Virginia qualified a school-record eight competitors to the field this season. In day one, UVa wrestlers combined to win nine matches, matching their total number of wins from all of the 2009 championships.
Chris Henrich (Jr., Lansdale, Pa.), the No. 3 national seed at 174 pounds, won both of his Thursday matches and next will wrestle sixth-seeded Mike Benefiel of Oklahoma State Friday morning, with the winner clinching All-America honors. The match will be part of ESPNU and ESPN360.com's coverage of championship-round matches beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Henrich, looking to become the first two-time All-American in UVa history, cruised to a pair of wins as he advanced to the quarterfinals. He opened with an 8-0 major decision over Dave Rella of Ohio State, then posted a 9-3 decision over Byron Sigmon of UNC Greensboro. Henrich is now 32-2 this season and needs two more wins to become the eighth wrestler in UVa history to reach the 100-win plateau.
Ross Gitomer (R-Sr., Flemington, N.J.) stayed alive Thursday after an opening loss to No. 4 seed Anthony Robles of Arizona State in the 125-pound weight class. Gitomer posted a 3-1 win in sudden-victory time against Edinboro's Eric Morrill and added an 11-1 major decision over Jonathan Childress of Liberty in his second wrestleback match. Gitomer (24-14) next will wrestle Joseph Langel of Rutgers on Friday; the two faced off earlier this year with Langel scoring an 8-4 win.
At 141 pounds, Derek Valenti (So., Newton, N.J.) won his NCAA debut against Ivan Lopouchanski of UNC Greensboro, 4-1, before dropping a 3-1 decision to No. 2 seed Jamal Parks of Oklahoma State in the Round of 16. Valenti (25-9) will wrestle No. 5 seed Zack Bailey of Oklahoma in the consolation bracket Friday morning; the two battled in January with Bailey prevailing, 3-1.
At 149 pounds, Shawn Harris (R-So., Cleveland, Ohio) fell 9-8 in his first NCAA match against No. 11 seed Desmond Green of Buffalo. Harris (20-13) rebounded to pin Brandon Butcher of George Mason in 6:59, and next will wrestle Nicholas Bertucci of Purdue Friday.
Danny Gonsor (R-So., Cleveland, Ohio), in his first NCAA appearance at 157 pounds, won 9-4 against Northern Iowa's Tyson Reiner. Gonsor (19-10) then fell 4-2 to No. 4 seed Cyler Sanderson of Penn State in the Round of 16 and will face Kurt Kinser of Indiana Friday.
At 197 Brent Jones (R-Sr., Burke, Va.) was pinned by No. 5 seed Trevor Brandvold of Wisconsin in the first round but bounced back to record a pin of his own against Ohio's Erik Schuth in just 1:03. Jones (25-12) upped his UVa record for pins to 44 and now ranks fourth in career wins at Virginia (106). He also moved into second place in career matches at Virginia with 150. Jones is slated to wrestle Logan Brown of Purdue on Friday.
Jack Danilkowicz (R-Jr., Green Oaks, Ill.) fell 2-1 in his opening bout against Tucker Lane of Nebraska, but bounced back against Odie Delaney of The Citadel, scoring the winning takedown just before the final buzzer in sudden-victory time to earn a 5-3 triumph. Danilkowicz (19-13) next will wrestle Dominick Russo of Rutgers; the two faced off earlier this year, with Russo scoring a 7-3 win.
At 184 Mike Salopek (R-Fr., North Huntingdon, Pa.) received a tough draw and lost to a pair of seeded wrestlers. He dropped his opening match, 11-3 to No. 9 Phil Keddy of Iowa, and then fell 2-0 to No. 10 seed Mike Pucillo of Ohio State to end his season. Salopek finished his freshman campaign with a 28-10 record.
The ESPN family of networks will have coverage of the championships beginning at 10:30 a.m. Friday with the quarterfinals, which will air on ESPNU and ESPN360.com. Semifinal action at 7 p.m. Friday will be on ESPNU. Wrestlebacks also will continue throughout the day, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Friday.
Team Standings (through Session II)
1. Iowa, 34.5
2. Oklahoma State, 26.0
3. Iowa State, 24.0
4. Ohio State, 23.0
7. Cornell, 22.0
8. Minnesota, 20.0
9. Missouri, 18.5
10. Virginia, 17.0
Central Michigan, 17.0
Penn State, 17.0
First Round: No. 4 Anthony Robles (Arizona State) pinned Ross Gitomer, 2:59
Wrestleback Rd. 1: Gitomer dec. Eric Morrill (Edinboro), 3-1 (SV)
Wrestleback Rd. 2: Gitomer major dec. Jonathan Childress (Liberty), 11-1
Wrestleback Rd. 3: Gitomer vs. Joseph Langel (Rutgers), Friday
First Round: Derek Valenti dec. Ivan Lopouchanski (UNC Greensboro), 4-1
Round of 16: No. 2 Jamal Parks (Oklahoma State) dec. Valenti, 3-1
Wrestleback Rd. 3: Valenti vs. No. 5 Zack Bailey (Oklahoma), Friday
First Round: No. 11 Desmond Green (Buffalo) dec. Shawn Harris, 9-8
Wrestleback Rd. 2: Harris pinned Brandon Butcher (George Mason), 6:59
Wrestleback Rd. 3: Harris vs. Nicholas Bertucci (Purdue), Friday
First Round: Danny Gonsor dec. Tyson Reiner (Northern Iowa), 9-4
Round of 16: No. 4 Cyler Sanderson (Penn State) dec. Gonsor, 4-2
Wrestleback Rd. 3: Gonsor vs. Kurt Kinser (Indiana), Friday
First Round: No. 3 Chris Henrich major dec. Dave Rella (Ohio State), 8-0
Round of 16: Henrich dec. Byron Sigmon (UNC Greensboro), 9-3
Quarterfinals: Henrich vs. No. 6 Mike Benefiel (Oklahoma State), Friday
First Round: No. 9 Phil Keddy (Iowa) major dec. Mike Salopek, 11-3
Wrestleback Rd. 1: No. 10 Mike Pucillo (Ohio State) dec. Salopek, 2-0
First Round: No. 5 Trevor Brandvold (Wisconsin) pinned Brent Jones, 3:19
Wrestleback Rd. 2: Jones pinned Erik Schuth (Ohio), 1:03
Wrestleback Rd. 3: Jones vs. Logan Brown (Purdue), Friday
First Round: Tucker Lane (Nebraska) dec. Jack Danilkowicz, 2-1
Wrestleback Rd. 2: Danilkowicz dec. Odie Delaney (The Citadel), 5-3 (SV)
Wrestleback Rd. 3: Danilkowicz vs. No. 10 Dominick Russo (Rutgers), Friday