CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia wrestler Chris Henrich (So., Lansdale, Pa.) has clinched All-America honors at the 2009 NCAA Wrestling Championships, held at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. Henrich defeated Illinois’ John Dergo, 6-1, in the wrestlebacks to earn his place among the top eight wrestlers nationally at 174 pounds.
Henrich becomes Virginia's first All-American since 2004, when Tim Foley and Scott Moore each finished among the nation's top eight.
The win over Dergo was a redemption of sorts for Henrich, who was bounced from the NCAA championships by Dergo last season. Henrich (39-3) then wrestled Cornell’s Steve Anceravage, the No. 6 seed, Friday night and lost by fall. He next will compete in the seventh-round match in the Championship Medal Round, which begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. ESPNU and ESPN360.com will have coverage.
Nick Nelson (So., Pittsburgh, Pa.) fell one win shy of All-America status after dropping a 9-1 major decision to top-seeded Kellen Russell of Michigan. Nelson went 2-2 at the championships and scored a 9-4 win over No. 2-seed Zach Tanelli of Wisconsin in the second round.
Rocco Caponi (Sr., Uniontown, Ohio) saw his UVa career end Friday after a 5-2 loss to No. 6-seed Joshua Patterson of Binghamton in the 184-pound wrestlebacks. Caponi finishes his career with a 111-33 career record, three ACC titles and four NCAA championship appearances. Caponi stayed alive in the wrestlebacks earlier Friday with a 1-0 win over rival Tommy Spellman of Virginia Tech. Caponi rode Spellman for the entire third period and finished with two minutes of riding time to earn the riding time point.
Jedd Moore (Fr., Mount Vernon, Ohio) had his impressive rookie campaign end with an 11-1 loss to Bloomsburg’s Matt Moley, the seventh seed, in the 157-pound wrestlebacks. Moore went 30-15 this season.
First Round: Nick Nelson (UVa) major dec. Elijah Nacita (Cal State-Bakersfield), 8-0
Second Round: Nelson dec. No. 2-seed Zach Tanelli (Wisconsin), 9-4
Quarterfinals: No. 7-seed Chris Drouin (Arizona State) dec. Nelson, 3-2
Wrestleback Rd. 5: No. 1-seed Kellen Russell (Michigan) major dec. Nelson, 9-1
First Round: Jason Welch (Northwestern) dec. Jedd Moore (UVa), 3-2
Wrestleback Rd. 2: Moore dec. Shaun Smith (Liberty), 4-1
Wrestleback Rd. 3: No. 7-seed Matt Moley (Bloomsburg) major dec. Moore, 11-1
First Round: No. 8-seed Chris Henrich (UVa) pinned Shane Smith (Millersville), 4:05
Second Round: Henrich dec. No. 9-seed Newly McFadden (Oklahoma State), 5-2
Quarterfinals: No. 1-seed Steve Luke (Michigan) dec. Henrich, 9-4
Wrestleback Rd. 5: Henrich dec. John Dergo (Illinois), 6-1
Wrestleback Rd. 6: No. 6-seed Steve Anceravage (Cornell) pinned Henrich, 4:10
Seventh-Place Match (Saturday): Henrich vs. No. 2-seed Michael Cannon (American)
First Round: No. 8-seed David Craig (Lehigh) dec. Rocco Caponi (UVa), 3-1
Wrestleback Rd. 2: Caponi major dec. Jordan Blanton (Illinois), 13-1
Wrestleback Rd. 3: Caponi dec. Tommy Spellman (Virginia Tech), 1-0
Wrestleback Rd. 4: No. 6-seed Joshua Patterson (Binghamton) dec. Caponi, 5-2