CHARLOTTESVILLE - Virginia Wrestling freshmen Nick Sulzer (Cleveland, Ohio) and Derek Papagianopoulos (Burlington, Mass.) each earned All-America honors recently at national freestyle events. Both are coming off successful redshirt seasons in their first year at Virginia.
Sulzer took third place at the FILA Junior National Championships in his hometown of Cleveland (April 7-10) before notching sixth place at the University Freestyle Nationals in Akron, Ohio, last weekend. Papagianopoulos earned a fourth-place finish at FILA Nationals en route to All-America honors.
Competing at 74 KG/163 pounds, Sulzer won four matches at University Nationals as he claimed All-America status. After winning his first four matches to clinch All-America honors, Sulzer fell to two-time defending national champion Kyle Dake in the semifinals to drop to the consolation bracket.
Sulzer also reached the semifinals at FILA Nationals before losing to Taylor Massa. Sulzer came back to win a pair of bouts to nab third place in the event.
Competing in the 120 KG/264.5-pound weight class Papagianopoulos earned a fourth-place finish at FILA Nationals. After dropping a quarterfinal match to Bobby Telford, Papagianopoulos rebounded to win three straight bouts in the consolation bracket to earn All-America honors and reach the third-place match, where he fell to Daniel Miller.
Sulzer went 24-5 and won four open tournaments this past season while competing unattached. Papagianopoulos posted a 22-9 record and placed in five open tournaments while competing unattached.
This caps an extremely successful season for the Virginia wrestling program. The Cavaliers won a school-record 19 dual matches and finished 24th at the NCAA Championships, while Chris Henrich (174 pounds) and Derek Valenti (149 pounds) each earned All-America honors.
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