Three Finish First at ACC Championships
Staylor, Hoffman and Faust move on to NCAA Championships
March 4, 2006

LEXINGTON, Va. - Virginia Tech wrestlers went three-for-three in championship bouts to lead the Hokies to a fifth place finish at the 2006 ACC Wrestling Championships at VMI's Mat Jam on Saturday afternoon.

Justin Staylor at 125 pounds, David Hoffman at 141 pounds and Mike Faust at heavyweight all won ACC titles at their respective weight classes, and as a result receive automatic bids to the 2006 NCAA Wrestling championships in Oklahoma City, March 16-18. There are also five at-large bids to the NCAA's awarded by the ACC that will be determined by the conference coaches and released later on Saturday evening.

Staylor, a sophomore, was named the first ACC Champion of the evening with a 10-5 win over Bobby Shaw of North Carolina. He took a 4-3 lead into the third period, and scored a reversal and a three-point near fall to pull ahead in the scoring. Staylor also earned a riding time point. He will be making his second trip to the NCAA championships, and reached the finals with a 8-0 major decision over fifth-seeded Jeremy Hartrum of NC State in the semi-finals.

Hoffman, a redshirt senior who finished second in the ACC last year at 141 pounds and earned a wild-card bid to the NCAA's, defeated top-ranked Vincent Ramirez of North Carolina 10-6. Hoffman, ranked 17th in the country, took a 6-0 lead into a fast and furious third period, which saw Ramirez bring the score to within two points, 8-6 in the final minute of the bout. Hoffman sealed his victory with a takedown in the final seconds.

Earlier in the day, Hoffman defeated third-seeded Alex Krom of Maryland 10-6 to move into the championship bout.

Faust, seeded first and ranked sixth in the country, successfully defended his ACC title with an overtime, riding time victory over second-seeded and 17th-ranked Spencer Nadolsky of UNC. Each wrestler scored three escapes throughout the match, but Faust, a senior, picked up the victory on thirteen seconds of riding time after the third overtime period. Both times Nadolsky and Faust have faced each other this season, it has come down to an overtime-riding time point.

Faust defeated fourth-seeded Jainor Palma of North Carolina State in the semi-finals.

As a team, the Hokies finished fifth with 44.5 points. Tech, North Carolina and NC State each had three ACC champions. The Tar Heels won the team championship with 90.5 points, followed by NC State (64 points) and Virginia (61 points) in second and third respectively. Maryland finished fifth with one ACC champion (48 points), while Duke placed sixth with 14 points.

Several other Tech wrestlers had strong showings on the day. Second-seeded sophomore Steve Ratley bounced back from an early upset loss at 174 pounds to earn All-ACC honors and finish in third place. Ratley lost a 5-0 decision to third-seeded Mike Grogan of Virginia to start the afternoon. He finished off the remainder of the day with a 2-0 record, earning a major decision over Rick Brownlee of NC State, 13-4, and earned a second major decision with a 10-1 win over Maryland's sixth-seeded Mike Maceroli to finish third. In the third-place bout, Ratley had three takedowns and a three-point near fall for nine of his points.

Junior transfer Tucker Michels, seeded third at 165 pounds, won his first match of the day, a 6-4 decision against Jerad Villecco of Maryland. He then fell in his next two matches, a 6-4 defeat in the semi-finals to No. 2 seed Garett Atkinson of North Carolina. Michels was upset in the consolation semi-finals, with a 6-5 loss to Duke's fifth-seeded Aaron Glover. Michels tied the match at four with a takedown early in the second period, but Glover earned a reversal late in the second to take a 6-4 lead to give him the lead for good. Michels made an escape in third period to cut the final score to one point.

Fourth-seeded freshman Dave Kiley was defeated in two hard-fought matches at 157 pounds. He put up a tough fight against No. 1 seeded Kody Hamarah of NC State. With the score tied at eight early in the third period, Hamarah scored a takedown with a minute left that would prove to be the key move in the match. Although Kiley got an escape in the final seconds, Hamarah picked up a riding time point to win 11-9. In his second match of the day against fifth-seeded Mike Sewell of Virginia, Kiley took an early 3-2 lead in the first period behind an escape and a takedown, until Sewell scored an escape early in the third period. The match remained tied until the end, where Sewell earned the victory behind over two minutes of riding time for a 4-3 victory.

Freshman Sheridan Moran was defeated twice at 133 pounds in his first ACC Championships, both by major decisions. He fell to No. 3 seed Garrett Cummings of North Carolina State 14-5 before being defeated by No. 1 seed Eric Albright of Virginia 16-4 in the consolation semi-finals.

Freshman Mark Czarny also fell at 184 pounds to both the first and second seeds in the ACC. He was pinned in 3:13 by top-seeded Jeremy Colbert from NC State, and fell 6-1 in the consolation round to UNC's second-seeded Justin Dobies.

At 149 pounds, junior Joe Thompson lost both his matches, falling by pin in the first round in 2:16 to UNC's Chris Ramos, then dropping a 15-0 major decision to Joe Caramanica of NC State.