GREENSBORO, N.C. – Virginia Tech junior 157-pounder Jesse Dong has been named the Atlantic Coast Conference Wrestler of the Week after leading the Hokies to a second-place finish in the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals at Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Dong won each of his four matches, including two that provided crucial points, as the 12th-ranked Hokies defeated 17th-ranked Central Michigan, 30-10, second-ranked Oklahoma State, 18-16, and fourth-ranked Wisconsin by a 20-19 score en route to the NWCA Duals title match vs. top-ranked Cornell.
Virginia Tech suffered a 25-10 loss to Cornell in the final, but the fifth-ranked Dong completed his perfect weekend with a 5-2 win over 10th-ranked D.J. Meagher.
Prior to his win over Meagher, Dong won by fall over Central Michigan’s Eric Cubberly in 2:50, and his 5-0 decision versus Oklahoma State’s Robert Erismen loomed huge as the Hokies scored a two-point win over the No. 2 Cowboys. Oklahoma State is the highest opponent Virginia Tech has ever beaten in a dual meet.
In Saturday’s one-point win over No. 4 Wisconsin, Dong’s pin of Kalvin York at the 2:05 mark provided six key points for the Hokies.
Virginia Tech’s historic team showing capped a strong week for ACC wrestling in which three All-Americans reached individual milestones.
Virginia senior Chris Henrich posted five victories in Virginia Duals, giving him 120 career wins and breaking the previous school record set by Mike Krafchick (1991-95). Henrich now owns a career record of 120-17.
NC State 149-pound senior Darrion Caldwell returned to action in top form after missing all of last season and the first two months of this season with a shoulder injury. The 2009 national champion scored six wins – five by fall – to give him a 100-12 record for his career. Caldwell is only the second wrestler in school history to win 100 matches, and his 55 pins also rank second on NC State’s all-time list. Forty-six of Caldwell’s 55 career pins are first-period falls.
And Virginia Tech 141-pound senior Chris Diaz also hit the century career mark for victories with a pair of wins at the NWCA Duals.
Dual action picks up this week for ACC teams, with 10 matches scheduled. The slate includes a pair of ACC openers, as NC State wrestles at Virginia on Saturday, and Virginia Tech visits North Carolina. Both of those matches are scheduled for 1 p.m. starts.
For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Wrestling).