ST. LOUIS - Sophomore Devin Carter avenged a major decision loss from just over a month ago and junior Pete Yates upset the second-seeded wrestler at his weight class as both earned All-America honors Friday night at the NCAA Wrestling Championships inside the Scottrade Center.
Carter, a sophomore from Christiansburg beat Northern Iowa’s Joe Colon 13-10 to pick up his first top-eight honor. He controlled the pace early, picking up three takedowns in the first period to grab a 6-2 lead. In the second period, the 133-pounder got a takedown and two back points to extend the lead, but Colon fought hard to make it a match in the third period. After Carter got a takedown, Colon picked up two takedowns late, but couldn’t turn Carter for the tying points. Colon beat Carter 13-3 at the NWCA National Duals in February.
A little while later, junior Pete Yates joined Carter in the All-America club with a dominating 10-3 victory over second-seeded Shane Onufer of Wyoming at 165 pounds. He jumped out quickly with two first-period takedowns and got one more in the second and another in the third period to roll to the win and guarantee a top-eight finish.
Zach Neibert advanced to the round of 12, but couldn’t get past NC State’s Darius Little, who beat him for the third time this season. After a scoreless period, Little chose down and reversed Neibert. He later picked up three back points to grab a 5-0 lead. Neibert picked up an escape in the third period, but couldn’t get any closer, falling 5-1.
In the second-half of the session, Carter made quick work of eighth-seeded Zachery Stevens of Michigan. He took him down early and turned him to his back, picking up the pin at the 1:43 mark of the first period.
Carter will now wrestle third-seeded Tony Ramos of Iowa tomorrow morning. He and Ramos have split a pair of one-point matches this year.
Yates continues to roll, picking up an 11-2 major decision over Wisconsin’s Benjamin Jordan. Yates picked up three takedowns over the span of the first two periods and then turned Jordan in the third period for three back points which helped him pick up the bonus point.
Yates will now go up against fourth-seeded Bekzod Abdurakhmonov of Clarion in the first match of tomorrow morning.
Both Carter and Yates are guaranteed of finishing no lower than sixth place in their respective bracket and could finish as high as third.
As a team, Tech sits in ninth place with 35 points. The highest team finish ever for a Tech squad is 19th, accomplished three times. Carter and Yates are Tech head coach Kevin Dresser’s second and third All-Americans, respectively, joining Chris Diaz, who finished eighth at 141 pounds in 2010. It’s only the second time in school history Tech has had two All-Americans in the same year as Mike Faust (285; 5th) and David Hoffman (141; 8th) did it in 2006.
Carter and Yates will be the lone Hokies wrestling on Saturday in Session V of the tournament, which begins Saturday morning at 10 a.m. local time, 11 a.m. Eastern. The action can be watched online at ESPNU and ESPN3.
125: Erik Spjut (1-2; ELIMINATED)
First Round: lost to #6 seed Frank Perelli (Cornell), 4-2
Wrestlebacks: def. Johnni DiJulius (Ohio St.), 10-4
Wrestlebacks: lost to Trent Sprenkle (North Dakota State), 2-1
133: #6 seed Devin Carter (5-1) - ALL-AMERICAN
First Round: def. Nathan McCormick (Missouri), Fall 4:39
Second Round: lost #11 Steven Keith (Harvard), 8-6
Wrestlebacks: def. Frank Martelloti (PSU), MD 19-9
Wrestlebacks: def. Aaron Kalil (Navy), MD 13-4
Wrestlebacks: def. #5 Joe Colon (UNI), 13-10
Wrestlebacks: def. #8 Zachery Stevens (Michigan), Fall 1:43
Wrestlebacks: vs. #3 Tony Ramos (Iowa) - SATURDAY MORNING
141: Zach Neibert (2-2; ELIMINATED)
First Round: def. #10 seed Jake Sueflohn (Nebraska), 6-5
Second Round: def. #7 Nick Nelson (VA), 4-2
Quarterfinals: lost to #2 Kendric Maple (Oklahoma), MD 15-3
Wrestlebacks: vs. #8 Darius Little (NC State), 5-1
149: Nick Brascetta (1-2; ELIMINATED)
First Round: def. #9 seed David Hobat (Edinboro), 3-1
Second Round: lost to #8 Eric Grajales (Michigan), 4-1
Wrestlebacks: lost to Kaleb Friedley (NW), 6-4
165: #6 seed Pete Yates (4-1) - ALL-AMERICAN
First Round: lost to Dallas Bailey (Oklahoma St.), MD 13-2
Second match: def. James Brundage (Rider), Fall 0:11
Wrestlebacks: def. Brandon Wright (Chattanooga), MD 13-2
Wrestlebacks: def. Patrick Graham (Oklahoma), 9-4
Wrestlebacks: def. #2 Shane Onufer (Wyoming), 10-3
Wrestlebacks: def. Benjamin Jordan (Iowa State), MD 11-2
Wrestlebacks: vs. #4 Bekzod Abdurakhmonov (Clarion) - SATURDAY MORNING
174: Chris Moon (0-2; ELIMINATED)
First Round: lost to #2 seed Chris Perry (Oklahoma St.), 9-4
Second match: lost to Mike Dessino (Bloomsburg), 9-3
For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Wrestling).