March 22, 2013
Four Hokies earn All-America honors at NCAA Wrestling Championships
Action wraps up Saturday inside Wells Fargo Arena

photo courtesy Chris Gluth, Mirror Image Photography

DES MOINES, Iowa ( - A school-record four Virginia Tech wrestlers earned All-America honors via their performances Friday night at the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships and advance to Saturday’s placement bouts. Seniors Jarrod Garnett and Pete Yates, along with junior Zach Neibert and sophomore Nick Brascetta helped vault the Hokies into 10th place heading into the final day with 40.0 points.

Garnett opened things up at 125 pounds against a familiar foe in Virginia’s Matt Snyder, a guy he has wrestled numerous times over the past five years. He had never lost to him and made sure his first loss wasn’t one to end his career. Garnett jumped all over Snyder, racing out to a 7-1 lead after a period and ended up turning him in the third period en route to the 16-5 major decision which earned him his first All-America honor. In his second match of the night, Garnett dispatched of Minnesota’s David Thorn, picking up the second-period pin to continue his strong run after a tough opening match Thursday. He will wrestle twice tomorrow, for third place if he wins his first match and for fifth if he loses the first bout.

Neibert secured his spot on the 141-pound podium with a big 6-3 win over ninth-seeded Richard Durson of Franklin & Marshall after picking up a takedown late to ice the win. In his second match of the night, he took fifth-seeded Evan Henderson of North Carolina, but eventually dropped a 7-4 decision. He will now wrestle for seventh place Saturday morning. It is Neibert’s first All-America medal.

Brascetta earned his spot as an All-American at 149 pounds with a 5-3 win over Kevin Tao of American. He used two takedown in the first period held off a late charge to pick up the win. In his second match of the night, he wrestled seventh-seeded Scott Sakaguchi of Oregon State, but fell 8-5. He will now wrestle for seventh place Saturday morning. It is Brascetta’s first All-America medal.

The news wasn’t as good for Jesse Dong at 157 pounds, who saw his illustrious Tech career come to an end after dropping a 7-3 decision to Virginia’s Jedd Moore in sudden victory. Dong finished his career with 112 wins, the seventh-most in school history, with three ACC titles.

Pete Yates ran into a buzz saw in his 165-pound semifinal match against second-seeded David Taylor of Penn State. Yates rode Taylor hard on top for a good portion of the first period, but Taylor locked a cradle and turned Yates in a blink before pinning him at the 3:24 mark in the second stanza. Already an All-American, Yates will now drop down to the placement matches Saturday morning with a chance to still place as high as third.

The four All-Americans for the Hokies mark a new school record, eclipsing the previous best of two, which happened three previous times. Tech’s 40 points and counting are a new program high, surpassing the 39.0 points scored last year as Tech tied for 11th - a program best. Tech is one point back of eighth place (Iowa State and Oregon State) and half a point ahead of Illinois (39.5).

Action wraps up for Tech Saturday with Session V featuring wrestleback semifinals and medal matches on three mats starting at 10 a.m. local (11 a.m. Eastern).

Below are the results for the Hokies participating.

125: #5 seed Jarrod Garnett (5-1; ALL-AMERICAN)
First Round: lost to Dominic Parisi (Appalachian State), 7-6
Consolations: def. Nick Soto (Chattanooga), Fall 4:11
Consolations: def. Evan Silver (Stanford), 9-7 (SV)
Consolations: def. Steve Mitcheff (Kent State), 8-3
Consolations: def. #8 seed Matt Snyder (Virginia), MD 16-5
Consolations: def. David Thorn (Minnesota), Fall 3:56
Consolations: vs. #6 seed Nahshon Garrett (Cornell) [SATURDAY]

133: Erik Spjut (0-2; ELIMINATED)
First Round: lost to #6 seed Nathan McCormick (Missouri), 3-0
Consolations: lost to #11 seed George DiCamillo (Virginia), 6-1

141: Zach Neibert (4-2; ALL-AMERICAN)
First Round: def. #11 seed Michael Nevinger (Cornell), 3-1 (TB-1)
Second Round: lost to #6 seed Undrakhbayar Khishignyam (Citadel), 3-1
Consolations: def. Brandon Nelson (Purdue), 7-3
Consolations: def. Trevor Melde (Rutgers), 4-2 (SV)
Consolations: def. #9 seed Richard Durson (Franklin & Marshall), 6-3
Consolations: lost to #5 Evan Henderson (North Carolina), 7-4
Seventh-Place Match: vs. #8 seed Nick Dardanes (Minnesota) [SATURDAY]

149: #8 seed Nick Brascetta (4-2)
First Round: def. Brandon Richardson (Wyoming), 7-4
Second Round: lost to #9 seed Jake Suefloehn (Nebraska), 4-2
Consolations: def. Josh Roosa (Bloomsburg), 6-2
Consolations: vs. Josh Wilson (UVU), 5-3
Consolations: vs. Kevin Tao (American), 5-3
Consolations: lost to #7 Scott Sakaguchi (Oregon State), 8-5
Seventh-Place Match: vs. #10 Ivan Lopouchanski (Purdue) [SATURDAY]

157: #7 seed Jesse Dong (3-2; ELIMINATED)
First Round: def. Luke Smith (Central Michigan), MD 8-0
Second Round: lost to Josh Demas (Ohio State), 4-3
Consolations: def. #9 seed Frank Hickman (Bloomsburg), MD 10-0
Consolations: def. Nestor Taffur (Boston), 9-4
Consolations: lost to #12 seed Jedd Moore (Virginia), 7-3 (SV)

165: #3 seed Pete Yates (3-1; ALL-AMERICAN)
First Round: def. Mark Lewandowski (Buffalo), 5-3
Second Round: def. Zach Toal (Missouri), 7-0
Quarterfinals: def. #11 seed Cody Yohn (Minnesota), 5-3 (SV-2)
Semifinals: lost to #2 seed David Taylor (Penn State), Fall 3:24
Consolations: vs. Michael Moreno (Iowa State) {SATURDAY]

174: Austin Gabel (2-2; ELIMINATED)
Pigtail: lost to Lee Helbig (Wyoming), 5-3 (SV)
Consolation Pigtails: def. Sam Wheeler (Kent State), 10-6
Consolations: def. #12 seed Matthew Miller (Navy), 5-1
Consolations: lost to Matt Mougin (NIU), Inj. Def. (1:21)

184: Nick Vetterlein (0-2; ELIMINATED)
First Round: lost to #5 seed Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota), MD 10-1
Consolations: lost to Boaz Beard (Iowa State), MD 9-0

197: Derrick Borlie (2-2; ELIMINATED)
First Round: lost to #3 seed Matt Wilps (Pitt), 4-1
Consolations: def. Bryce Barnes (Army), 8-6
Consolations: def. Nick Whitenburg (EMU), 6-1
Consolations: lost to Mario Gonzalez (Illinois), 4-2

285: David Marone (1-2; ELIMINATED)
First Round: lost to #7 seed Connor Medbery (Wisconsin), 5-2
Consolations: def. Daniel Miller (Navy), 5-4 (TB-1)
Consolations: lost to #8 seed Mike McClure (MSU), 3-2

For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Wrestling).

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