OKLAHOMA CITY - Virginia Tech junior Devin Carter became the first finalist in program history when he picked up a 12-3 major decision over North Carolina’s Even Henderson Friday night at the NCAA Wrestling Championships inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. Chris Penny lost his semifinal bout at 197 pounds, but Joey Dance won a pair of matches to become the third All-American for the Hokies this year.
Carter, who missed a majority of the season with a torn hamstring, has rolled through the 141-pound class and capped off the evening with a dominating win over Henderson. He picked up a pair of takedowns in the first period and turned Henderson to his back to build a commanding lead. He controlled the action and took down Henderson two more times and built up three minutes of riding time to account for the 12-3 major decision.
Carter will wrestle second-seeded Logan Stieber of Ohio State in Saturday night’s finals.
“I just go out and wrestle hard,” Carter said. “We both know what each other does. We’ve wrestled a couple times. He’s gotten the better of me both times. I’m going to stay on my toes and just wrestle my butt off.”
Penny ran into a buzz saw in Missouri true freshman J’Den Cox at 197 pounds. Penny got in twice on Cox’s legs, but couldn’t convert while Cox got a takedown in the second period and rode Penny for the third period to pick up the 4-1 win. All is not lost for Penny, though, as he’ll continue wrestling Saturday in the placement round. He’ll open with fifth-seeded Kyven Gadson of Iowa State and then wrestle one other match. He can finish no lower than sixth.
At 125 pounds, Dance became the first true freshman in program history to earn All-America honors when he rallied to beat sixth-seeded Jarrod Patterson of Oklahoma, 6-5, in dramatic fashion. After giving up the first takedown and being ridden for nearly two minutes, Dance finally escaped and then got a takedown of his own to take the lead. After working the riding time down, he gave up the escape to Patterson. Late in the match, he worked for the decisive takedown and worked the riding time back down so that it wasn’t a factor. Patterson escaped late, but couldn’t get in on anything as Dance held on for the win. In his second match of the night, Dance turned Lehigh’s Darian Cruz for three back points in the second period en route to a 4-1 victory. He’ll wrestle twice on Saturday morning and can not finish any lower than sixth.
Tech has 45.5 points after the fourth session and is sitting in eighth place. The 45.5 points are a program best, topping the 43.5 points Tech accrued at last year’s Championships.
Session V will begin at 10 a.m. local time on Saturday, 11 a.m. on the East Coast with Dance and Penny competing in placement matches. The championship round begins at 7 p.m. local time, 8 p.m. Eastern. Find where you can catch all of the action at this link.
125: #16 seed Joey Dance (ALL-AMERICAN)
First Round: def. Paul Petrov (Bucknell), 6-1
Second Round: lost to #1 Jesse Delgado (Illinois), 6-1
Consolations: def. Conor Youtsey (Michigan), 10-6
Consolations: def. #7 Bradley Taylor (Wisconsin), 3-2
Consolations: def. #6 Jarrod Patterson (Oklahoma), 6-5
Consolations: def. Darian Cruz (Lehigh), 4-1
Consolations: vs. #5 Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa) - SATURDAY MORNING
133: Dennis Gustafson (1-2)
First Round: lost to #7 Cashé Quiroga (Purdue), Fall 4:51
Consolations: def. Joey Palmer (Oregon State), 2:56
Consolations: lost to #9 Johnni DiJulius (Ohio State), 6-3
141: #4 seed Devin Carter (ALL-AMERICAN)
First Round: def. Nick Flannery (Buffalo), Fall 3:52
Second Round: def. #13 Stephen Dutton (Michigan), 11-7
Quarterfinals: def. #12 Richard Duson (F&M), 4-3
Semifinals: def. #9 Evan Henderson (North Carolina), MD 12-3
Finals: vs. #2 Logan Stieber (Ohio State) - SATURDAY NIGHT
149: #10 seed Zach Neibert (2-2)
First Round: def. Ken Theobold (Rutgers), 9-4
Second Round: def. #7 Gus Sako (Virginia), 3-2
Quarterfinals: lost to #15 Mitchell Minotti (Lehigh), 4-3
Consolations: lost to James English (Penn State), 6-4 (SV)
165: Chris Moon (2-2)
First Round: lost to #3 Nick Sulzer (Virginia), 9-3
Consolations: def. Harrison Hightower (Ohio), 2-1
Consolations: def. #13 Daniel Yates (Michigan), MD 13-1
Consolations: lost to Ryan Leblanc (Indiana), 5-1
174: Austin Gabel (1-2)
First Round: lost to #11 Stephen Doty (Virginia), 3-2
Consolations: def. Caleb Marsh (Kent State), 3-1 (SV)
Consolations: lost to #12 Tanner Weatherman (Iowa State), 4-3 (TB-1)
184: #16 seed Nick Vetterlein (0-2)
First Round: lost to David Hightower (Air Force), 5-1
Pigtail Consolation: vs. Lucas Sheridan (Indiana), 4-2
197: #14 seed Chris Penny (ALL-AMERICAN)
First Round: def. Nick Bonaccorsi (Pitt), 3-1
Second Round: def. #3 Morgan McIntosh (Penn State), 3-2
Quarterfinals: def. #11 Nathan Burak (Iowa), 6-3
Semifinals: lost to #2 J’Den Cox (Missouri), 4-1
Consolations: vs. #5 Kyven Gadson (Iowa State) - SATURDAY MORNING
285: Ty Walz (2-2)
Pigtail: def. Nick Tavanello (Ohio State), 3-1 (SV)
First Round Match: lost to #8 J.T. Felix (Boise State), Fall 2:54
Consolations: def. Devin Mellon (Missouri), 6-4 (SV)
Consolations: lost to #10 Jeremy Johnson (Ohio), 6-2
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