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Heavyweight Duo Paces Pack Upset Win, Captures Prestigious Cliff Keen Crown
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) — NC State senior heavyweight Nick Gwiazdowski, who led NC State to a monumental upset of fourth-ranked Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech heavyweight Ty Walz, who won six straight matches and captured the championship at the prestigious Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, have been named Co-Wrestlers of the Week, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced Tuesday.
Gwiazdowski and Walz are the top-two ranked wrestlers in the nation in the heavyweight (285 pounds) category.
For Walz, it is his second ACC Wrestler of the Week honor this year. He previously earned honors on Nov. 10, capturing the inaugural 2015-16 ACC Wrestler of the Week honor.
Gwiazdowski, from Delanson, N.Y., the two-time defending NCAA National Champion and the nation’s top ranked wrestler at 285 pounds, defeated 10th-ranked Denzel Dejournette of Appalachian State, 11-4, and fourth-ranked Austin Marsden of Oklahoma State, 7-4 to boost his nation’s-best active winning streak to 65 consecutive matches.
Gwiazdowski’s win over Marsden secured the Wolfpack’s 19-15 team victory over fourth-ranked Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Oklahoma, which is the nation’s most prominent upset of the 2015-16 season. Gwiazdowski has led NC State to a 9-0 record and a No. 5 national ranking in this week’s National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) national poll.
Walz, a redshirt junior from Cleveland, Ohio, who is the nation’s No. 2-ranked wrestler in the 285-pound weight class, won all six of his matches at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational to capture the first title at the prestigious tournament in Virginia Tech history. He led the Hokies to a sixth-place team finish in the Cliff Keen, defeating eighth-ranked Ross Larson of Oklahoma (7-3) and ninth-ranked Michael Korells (5-3) of Minnesota in his final two matches.
Walz has led the Hokies to a 3-1 start this year and a No. 6 national ranking with its only defeat coming against top-ranked Penn State.
Gwiazdowksi and Walz earned selection over Virginia’s George DiCamillo (Highland Heights, Ohio), who also had an impressive week, wrestling at 133 pounds. DiCamillo won four of five matches at the Cliff Keen Invitational to boost his season’s record to 14-2.
DiCamillo defeated seventh-ranked Earl Hall of Iowa State (13-3), 15th-ranked Zach Synon of Missouri (12-4) and 20th-ranked Joey Palmer of Oregon State, losing only to the nation’s fourth-ranked wrestler, Nahshon Garrett of Cornell (11-5).
DiCamillo is ranked sixth nationally this week by InterMat Magazine and Virginia is one of four ACC teams ranked in the nation’s Top 20 at No. 18. North Carolina is ranked 16th by this week’s NWCA poll.
All three wrestlers will be competing in the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Wrestling Championship which will be hosted by the University of Virginia on Sunday, March 6. The one-day tournament, which will take place at the John Paul Jones Arena Center in Charlottesville, Va., will begin at 11 a.m.
2015-16 ACC Wrestlers of the Week
Nov. 10—Ty Walz, Virginia Tech (285)
Nov. 17—Solomon Chishko, Virginia Tech (141)
Nov. 24—Mikey Racciato, Pitt (141)
Dec. 8—Nick Gwiazdowski, NC State (285) and
Ty Walz, Virginia Tech (285)