NCAA Wrestling ACCtion: Five ACC Wrestlers Earn All-America Honors

March 20, 2010

OMAHA, Neb. - Five Atlantic Coast Conference wrestlers earned All-America recognition during the NCAA Championships, which concluded Saturday evening at the Qwest Center.

ACC Wrestlers placing among the top eight and earning All-America status in their weight classes included Virginia junior Chris Henrich (third at 174 pounds), Maryland seniors Taylor Hudson (fourth at 197) and Steven Bell (eighth at 133), Duke senior Konrad Dudziak (fourth at 285) and Virginia Tech junior Chris Diaz (eighth at 141).

Henrich, Taylor, Bell and Dudziak are repeat All-America honorees from 2009. The ACC has seen a total of 11 wrestlers earn All-America recognition over the past two seasons.

The first two-time All-American in program history, Virginia's Henrich finished his standout season with a 35-3 record, including a 5-1 record this year at the NCAA Championships. He became the fourth Virginia wrestler to earn a podium finish, joining Henry Jordan (second at heavyweight, 1957), Steve Garland (second at 125 pounds, 2000) and Scott Moore (third at 141 pounds, 2004). He also was the highest-placing wrestler from the ACC this season.

Henrich, the third seed at 174 pounds, clinched third place with a 10-1 major-decision domination of Nebraska's Stephen Dwyer, the No. 4 national seed. After taking a 2-1 lead into the second period, Henrich scored a two-point nearfall in the second period to grab a 4-1 advantage. He scored an early reversal in the third, then rode Dwyer for the rest of the period while securing a three-point nearfall in the process. He accumulated three minutes, 28 seconds of riding time to earn the riding time point in the 10-1 victory.

With 101 career wins, Henrich is tied for seventh in career wins in Virginia history with Jason Mutarelli (1991-95) and needs just 16 wins next season to become Virginia's al-time wins leader.

Maryland's Taylpr, who finished third at 197 in both 2008 and 2009, is Maryland's first three-time All-American. Taylor defeated Trevor Brandvold of Wisconsin on Satuday and lost to Cam Simaz of Cornell to finish fourth, while the Terps' Bell fell in the seventh-place match, finishing eighth in his weight class.

Taylor got a measure of revenge against the fifth-seeded Brandvold, who defeated Taylor earlier this year. The senior dominated the match from the onset, nearly ending it in the first period with a near-fall. Taylor led 5-0 after one period and didn't allow Brandvold to score a point the entire match, advancing with a 10-0 major decision.

Taylor's match with Simaz went into sudden-victory overtime after the two wrestled to a 2-2 stalemate. In the overtime period, the two quickly got into a scramble and Simaz was able to record a takedown, giving him a 4-2 win. Taylor finished the season 42-4 and leaves Maryland as the school's all-time winningest wrestler with a 165-28 career record.

Wrestling in the seventh-place match, Bell was unable to overcome fifth-seeded Borislav Novachkov of Cal-Poly. Novachkov was out to an 8-2 lead before pinning Bell 4:26 into the match.

Duke's Dudziak closed out his season with an 18-2 overall record and earned All-America honors for the second consecutive season. He became the first wrestler in Duke program history to earn an All-America award when he finished as the national runner-up in 2009. He added a second accolade to the list this season, advancing to the national semifinals before taking fourth overall.

In his final career match, Dudziak lost a narrow decision No. 3 seed Zachery Rey of Lehigh in overtime. Duke's most decorated wrester in program history, Dudziak closes out his career with a 78-18 overall record. His .813 winning percentage ranks fourth all-time at Duke.

Virginia Tech's Diaz lost his lone match Saturday to place eighth in the 141-pound bracket at the NCAA Wrestling Championships. Diaz lost his first match on Thursday and then reeled off four straight wins to earn All-America honors.

Diaz became the seventh All-American in program history.