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March 4, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Two-time defending champion Maryland and two other nationally-ranked teams are set to take to the mat for the 56th annual Atlantic Coast Conference Wrestling Championship this Saturday at NC State's Reynolds Coliseum.
The all-day event will also feature 14 wrestlers currently ranked among the nation's Top 20 in their respective weight classes, included three wrestlers ranked as high as No. 3 - Virginia junior Chris Henrich (174 pounds), Maryland senior Hudson Taylor (197 pounds) and 2009 NCAA heavyweight runner-up Konrad Dudziak, a senior, of Duke.
Other top-10 wrestlers expected to participate include fifth-ranked 157-pound sophomore Jesse Dong of Virginia Tech and Maryland's ninth-ranked senior Alex Krom at 141 pounds.
The doors to Reynolds Coliseum will open at 10 a.m., with first round action set to begin at 11 o'clock. The semifinals are set for 1 p.m., followed by the semifinal consolation matches at 3:30. The consolation finals are set for 5 p.m., followed by the championship matches at 7.
Tickets are priced at $10 for adults and $5 for youth. For more ticket information, contact the NC State ticket office at (919) 865-1510. For more information on tickets, directions and Saturday's schedule, see the ACC Wrestling Championship web site:
Updated brackets as Saturday's action progresses can be found at:
In addition, ACC Select plans to air a free, live on-line webcast of Championships, beginning with the consolation finals at 5 p.m., followed by the finals at 7. The broadcast, produced by ScherShot Productions, will feature Evan Lepler on play-by-play and Daryl Weber as color analyst. Coverage may be accessed via
Two-time 133-pound champion Steven Bell of Maryland will be among five wrestlers expected to defend their 2009 weight-class titles from last season. Others include Maryland's Krom at 141 pounds, Virginia's Henrich at 174, Virginia's Brent Jones at 197 and Duke's Dudziak at heavyweight.
Jones was named the 2009 ACC Championship's Most Outstanding Wrestler. The MOW of the 2008 Championship, Matt Epperly of Virginia Tech, will also be participating in this year's event.
Five of Saturday's participating wrestlers earned All-America honors in 2009 - the Maryland trio of Bell, Krom and Hudson, Virginia's Henrich and Duke's Dudziak. A sixth, NCAA 149-poubnd champion Darrion Caldwell of NC State, was injured prior to the start of this season and is taking a medical redshirt year.
Maryland (19-4 overall) and Virginia Tech (17-5) shared the top spot atop the 2010 ACC standing with 4-0 league records. The scheduled head-to-head meeting between the teams at College Park in early February was canceled due to heavy show.
Maryland enters the Championship as the nation's 10th-ranked team according to InterMat, while Virginia Tech is ranked 14th. Virginia (16-6, 3-2) enters the championship ranked 22nd..
North Carolina (7-8-1, 2-3), NC State (8-13, 1-4) and Duke (3-8, 0-5) round out the tournament field. In addition to a team championship, ACC wrestlers will be competing to fill the conference's 24 automatic individual weight-class spots in the NCAA Championships, which will be held March 18-20 at Omaha, Neb. The ACC is also hopeful of earning several spots among the 46 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on March 10.
The ACC has only two weight classes (133 pounds and 174 pounds) that were awarded just one qualifier. The 157-pound weight class received four qualifying spots, and three ACC wrestlers will automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships in the 125-, 141-. 197- and 285-pound weight classes.
Maryland, which placed two points ahead of second-place Virginia last year, will be seeking its 23rd ACC Championship. North Carolina owns 17 ACC titles, followed by NC State with 14 and Virginia with three.
NC State will be serving as the host school of the ACC Wrestling Championship for the 10th time. The Wolfpack won the event the last two times it hosted, in 2007 and in 2002.