Beyond the ACCtion: ACC Wrestling Championship Blog

March 5, 2011

2011 ACC Wrestling ChampionshipSpecial correspondents keep you updated on action at the 2011 ACC Wrestling Championship in Charlottesville, Va. Be sure to check back for updates throughout the day!


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8:48 p.m. - Maryland has clinched the 2011 ACC Wrestling Championship! UNC's Zac Bennett wins 9-4 over Virginia Tech's Chris Penny at 197 pounds. The heavyweights are on the mat now.

8:40 p.m. - After Corey Peltier scored a late takedown to pick up a 3-1 win over Duke's Diego Bencomo at 184 pounds, Maryland has now won the last three individual titles to take a 91.5-82.5 lead. Virginia Tech will need pins at 197 and 285 to win, otherwise the Terrapins will lock up their 23rd ACC championship and third in four years.

8:30 p.m. - Maryland's Mike Letts wins his third 174-pound ACC title with a 4-2 upset over top-seeded Chris Henrich, the two-time reigning ACC 174 champ. Letts got an early takedown and defended well in not allowing a Henrich takedown. This win is key for the Terrapins, who take a 88.5-82.5 team lead over Virginia Tech. Virginia will finish third with 69 points.

8:15 p.m. - Virginia Tech's Jesse Dong wins over Maryland's Kyle John at 157 to tie the team score, but Terrapin Josh Asper responds by defeating Hokie Brian Stephens at 165 to reclaim the team lead. With four finals remaining, Maryland still has three wrestlers remaining while Virginia Tech has two. There is one head-to-head matchup left as VT's David Marone faces MD's Spencer Myers in the final bout of the championship at heavyweight.

7:50 p.m. - Virginia's Derek Valenti throws a major scare into top-ranked Darrion Caldwell at 149 pounds before falling 6-3. The next two matches will go a long way to determining the team championship, with Maryland-Virginia Tech matchups at 157 and 165. Terps holds 3-point lead going into these bouts.

7:40 p.m. - Maryland's Jon Kohler gets a crucial win for his team, winning 3-1 in sudden victory time over NC State's Darius Little. He scored the winning takedown with 14 seconds remaining to send the Terrapin crowd into a frenzy. MD regains an 82.5-79.5 team lead with seven classes to go. NC State's Darrion Caldwell and Virginia's Derek Valenti are on the mat now at 149 pounds.

7:30 p.m. - Virginia Tech wins at 125 (Garnett in SV) and 133 (Carter in tech fall) to tie up the team score at 79.5. Large crowd on hand to cheer on the finalists!

7:05 p.m. - Finals are underway!

6:05 p.m. - The consolation finals have concluded, and the championship round begins at 7 p.m. Maryland has stretched its lead to 79.5-72 over Virginia Tech as the Terps aim for the upset. UVA (69), UNC (34), NC State (31.5) and Duke (9) round out the standings. We'll go down to one mat for the finals and crown 10 champions beginning at 7.

5:35 p.m. - Through 165 in the conso finals, the team scores: Maryland 77.5, VT 72, UVA 67, UNC 32, NC State 29.5, Duke 9.

5:20 p.m. - After a quick turnaround the consolation finals are now on. You can watch them online for free at Entering the round, Maryland has a slim 71.5-70 lead over Virginia Tech. Virginia owns 65 points.

4:15 p.m. - We're about to have an oddity at 184 pounds – the top two seeds in the class will square off in the consolation semis (No. 1 Jon Fausey of UVA vs. No. 2 Antonio Giorgio of UNC). There are three NCAA automatic qualifier bids allotted to the ACC to this season, so the winner remains in contention for a coveted auto bid.

4:00 p.m. - One point separates VT and MD entering the consolation semis. The teams just had their first head-to-head matchup of the final three round, with Brian Stephens of VT scoring a takedown just before the final buzzer to clinch the major decision and an 11-2 win over Maryland's Justin Cash. VT and MD have three head-to-head matchups in the finals. 

3:40 p.m. - The consolation semifinals are underway. Maryland's Shane Gentry (125) and Lou Ruland (133) each score major decisions to start the round.

3:15 p.m. - Virginia Tech and Maryland each have six wrestlers in the finals as they have separated from the rest of the pack. The Hokies hold a 61-60 lead over Maryland entering the consolation semifinals. Virginia (49), NC State (24), North Carolina (14) and Duke (9) round out the field. Conso semis start at 3:30 p.m.

2:35 p.m. - Shocking turn of events in the last two matches on mat 2 as a pair of Virginia top-seeded wrestlers have been upset. At 184, fourth-seeded Diego Bencomo of Duke scores a last-second takedown to upset No. 1 Jon Fausey. At 197, fourth-seeded Chris Penny of Virginia Tech dominates No. 1 seed Mike Salopek of UVA in a 12-4 major decision.

2:15 p.m. - Another barnburner at 165 pounds, where No. 2 seed Pete Yates of VT outlasts No. 3 seed Thomas Scotton of UNC, 5-2 in the 2nd tiebreaker. Yates scored the go-ahead point midway through the second tiebreaker session after Scotton received his third caution, then picked up an escape point and added one more point on another caution to Scotton. Yates will wrestle No. 1 seed Josh Asper of Maryland in the finals.

1:55 p.m. - Team scores through 157 semifinals: Virginia 38, Virginia 34, NC State 24, Maryland 23, North Carolina 6, Duke 0. Two more finals set: At 149, No. 1 Darrion Caldwell (NCSU) vs. No. 2 Derek Valenti (UVA); at 157, No. 1 Jesse Dong (VT) vs. No. 2 Kyle John (MD)

1:40 p.m. - Our first three finals matchups have been set - No. 1 Jarrod Garnett (VT) vs. No. 2 Matt Snyder (UVA) at 125, No. 1 Devin Carter (VT) vs. No. 3 Joe Spisak (UVA) at 133 and No. 1 Jon Kohler (MD) vs. No. 3 Darrius Little (NCSU) at 141.

1 p.m. - The second round has begun. Team scores through one round: Virginia 12, Maryland 7, Virginia Tech 6, NC State 4, UNC 4, Duke 0. UVa, VT and MD all have nine wrestlers in the championship bracket.

12:20 p.m. - Just as the first round ends, we get another upset. Fifth-seeded John Dickson of Virginia Tech controls the action throughout in a 3-0 decision over No. 2 seed Antonio Giorgio of UNC at 184 pounds. The first round ends with an Eloheim Palma (NCSU) 6-5 decision over Andrew Fulk of Duke at heavyweight. We'll be back at 1 p.m. with the semis.

12:05 p.m. - The first round is winding down. Virginia has advanced nine wrestlers to the semifinals. A great crowd is still filing into John Paul Jones Arena, and they have been loud, particularly during the Nelson-Diaz bout. Looking forward to a great semifinal round, beginning at 1 p.m.

11:30 a.m. - We've got our first big upset of the day -- No. 5 seed Nick Nelson of UVA wins a marathon 6-5 bout over No. 2 seed Chris Diaz of Virginia Tech at 141 pounds. In the second tiebreaker period, Nelson rode Diaz for all 30 seconds and then scored a quick escape in the next 30 seconds and held on to pick up the win.


Keep tabs on the championship all day here through our live blog.