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March 23, 1999

CHALOTTESVILLE, Va. – Seniors Matt Roth (Wescosville, Pa./Parkland) and JimHarshaw (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley) both concluded theircollegiate careers this weekend in State College Pa at the NCAA WrestlingChampionships, and both of them came away All-Americans. Virginia’s firsttwo All-Americans since 1994, Roth and Harshaw capped storybook careerswith incredible seasons in 1999. Both were ACC Champions and both recorded11 pins this season to set the record for pins in a single season.Remarkably, both finished with 102 career wins to share third placeall-time at Virginia in that statistic. Roth holds a number of careerrecords, including most dual matches competed (60) and most dual wins (42).His 148 career matches ranks third all-time at UVA, and his 33 wins in 1999ranks seventh for a single season.

Harshaw, a three-time ACC Champion, a three-time statechampion, and a two-time Outstanding Wrestler at the State Championships,also ranks in all of Virginia’s career records. His 24 career pins rankssecond to Roth, his 50 dual matches is 3rd, his 47 matches in 1999 is thesecond-highest single season total, and his 40 wins in the season is thethird highest single season total. Harshaw also had 37 dual match wins,which ranks 4th all-time.

In the 1999 championships, Roth was seeded eighth andHarshaw was seeded 11th. After Roth won his opening bout 9-0, he facedninth-seeded Pat Cassidy of Indiana. Roth lost 6-3 and he knew that hewould have to win three consecutive matches to reach his goal of being anAll-American. In his first match in the consolation rounds, he defeatedAdrian Tramulola in a fall, setting the UVA record in the process. In thenext round, Roth faced Matt Azevedo of Arizona State, who had handed himhis first loss of the season 5-1 in November. Roth defeated his Sun Devilopponent by a score of 5-1. Roth would only need to win one more match tobecome an All-American.

As fate would have it, Roth’s opponent was long-timenemesis Chuckie Connor from UNC. Roth had defeated Connor for the 1999 ACCChampionship at 125 in a dramatic come-from-behind 3-2 victory. Roth cameout the aggressor and backed Connor down, forcing a stalling warning onhim. But history repeated itself when Connor took Roth down in the firstperiod. Roth had been there before. Trailing 2-0 in the second, Roth chosedown and got an escape, but not before Connor had racked up over a minuteof advantage time–and another stalling penalty, giving Roth the equalizerat 2-2. In the third period, Connor was down and Roth rode him out, muchlike in the ACC Championships, giving him the win and his firstAll-American status. Ironically, it was also Roth’s 100th career win.

Seeded 11th, Harshaw knew that he had his work cut out forhim to make it to All-American status. But Harshaw had been to the NCAA’sthree times before, and he was not about to leave Pennsylvania withanything less than an All-American certificate. After winning his firstround matchup, he ran into Mark Samples from Edinboro, who defeated him7-5. Like Roth, Harshaw knew that he would have to put together a couplewins in a row to get to All-American status.

In the consolation bracket, won his first bout in a pin,tying him with Roth for the single-season lead. In his next bout, hedecisioned Andy Varner of Cal-State Bakersfield to set up a match withfourth-ranked Josh Holliday of Minnesota. Harshaw needed to win the matchto become an All-American. He jumped out to an 8-0 lead and appeared to bein control of the match, but Holliday battled back. But Harshaw hung on forthe win and would become Virginia’s sixth All-American.

The Cavaliers also sent Craig Fenstermaker (Hilton Head,S.C./Northampton (Pa.)) and John Pozniak (State College, Pa./State College)also advanced to the NCAA Championships. Fenstermaker went 4-2, losing inthe consolation fourth round to the second seed Andrei Rodzianko of Penn.Pozniak went 1-2 in his first appearance at the national meet.

The Cavaliers finished in 23rd with 20.5 points, thehighest finish ever for Virginia. Roth and Harshaw are only the 5th and 6thAll-Americans in school history. In 1989, the Cavaliers also had a pair ofAll-Americans in Derek Capanna and John Matyiko.

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