Cavaliers Compete in the ACC Wrestling Championships
March 8, 1999
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Eighth ranked Matt Roth (Wescosville, Pa./Parkland) was named Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament after upsetting two-time defending ACC champion and sixth ranked Chuckie Connor of North Carolina to claim his first ACC championship title.
Championship victories by Roth, Jim Harshaw (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley), and Craig Fenstermaker (Hilton Head, S.C./Northampton (Pa.)) propelled Virginia past N.C. State to earn their third consecutive second place finish in the ACC’s. Virginia has finished second to North Carolina the last three years.
In the highly anticipated contest, Roth defeated Connor 3-2 to avenge his 2-0 loss to Connor earlier this season. Roth stuck Joe Guzzio with 12 seconds to go in the semifinal to earn his 10th pin of the season. The pin ties his 1998 record for most pins in a season, and it is a record he shares with Harshaw, who has also scored 10 pins in 1999. With 27 pins, Roth continues to add to his career-leading total. Roth is 13-1 in dual matches and his 42 career dual match wins tie the Virginia all-time record with Mike Krafchick (1991-1992, 1994-1995). Roth finished second at the Congressional Cup and third at the Keystone Classic. He will compete in his fourth NCAA Championship.
Eleventh ranked Harshaw defeated Duke’s Matt Mapes 7-1 to earn his third consecutive ACC championship, after winning two at 150 and this one at 165. He is only the fourth wrestler in Virginia history to claim three consecutive titles. In the semifinals, Harshaw won 10-4 against Sal Aquia of Maryland. He has an overall record of 36-5 (6-0 in the ACC) and a 14-1 record in dual matches. His 36 wins rank him third all-time for most wins in a season. Harshaw also earned championship victories at the West Virginia Open, the Virginia Intercollegiates, and the Congressional Cup. He is only the 16th wrestler in state history to win three titles. Harshaw’s 23 career pins place him second to Roth in career pins. He also currently ranks third all-time in career wins with 98. Harshaw has also qualified for his fourth NCAA championship.
At 197, Fenstermaker’s pin of North Carolina’s Ty Roofner at 3:33 secured the second place finish for the Cavaliers. Fenstermaker earned his first ACC championship title after finishing second last year. He defeated N.C. State’s James Vanni 4-2 in the semifinals. The two victories in the tournament give him a perfect 6-0 record in the ACC. He has an overall record of 24-9 and he is 11-4 in dual matches. With the pin of Roofner, Fenstermaker now has 14 career pins which ties him for sixth all-time in career pins. Earlier this season, he won his first Virginia state championship and was named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler. He also placed third at the Congressional Cup. Fenstermaker will compete in his first NCAA championship.
Virginia’s John Pozniak (State College, Pa./State College) also qualified for his first NCAA’s. At 149, he lost to JohnMark Bentley 5-2 in the finals to earn a second place finish. In the semifinals, he defeated Maryland’s Ted Harlan 6-5. Pozniak is 4-2 in the ACC and has an overall record of 18-13.
After completing the regular season with a 0-3 record in the ACC at 174, John Qualter (Short Hills, N.J./Milburn) bounced back to take third in the tournament. He lost 8-3 in the semifinals to eventual champion Kevin Boross of N.C. State. But he then defeated Maryland’s Chad Masemer 7-2 in the consolation semifinals. Qualter then took the third place finish after defeating Duke’s Tom Cass 3-2 in the finals. At 184, Ryan McGrath (Blairstown, N.J./Blair Academy) also earned a third place finish in the tournament. In the semifinals, McGrath lost 5-3 in overtime to Zach Breitenbach of N.C. State. He rebounded from the loss and went on to defeat Duke’s Jay Klug in the consolation semifinals. In the finals, McGrath scored a major decision for the Cavaliers by defeating Billy Moore of Maryland 10-2.
Four, fourth place finishes also helped the Cavaliers. At the consolation finals for the 133 class, Bob Seidel (Wall, N.J./Wall) lost to Duke’s Sean Meakim in a 5-5 criteria bout. And at 141, Jason Gorski of Duke defeated Virginia’s P.J. Bory (Suffern, N.Y./Suffern) 9-2 in the consolation finals. After pinning Duke’s Deuce Harris at 3:05 in the consolation semifinals for 157, Greg Francesca (Union, N.J./Blair Academy) fell to Jake Stork of Maryland in the finals. Stork pinned Francesca at 3:34. Heavyweight Ryan Painter (Rainelle, W.V./Rainelle) also earned a fourth place finish. He defeated Jule Dolci of Maryland 4-1 in the consolation semifinal, but then lost 3-0 to Duke’s Alex Hunt in the final. Roth, Harshaw, Fenstermaker, and Pozniak will travel to State College, Pa. for the NCAA Championships. The championships will take place March 18-20.