March 18, 2017
ST. LOUIS – Senior George DiCamillo (Highland Heights, Ohio) matched the best individual finish in Virginia wrestling program history on Saturday (March 18) as he finished as runner-up at 141 pounds in the NCAA Championships at the Scottrade Center
DiCamillo battled the top-seeded and defending NCAA Champion Dean Heil from Oklahoma State, but lost his bid for the program’s first individual NCAA Championship in a 6-3 decision.
The runner-up finish matches the best finish by a Virginia wrestler at the NCAA Championships, tying Henry Jordan’s runner-up finish at heavyweight in 1957 and current head coach Steve Garland’s runner-up finish at 125 pounds in 2000.
Virginia finished 15th in the team standings with 29.5 points, trying for the best finish under Garland and matching the finish posted in the 2010 season. It’s also tied for the second-highest finish in program history set in 1957 with a tie for 10th. Penn State won the 2017 NCAA Championship with 146.5 points.
DiCamillo was one of two wrestlers to post a podium finish for the Cavaliers as freshman Jack Mueller (Dallas, Texas) finished sixth overall at 125 pounds. Both wrestlers earned All-America honors by virtue of their finishes and it marked the first time in program history for the Cavaliers to have two wrestlers advance to the semifinals in the same season.
Mueller, who became the first Virginia wrestler to earn All-America honors, was also presented with an award for being the NCAA statistical leader in tech falls this season with a nation-leading 12 tech fall victories.
Mueller was unable to compete in Saturday’s wrestleback rounds due to injury sustained in Friday night’s semifinals and medically forfeited his consolation semifinal and fifth-place match.
“This was a crazy day for us after an amazing first two days,” Garland said. “Jack got injured during Friday’s quarterfinals and reinjured during the semifinals and that was tough, but he did everything he needed to do to try wrestle today. His functionality just wasn’t there. He’s a special kid and one of the most mentally tough human beings I’ve ever met. He’s going to be incredible and set a lot more records moving forward.
“George was fighting the defending national champion and top seed for a national title tonight. It was so similar to their first meeting this year. George wrestled well in some positions, but Heil was just a little better in those positions. George got some opportunities, but Heil did a good job of not letting him finish. I’m just so grateful to have worked with a young man like George for the last five years and we are super proud of everything he’s done for this program.”
In his NCAA finals match against Heil, the Cavalier senior and Heil battled through the first period with Heil holding a one-point lead at 2-1 at the end of the first. After starting the second period down, Heil notched an escape to grab the 3-1 lead on DiCamillo.
With the two fighting for control, DiCamillo and Heil tumbled out of bounds. Virginia challenged the official ruling, contending that the Cavalier recorded a takedown before the wrestlers rolled out of bounds, but upon review the officials upheld the fall of no takedown. Heil maintained the 3-1 lead after two periods.
DiCamillo started in the down position for the third period, notching an escape to cut the lead to 3-2, but Heil would get another takedown to extend his lead. DiCamillo worked his way free for the escape point, to cut the lead to 5-3, but couldn’t get a final takedown as advantage time provided Heil with the final 6-3 margin of victory.
125 – No. 10 seed Jack Mueller
1st round: Mueller tech fall Travis Piotrowski (Illinois), 16-1
2nd round: Mueller dec. No. 7 Sean Russell (Edinboro), 5-2
Quarterfinals: Mueller dec. No. 2 Joey Dance (Virginia Tech), 4-2 (sv-1)
Semifinals: No. 6 Ethan Lizak (Minnesota) dec. Mueller, 7-0
Conso. Semis: Mueller med. forfeit to Nick Piccininni (Oklahoma State)
Mueller finish 6th at NCAA Championships
141 – No. 6 seed George DiCamillo
1st Round: DiCamillo major dec. Christopher Carton (Iowa), 13-4
2nd Round: DiCamillo fall No. 11 Randy Cruz (Lehigh), 4:36
Quarterfinals: DiCamillo dec. No. 14 Thomas Thorn (Minnesota), 5-2
Semifinals: DiCamillo vs. No. 10 Bryce Meredith (Wyoming)
Finals: No. 1 Dean Heil (Oklahoma State) dec. DiCamillo, 6-3
DiCamillo finishes 2nd at NCAA Championships