ST. LOUIS – Louie Hayes (Orland Park, Ill.), a redshirt senior on the Virginia wrestling team, locked up All-America honors on Friday night (March 19) at the NCAA Championships to become the 17th wrestler in program history to earn the honor.
The 10 seed at 133 pounds, Hayes will close out his time at the NCAA Championships on Saturday morning (March 20) when he faces eighth-seeded Chris Cannon of Northwestern in the seventh-place match. Competition on Saturday begins at the Enterprise Center on ESPN2 at 11 a.m. ET.
Hayes went 1-2 on the Friday, locking up All-America honors with his win on Friday night in the first of two matches in the evening session, pinning Chance Rich of Cal State Bakersfield in the first period. He then closed the evening with a matchup against ninth-seeded Michael McGee of Arizona State, dropping an 8-4 decision to the Sun Devil wrestler to move to Saturday’s seventh-place match in the medal rounds.
Hayes opened the day with a quarterfinal matchup against second-seeded Roman Bravo-Young of Penn State, dropping a hard-fought decision to the Nittany Lion by a score of 4-1.
Jay Aiello (Chantilly, Va.) and Brian Courtney (Athens, Pa.) also saw action on Friday for the Hoos with both wrestlers falling in the morning session to end their seasons. Courtney dropped a 10-9 decision in overtime to Ohio State’s Dylan D’Emilio, while Aiello was pinned by Iowa State’s Marcus Coleman.
NOTES ON THE DAY
• Hayes becomes the 17th Virginia wrestler to earn All-America honors.
• Virginia has now had at least one All-American three straight years and seven of the last 10 seasons.
• Jay Aiello and Jack Mueller were named All-Americans in 2020, while Mueller also earned the honor in 2019.
• Hayes is the eighth wrestler to earn All-America honors under head coach Steve Garland. Those eight wrestlers have combined for 14 All-America honors in Garland’s tenure.
• Virginia wrestlers have combined for 23 All-America honors in program history.
• Hayes will wrestle for seventh place on Saturday when he faces eighth-seeded Chris Cannon of Northwestern.
FROM HEAD COACH STEVE GARLAND
“I’m so proud of Louie Hayes. Anyone that knows this sport knows how hard it is to become an All-American, so what he did today is special. However, what I’m most proud of is his development and how much he has improved since he got to Virginia. He is so much better now and it has been a long road to get to this point with so much work and so many setbacks, but when it got tough tonight he found a way. He’s the example for our team. He’s our model for the Virginia Way.”
FROM REDSHIRT SENIOR LOUIE HAYES
“One of the best feelings an athlete can experience is seeing their hard work pay off. The support I am getting right now is surreal and I appreciate it so much. Let’s keep riding!”
No. 10 seed Louie Hayes
QF: No. 2 seed Roman Bravo-Young dec. Hayes, 4-1
Conso. R3: Hayes pinned No. 19 seed Chance Rich (Cal State Bakersfield), 2:10
Conso. R4: No. 9 seed Michael McGee (Arizona State) dec. Hayes, 8-4
7th Place Match: Hayes vs. No. 8 seed Chris Cannon (Northwestern) –Saturday morning
No. 20 seed Brian Courtney
Conso. R2: No. 30 seed Dylan D’Emilio (Ohio State) dec. Courtney 10-9 (TB-1)
No. 11 seed Jay Aiello
Conso. R2:. No. 21 seed Marcus Coleman (Iowa State) pinned Aiello, 5:38