ST. LOUIS – Senior Louie Hayes’ (Orland Park, Ill.) run at the NCAA Wrestling Championships ended on Saturday (March 20) with an eighth-place finish after dropping an 11-3 major decision to Chris Cannon of Northwestern in the seventh-place match.
Hayes’ run at the championships made him the 17th wrestler to earn All-America honors in program history when he defeated Chance Rich of Cal State Bakersfield on Friday night in the third round of consolation matches.
Hayes advanced to the quarterfinals for the second time in his career before falling to second-seeded Roman Bravo-Young of Penn State in a 4-1 decision that sent him to the consolation bracket. He also advanced to the quarterfinals as a redshirt freshman in 2018. In his first two matches, he defeated No. 23 seed Boo Dryden of Minnesota by decision and upset seventh-seeded Lucas Byrd of Illinois in the sudden victory period.
NOTES ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP
• Virginia sent eight wrestlers to the NCAA Championships, tying the mark for the second most qualifiers in a single season for the program. UVA sent a program-record nine wrestlers in 2013.
• With his All-America honors, Virginia has had at least one All-America honoree for three consecutive seasons.
• Virginia had three wrestlers advance to at least the second round in 2021 as Brian Courtney (141) and Jay Aiello (197) both won their first-round matchups.
• Patrick McCormick also picked up a victory in his first NCAA Championship, taking a win in the pigtail round at 125 pounds.
• Four Virginia wrestlers earned their first career bids to the NCAA Championships: McCormick (125), Courtney (141), Keating (165) and Vic Marcelli (174).
FROM HEAD COACH STEVE GARLAND
“Louie has set an example for what our guys should be. He is in the master’s program in the Comm school, is a great student and one of the hardest workers you will ever find. He is coachable, mentally tough and competes as hard as he can. I can’t say enough good things about him and I am thankful I got to coach him.”
HAYES AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
No. 10 seed Louie Hayes
R1: Hayes dec. No. 23 seed Boo Dryden (Minnesota), 5-2
R2: Hayes dec. No. 7 seed Lucas Byrd (Illinois), 6-4 (sv-1)
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 No. 8 seed Chris Cannon (Northwestern) major dec. Hayes, 11-3