CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia wrestling team returns to action this week with members of the squad set to compete at the 58th Ken Kraft Midlands Championships hosted by Northwestern. The two-day event will be wrestled at NOW Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Thursday, December 29
10:30 a.m. – Championship Rounds 1 & 2, Wrestlebacks
8:00 p.m. – Quarterfinals, Wrestlebacks
Friday, December 30
12:00 p.m. – Semifinals, Consolation, 7th place match, Women’s division begins
7:05 p.m. – 1st, 3rd, 5th place matches
HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION
The entire Ken Kraft Midlands Open Championship will be streamed exclusively on B1G+ which is available by subscription. Live brackets and results will also be provided by TrackWrestling. Links to both the stream and brackets are available at VirginiaSports.com. Fans can also get updates throughout the day by following the program’s official Twitter account (@UVAWrestling).
• UVA returns to action as a team for the first time since a road dual at Campbell – an 18-16 win for the Hoos.
• It is the second appearance at the Midlands Championships for Virginia after the Hoos first competed at the event in the 2019-20 season. The 2021-22 event was canceled due to COVID.
• Three Cavaliers placed in that 2019-20 appearance with Jay Aiello taking a runner-up finish (197 pounds), Louie Hayes taking a sixth-place finish (133 pounds) and Vic Marcelli placing seventh (174 pounds).
• The Cavaliers finished 11th in the team standings in that 2019-20 Midlands Championships.
• Virginia has four wrestlers ranked in the latest individual rankings with Justin McCoy leading the way at No. 8 at 165 pounds. He is joined by No. 20 Neil Antrassian (184 pounds), No. 24 Jarod Verkleeren (149 pounds) and No. 26 Jake Keating (157 pounds).
• It’s the first of two tournaments on the slate for the weekend with a group of Cavaliers also set to kick off the New Year at the Southern Scuffle (Jan. 1-2) at Chattanooga.
• The Hoos will be one of 41 men’s programs competing in the stacked field that includes fellow ACC members North Carolina and Pittsburgh and nine teams currently ranked in the top 25.
HOOS IN THE MIDLANDS FIELD
125: Patrick McCormick
133: Marlon Yarbrough
149: Denton Spencer, No. 24 Jarod Verkleeren
157: Nick Sanko (unattached), Nic Sansone
165: No. 8 Justin McCoy, Nick Hamilton (unattached)
174: Vic Marcelli, Justin Phillips
184: No. 20 Neil Antrassian, Hadyn Danals
197: Michael Battista
285: Jessie Knight