HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – Justin McCoy and Marlon Yarbrough both placed to lead the Virginia wrestling team at the Ken Kraft Midlands Championships hosted by Northwestern on Saturday (Dec. 30). McCoy took a sixth-place finish at 174 pounds, while Yarbrough took an eighth-place finish at 133 pounds.

McCoy (174) took a sixth-place finish at the event after suffering an injury in his semifinal match against No. 13 Philip Conigliaro of Harvard. That injury forced him to withdraw from the competition. As a result, McCoy medically forfeited his consolation semifinal match and the fifth-place match to receive the sixth-place finish.

Yarbrough (133) opened the third round of competition with a win by injury default over Cleveland State’s Jake Manley before dropping his second match of the day by technical fall. He would then medically forfeit his seventh-place match due to injury and take the eighth-place finish.

The third competitor, Nick Sanko (157) dropped his opening match of the day to No. 16 Chase Saldate of Michigan State to end his run at the tournament.


  • It is the third time in three appearances at the Midlands Championships that the Cavaliers have had at least two placewinners in the competition.
  • Justin McCoy placed for the second straight season after finishing fifth at 165 pounds a year ago.
  • Yarbrough’s podium finish this season was his first at the Midlands Championships.

“We had a good team meeting tonight. Stating the obvious, we talked about all we saw and faced this weekend and the obstacles in front of us. We are drenched in adversity right now. But, to steal a line I heard Tony Bennett say a couple times, adversity, if used of correctly, can buy you a ticket to a place you couldn’t have gotten to any other way. I believe in a purpose and a plan, and so there is a reason this is happening right now. He we respond matters. How we work through it matters. Who we become as a result of the way we walk through it together matters most.”

No. 20 Marlon Yarbrough – Eighth Place Finish
R32: Yarbrough major dec. Jameson Garcia (Harvard), 13-4
R16: Yarbrough dec. Marcel Lopez (SIUE), 6-3
QF: Dylan Ragusin (Michigan) dec. Yarbrough, 8-7
Conso. R8-2: Yarbrough over Jake Manley (Cleveland State) by injury default
Conso. R4: No. 30 Mason Leiphart (Franklin & Marshall) tech fall Yarbrough, 21-2
SEVENTH-PLACE MATCH: Julian Chlebove (Arizona State) over Marlon Yarbrough by medical forfeit  

Nick Sanko
R64: Lucas Revano (Penn) tech fall Sanko, 17-2
Conso. R32: Sanko dec. Loranzo Rajaonarivelo (George Mason), 8-3
Conso. R16-1: Sanko major dec. Zack Mattin (Michigan), 12-4
Conso. R16-2: Sanko dec. Alex Hornfeck (West Virginia), 8-5
Conso. R8-1: Sanko dec. Isaac Ruble (Purdue), 12-5
Conso. R8-2: No. 16 Chase Saldate (Michigan State) tech fall Sanko, 17-1 (5:44) 

No.7 Justin McCoy – Sixth Place Finish
R64: McCoy dec. Michael Squires (Princeton), 9-2
R32: McCoy dec. Ceasar Garza (Michigan State), 8-7
R16: McCoy major dec. Hayden Pummel (N. Illinois), 11-3
QF: McCoy dec. No. 19 Brody Conley (West Virginia), 11-6
SF: No. 13 Philip Conigliaro (Harvard) over McCoy by injury default
*McCoy medically forfeited his remaining two matches to take sixth place

Matches in italics wrestled on Saturday