KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Virginia’s run at the NCAA Championships ended on Friday (March 22) with three wrestlers being eliminated in the opening session of the second day of competition.

Marlon Yarbrough opened the day for the Hoos and faced off with No. 25 seed Braden Basile of Army. Basile took the 14-3 major decision over Yarbrough to end the tournament for the junior.

Nick Hamilton was the second Virginia wrestler up in the morning session, taking on No. 20 seed Hunter Garvin of Stanford. The Cardinal freshman pulled away from Hamilton after a tight early battle to take the 13-6 decision over the second-year Cavalier.

Justin McCoy closed out the day for the Hoos against No. 14 seed Gaven Sax of North Dakota State in a rematch of a regular-season meeting during a dual contest with the Bison. A tight battle early turned the way of Sax late in the third as he grabbed the 7-3 decision over McCoy.


  • McCoy’s matchup with Sax was a rematch of a contest that McCoy won 4-3 back in December at NDSU.
  • Virginia has had at least four wrestlers qualify for the NCAA Championships every season since 2008.

“I’m hurting for our guys right now. This sport is brutal with peaks and valleys. Today we are in a valley. Marlon Yarbrough and Nick Hamilton have more time, though, and I’m thankful for that. I preach all the time to these guys about the purifying work of pain in their lives and how  we are refined by it. If they absorb and learn the lessons out here, they will be so much better next year. It’s already been amazing to see how much better they’ve gotten this year. It’s only up from here for these guys.

“My heart breaks for Justin McCoy, especially. He has had a great career here and has been an absolute pleasure to coach. He will be a good husband, father and servant leader in the future. I believe that with all my heart. So, we cry with him tonight, but then tomorrow we trust in the impact he will make moving forward.”

No. 23 seed Marlon Yarbrough
Yarbrough major dec. No. 10 seed Aaron Nagao (Penn State), 13-5
R16: No. 7 seed Nasir Bailey (Little Rock) dec. Yarbrough, 11-7
Conso. R2: No. 25 seed Braden Basile (Army) major dec. Yarbrough 14-3

No. 30 seed Nick Hamilton
No. 3 seed Julian Ramirez (Cornell) dec. Hamilton, 5-4
Conso. Pigtail: Hamilton dec. No. 32 seed Jake Logan (Lehigh), 4-1 (sv-1)
Conso. R1: Hamilton major dec. No. 19 seed Gunner Filipowicz (Army), 13-2
Conso. R2: No. 20 seed Hunter Garvin (Stanford) dec. Hamilton, 13-6

No. 13 seed Justin McCoy
R32: McCoy dec. No. 20 seed Brody Conley (West Virginia), 8-4
R16: No. 4 seed Shane Griffith (Michigan) dec McCoy, 5-1
Conso. R2: No. 14 seed  Gaven Sax (NDSU) dec. McCoy, 7-3

Results in italics from Thursday’s opening rounds