We had 20 guys attend University Nationals. 11 wrestled in Greco-Roman, 19 wrestled in Freestyle. We had one of the largest contingents in the tournaments. I was pleased we had such a significant presence. It bodes well for our future. Guys, who train and compete in the off season, tend to show greater improvement. Our guys were able to be the guinea pigs for the new rules implemented by FILA and USA Wrestling. It was a unique experience as the wrestlers, coaches and officials were learning and interpreting rules on the fly. For the most part, the rules seemed to be a huge step in the right direction for wrestling.
If a team score was kept, we would have been in the running to win in Greco-Roman. We had 6 All-Americans. All of the placers won matches. Zach Isenhour finished 7th, Corey Smith finished 6th, Shohei Takagi and Matt Meadows finished 5th, Jake Kettler finished 4th, and Sahid Kargbo led the way with a 3rd place finish.
We did not have as good of results as I had hoped for in Freestyle. The weight classes were large and had lots of tough competitors. We did not have a place winner. Ryan Hunsberger made it the closest to placing. He wrestled well. I liked the pace he set in his matches and his desire to score points.
We drove vans to Akron, so we had a good time to bond. We also stayed in a hotel that did not have many other guests, so we had our run of the place. The highlight for most was going to the Meadows home every night for a great meal. They treated us great. We have never eaten so well on the road. At the end of each evening, Mrs. Meadows sent us home with a lunch sack with snacks to help tide us over. We were blessed.
Most of the guys have now gone home or are taking a few days off. After a long school year and some added training and competition, they are ready for a break. We will host a short training camp this weekend for the Virginia State schoolboy, cadet, and junior teams. Some of the guys will return to help with the mini-camp.
We will take part in our alumni golf outing on June 10. Hopefully, we will have a large turnout of wrestling alums on the golf course. If we have the most, we will get part of the proceeds from the event. We won last year, so I am hopeful we will do it again. We are also participating in an alumni challenge in regard to the percentage of alums who donate to the program by the end of June. If we win this, Dan Wotring will donate more money to us. He made this challenge a few years ago and we lost to Men’s Volleyball. We better not let this happen again.