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     Darrion Caldwell
    Darrion Caldwell

    RS Senior

    Rahway, N.J.

    High School:



    Gwiazdowski Wins ACC Title, Five Qualify for NCAA Championships

    Speno, Gantt, Renda, Jones and Gwiazdowski all advance to NCAA Championships with automatic bids

    National Champion - 2009
    Outstanding Wrestler, NCAA Championships - 2009
    All-American - 2008, 2009
    ACC Champion - 2007, 2008, 2009

    • Redshirted while recovering from shoulder surgery

    • Had one of the greatest seasons in NC State wrestling history, posting a 38-1 overall record and winning the national championship at 149 pounds, arguably the toughest in college wrestling in 2009
    • Tied for the second most wins in a season by a Wolfpack wrestler, and had a 29-match winning streak that dated back to the final bout of the 2007-08 campaign, the fourth longest in NC State history
    • Only loss was by injury default
    • Had 17 pins, fourth best single-season mark in school history
    • Went 10-1 vs. ranked opponents, including a perfect 7-0 with two pins against opponents ranked in the national top 10
    • Last three wins of the season, in the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals of the NCAA Championships, were by nine points, 11 points and five points, all against opponents ranked in the top 10
    • Had 16 first-period falls for the season and now has 43 first-period pins for his career
    • Led the Wolfpack in victories with 38, pins with 17, wins against ranked opponents with 10, and major decisions with seven
    • Had three technical falls to tie for second on the team
    • Went 8-0 against ACC opponents and is a perfect 28-0 against ACC opponents in his career
    • Enters his senior season ranked third in school history in career pins with 50, third in career winning percentage at .887 (94-12), and third in career victories
    • Needs 15 pins and 29 victories to become NC State's all-time leader in those categories
    • Has a chance to become NC State's fourth four-time ACC champion and its fourth three-time All-American
    • Began the 2008-09 season by going 5-0 to win the NC State Open, defeating fifth-ranked Lance Palmer of Ohio State 2-1 in the finals
    • Went unbeaten through the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, defeating 14th-ranked Troy Tirapelle of Illinois and No. 7 Kyle Ruschell, both by 8-4 decisions
    • Rolled through the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, defeating No. 14 Cesar Grajales of Penn 4-1 in the semifinals and pinning Ohio State's Palmer at 1:05 in the finals
    • Went virtually untouched in the Southern Scuffle, easily winning all five bouts and pinning Navy's fifth-ranked Bryce Saddoris at 2:05 in the finals to run his record to 20-0 at the end of December
    • Took a 28-0 mark and a 29-match winning streak to Norman, Okla., on January 30, but defaulted to 13th-ranked Kyle Terry midway through the second period because of back spasms
    • Missed two weeks following the back injury, and only wrestled twice more before the postseason began
    • Won three easy matches in the ACC Championships, one by fall, one by technical fall and one by major decision, to become a three-time conference champion
    • Opened the NCAA Championships by pinning Grajales of Penn at 3:18 and followed that with a 10-2 major decision over Buffalo's Desmond Green to move into the medal round
    • Defeated No. 6 Jake Patacsil of Purdue 10-1 in the quarterfinals, and followed that with a 13-2 major decision over No. 7 Saddoris of Navy, to advance to the finals and top-ranked Brent Metcalf
    • Defeated Metcalf 11-6 to win the national championship
    • Was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the NCAA Championships after outscoring his five opponents by a combined score of 52-12

    • Followed up a tremendous freshman campaign by earning All-America honors with a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships
    • Went 36-5 with 23 pins, setting a school record for victories by a sophomore while recording the third-most pins in a season, regardless of academic class
    • Combined with 141-pounder Joe Caramanica to give NC State its first pair of 30-match winners in the same season since 1989
    • NC State's previous 30-match winner was Sylvester Terkay, who went 41-0 in 1993
    • Won seven matches vs. ranked wrestlers, including a 6-2 mark vs. wrestlers ranked in the national top 10
    • Did not lose consecutive matches until the medal round of the NCAA Championships
    • Recorded 21 first-period pins, and had eight pins in the first minute of the bout
    • Had a 19-match winning streak from January 5 through March 21, and recorded 14 of the 19 victories by fall, 12 of them by first-period fall
    • Won seven straight matches by pin, from February 1 through March 8
    • Had three technical falls and two major decisions
    • First made national headlines in November by pinning No. 8 Jake Patascil of Purdue in 19 seconds, his fastest pin of the season and second fastest of his career
    • Won the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational the weekend of November 30-December 1, taking the semifinals with a 12-3 major decision over No. 2 Josh Cherulla of Michigan, then winning the finals with an 8-6 decision over No. 3 J.P. O'Connor of Harvard
    • Stumbled at the Southern Scuffle the weekend of December 29-30, losing twice in five matches, both losses coming by fall, but did not lose again until the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships
    • Blew through the Atlantic Coast Conference dual-match season undefeated, winning four of five regular-season matches by fall, and two of three by fall in winning the ACC championship
    • Rolled into the NCAA Championships on a 16-match winning streak, then easily won his first two matches at the NCAA meet, pinning Mike Roberts of Boston University at 2:26 in the first round and Brandon Carter of Central Michigan at 0:42 in the second
    • Faced second-seeded Dustin Schlatter in the quarterfinals and prevailed 4-1, nailing down All-America status
    • Lost twice in the wrestleback bracket, 12-8 to No. 6 Bubba Jenkins of Penn State, and 6-1 to No. 5 J.P. Cherulla
    • Secured his fifth-place finish at 149 pounds, winning by medical default over No. 3 J.P. O'Connor of Harvard

    • Had one of the best years ever by an NC State freshman
    • Became the first freshman in conference history to win both ACC Rookie of the Year and ACC Wrestler of the Year in the same year
    • Went 20-6 on the season
    • Also scored major points for the Wolfpack with 10 pins, a school record for a freshman, one technical fall and four major decisions
    • Led the team in pins and tied for the team lead in majors
    • Was a perfect 9-0 against ACC opponents and 4-2 against ranked opponents
    • Won his first three college matches by first-period falls, including a pin in 13 seconds in his first-ever match at NC State, the fastest pin by an NC State wrestler dating back to at least 1988
    • Won 13 of 14 matches from late January through the first two rounds of the NCAA Championships
    • Won the ACC championship at 141 with a one-minute pin of Duke's Philip Wightman, a 12-3 major decision over North Carolina's Mike Rappo, and a 5-2 decision over Virginia's Kellon Balum
    • Missed earning All-America honors by one match during an impressive run in the NCAA Championships
    • Won his first match at nationals by pinning No. 9-ranked Kenneth Hashimoto of Northern Colorado in 28 seconds, then advanced to the third round by winning by medical default over eighth-ranked Andy Simmons of Michigan State
    • Lost a memorable bout against No. 1 Ryan Lang of Northwestern, who won by fall in 1:40, but not before the two wrestlers combined for 16 points on three takedowns and three near-falls, two by Caldwell

    High school
    • One of the best wrestlers in the country
    • Earned All-America honors as a senior according to Wrestling USA
    • Was a three-time state champion in New Jersey and a four-time all-state selection
    • Only lost one match his final three seasons
    • Went 39-0 as a senior in 2006 and wrestled for Team USA in the Dapper Dan Classic, winning his match
    • Went 34-1 as a junior in 2005 and won his second consecutive state championship
    • Was unbeaten as a sophomore in 2004, going 37-0 and winning the first of his three state championships
    • Took fourth place in the New Jersey state championships as a freshman in 2003, finishing with a 36-3 record
    • Finished his high school career with a four-year record of 146-4
    • Also lettered in football and baseball, and earned all-region honors in football as a junior and senior

    • Majoring in Africana studies

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