March 8, 2014
BLACKSBURG, VA. - Led by Nick Gwiazdowski's ACC Championship at 285 pounds, the NC State wrestling team had five individuals earn NCAA automatic bids thanks to their performances at the 2014 ACC Championship Saturday in Blacksburg. Under second-year head coach Pat Popolizio, the Pack will be sending at least five individuals to the NCAA Championships for only the third time over the past 10 years. The ACC was allocated varying NCAA automatic qualifying spots in each weight class by the NCAA last week.
Gwiazdowski was one of three NC State wrestlers to find their way onto the podium at the 60th annual ACC Championship. He becomes the first Pack wrestler to win an individual title since Darrion Caldwell in 2011, and his title is the 111th for NC State in ACC history. In addition to the Pack's title at 285 pounds, junior Tommy Gantt placed second at 157 pounds, while freshman Pete Renda was third at 174 pounds.
Nick Gwiazdowski - NCAA Qualifier - 1st place at 285 pounds. As the top-seed, Gwiazdowski had to wait around for quite some time before he took the mat. As the Pack arrived at Cassell Coliseum at 6:45 a.m. for a morning workout and weigh-ins, Gwiazdowski's first bout of the day did not come until past 3 p.m. The long wait had no affect on him, as Gwiazdowski scored a pin over Virginia Tech's Ty Walz 4:57 into his semifinal bout. Gwiazdowski earned ACC Championship gold when he defeated #9 Stephen Myers of Maryland in the finals, 10-4.
Tommy Gantt - NCAA Qualifier - 2nd place at 157 pounds. Coming in as the second-seed, Gantt breezed to the championship bout. First he took out Danny Orem of Maryland with a 14-2 major decision then downed #24 Immanuel Kerr-Brown of Duke in the semifinals, 7-3. In the championship bout, Gantt came up just short against #14 Blaise Butler of Virginia, 3-2.
Pete Renda - NCAA Qualifier - 3rd place at 174 pounds. Renda was the third-seed at 174 pounds, and was fighting for one of three NCAA automatic bids. Renda won his first round match avenging a regular season loss to Duke's Try Adamson of Duke, 7-3. Renda fell 2-0 in the semifinals, but closed out with two straight wins. He shutout Matthew Snook of Maryland 4-0, and his 5-0 win over Virginia Tech's Austin Gabel earned him a NCAA bid and third place finish at the ACCs.
Sam Speno - NCAA Qualifier - 4th place at 141 pounds. Speno entered as the six-seed, and there were five NCAA bids up for grabs at 141 pounds. After dropping his first bout to #9 Even Henderson of UNC, Speno came back with back-to-back wins. He downed Xaviel Ramos of Duke 8-1, then his 7-2 win over Maryland's Shyheim Brown clinched his NCAA spot for the second straight year. Speno fell again to Henderson in the third place match.
KaRonne Jones - NCAA Qualifier - 5th place at 197 pounds. Jones, the sixth-seed, dropped his opening match, but came back in the consolation bracket to down UNC's Frank Abbondanza 4-1. The 197-weight class was awarded five NCAA bids, and after a loss in the consolation semifinals, Jones clinched his first career NCAA bid with a 5-3 win over #15 Nick Bonaccorsi of Pittsburgh.
As a team, the Pack placed sixth overall with 33.5 points. Virginia Tech won the team title with 87 points, followed by Pittsburgh (67), Virginia (61.5), North Carolina (38), Maryland (37.5), NC State and Duke (18).
The NCAA will announce its at-large NCAA bids on Wednesday. The NCAA Championships will be held in Oklahoma City March 20-22.
ACC Championships Results for NC State
125 - Micah Perez (17-8) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Quarterfinal - Nick Herrmann (Virginia) 17-10 won by decision over Micah Perez (NC State) 17-8 (Dec 5-1)
Cons. Round 1 - Micah Perez (NC State) 17-8 received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Semi - Joey Dance (Virginia Tech) 23-8 won by major decision over Micah Perez (NC State) 17-8 (MD 13-4)
133 - Brenden Calas (7-13) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Quarterfinal - Joe Martinez (Virginia) 15-14 won by major decision over Brenden Calas (NC State) 7-13 (MD 11-0)
Cons. Round 1 - Evan Botwin (Duke) 6-17 won by fall over Brenden Calas (NC State) 7-13 (Fall 1:04)
141 - Sam Speno (24-13) placed 4th and scored 3.00 team points.
Quarterfinal - Evan Henderson (North Carolina) 32-5 won by major decision over Sam Speno (NC State) 24-13 (MD 14-2)
Cons. Round 1 - Sam Speno (NC State) 24-13 won by decision over Xaviel Ramos (Duke) 5-19 (Dec 8-1)
Cons. Semi - Sam Speno (NC State) 24-13 won by decision over Shyhiem Brown (Maryland) 19-9 (Dec 7-2)
3rd Place Match - Evan Henderson (North Carolina) 32-5 won by major decision over Sam Speno (NC State) 24-13 (MD 9-0)
149 - Brian Hamann (19-12) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Quarterfinal - Christian Barber (North Carolina) 29-10 won by decision over Brian Hamann (NC State) 19-12 (Dec 3-0)
Cons. Round 1 - Connor Bass (Duke) 1-2 won by fall over Brian Hamann (NC State) 19-12 (Fall 6:50)
157 - Tommy Gantt (32-8) placed 2nd and scored 10.00 team points.
Quarterfinal - Tommy Gantt (NC State) 32-8 won by major decision over Danny Orem (Maryland) 7-9 (MD 14-2)
Semifinal - Tommy Gantt (NC State) 32-8 won by decision over Immanuel Kerr-Brown (Duke) 22-8 (Dec 7-3)
1st Place Match - Blaise Butler (Virginia) 20-6 won by decision over Tommy Gantt (NC State) 32-8 (Dec 3-2)
165 - Max Rohskopf (1-5) place is unknown and scored 0.50 team points.
Quarterfinal - Chris Moon (Virginia Tech) 21-7 won by major decision over Max Rohskopf (NC State) 1-5 (MD 10-0)
Cons. Round 1 - Max Rohskopf (NC State) 1-5 won by decision over Josh Snook (Maryland) 5-12 (Dec 11-5)
Cons. Semi - Geno Morelli (Pittsburgh) 14-15 won by decision over Max Rohskopf (NC State) 1-5 (Dec 6-1)
174 - Pete Renda (27-9) placed 3rd and scored 5.50 team points.
Quarterfinal - Pete Renda (NC State) 27-9 won by decision over Trey Adamson (Duke) 14-13 (Dec 7-3)
Semifinal - Stephen Doty (Virginia) 27-7 won by decision over Pete Renda (NC State) 27-9 (Dec 2-0)
Cons. Semi - Pete Renda (NC State) 27-9 won by decision over Matthew Snook (Maryland) 5-4 (Dec 4-0)
3rd Place Match - Pete Renda (NC State) 27-9 won by decision over Austin Gabel (Virginia Tech) 13-7 (Dec 5-0)
184 - Michael Macchiavello (11-14) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Quarterfinal - Max Thomusseit (Pittsburgh) 18-1 won by decision over Michael Macchiavello (NC State) 11-14 (Dec 4-0)
Cons. Round 1 - Jacob Kasper (Duke) 9-16 won by decision over Michael Macchiavello (NC State) 11-14 (Dec 4-0)
197 - KaRonne Jones (14-13) placed 5th and scored 0.50 team points.
Quarterfinal - Chris Penny (Virginia Tech) 24-11 won by major decision over KaRonne Jones (NC State) 14-13 (MD 9-1)
Cons. Round 1 - KaRonne Jones (NC State) 14-13 won by decision over Frank Abbondanza (North Carolina) 8-20 (Dec 4-1)
Cons. Semi - Christian Boley (Maryland) 22-4 won by decision over KaRonne Jones (NC State) 14-13 (Dec 6-4)
5th Place Match - KaRonne Jones (NC State) 14-13 won by decision over Nick Bonaccorsi (Pittsburgh) 21-12 (Dec 5-3)
285 - Nick Gwiazdowski (37-2) placed 1st and scored 14.00 team points.
Quarterfinal - Nick Gwiazdowski (NC State) 37-2 received a bye () (Bye)
Semifinal - Nick Gwiazdowski (NC State) 37-2 won by fall over Ty Walz (Virginia Tech) 25-12 (Fall 4:57)
1st Place Match - Nick Gwiazdowski (NC State) 37-2 won by decision over Spencer Myers (Maryland) 23-4 (Dec 10-4)