NC State Wrestling To Host North Carolina
Feb. 10, 2004
RALEIGH, N.C. - NC State kicks off its final week at home of the 2003-04 wrestling season on Wednesday night, February 11, against North Carolina in an Atlantic Coast Conference match. The Wolfpack is 2-0 in ACC action and tied for first place in the conference with Duke. The Pack is 7-4 overall. North Carolina is 1-3 in ACC matches, overall.
The two teams met back on January 14 at Carmichael Auditorium in Chapel Hill, with the Wolfpack coming away with a 25-12 victory in the first conference action for either team. NC State has lost just twice since then, both to teams ranked in the top 10, and is 5-2 since the matchup with the Tar Heels.
The Wolfpack is led by five starters who are undefeated vs. ACC competiton: 16th-ranked senior 157-pounder Scott Garren (11-2 overall, 2-0 vs. ACC opponents), senior 165-pounder Dustin Kawa (12-3, 2-0 ACC), senior 149-pounder Jake Giamoni (13-5, 2-0 ACC), junior 141-pounder Alex Hernandez (14-8, 2-0 ACC) and redshirt-freshman Jeremy Hartrum (10-4, 4-0 ACC).
The Series Vs. UNC: NC State defeated North Carolina 25-12 in Chapel Hill on January 14 in the first meeting of the season between the two teams. The Wolfpack has won six of the last 10 meetings with the Tar Heels.
The victory was Wolfpack head coach Bob Guzzo's 350th career dual-match win, and marked only the fourth time in Guzzo's tenure that NC State scored 25 or more points in a match against the Tar Heels. Both teams won four matches, but Dustin Kawa pinned Garrett Atkinson at 165, and Alex Hernandez won by forfeit. In addition, Scott Garren won a major decision from UNC's Ashton Buswell at 157.
Lineup Changes: The Wolfpack's starting lineup has been set at seven positions this season, with fluctuations at 125, 133 and 174.
The lineup may be settling into place at the bottom two spots with redshirt-freshman Garrett Cummings moving up to 133 and into the starting lineup while Daniel Pacitti recovers from a shoulder injury. That leaves fellow redshirt-frosh Jeremy Hartrum as the starter at 125. Between them, Hartrum and Cummings are 18-10 on the season.
Hartrum and Cummings represent a solid future for the Wolfpack in the lower weight classes. Cummings came to NC State as a heralded prospect from Bloomsburg, Pa., in the heart of wrestling country. A 35-5 record as a senior at Central Columbia High School earned him all-state honors as a senior, and he took seventh place in the state tournament that season.
Hartrum came to the Wolfpack even more heralded than Cummings, or just about anyone else on the team for that matter. Hartrum went 42-1 as a senior at Wilson High School in Easton, Pa., won the state championship at 112 pounds, and finished the year ranked No. 1 in the country.
In addition, the Wolfpack also has redshirt-freshman Jeff Breese, a two-time state champion from Claysville, Pa., who opened the season as the starter at 125 and then moved up to 133 when Hartrum became eligible at the start of the spring semester. Breese, also very highly regarded, is now out for the season with a shoulder injury.
The Youth Movement: While the heart of the NC State lineup this season has been the senior trio of Jake Giamoni at 149 pounds, Scott Garren at 157 and Dustin Kawa at 165, the fact is that the Wolfpack lineup is dominated by dominated by kids, with five freshmen and a sophomore currently starting for the Pack.
The five freshmen, two of them redshirts, have a combined won-lost record of 38-40, which includes eight matches against ranked opponents. Jeremy Hartrum, a redshirt freshman at 125, leads the rookie class with a 10-4 record, including a perfect 4-0 vs. Atlantic Coast Conference foes.
Streaks: Heading into action this week, senior 157-pounder Scott Garren and redshirt-freshman Jeremy Hartrum currently are riding five-match winning streaks, longest current streaks on the team. Those two streaks are one shy of the team high of six for the season, set by senior 165-pounder Jake Giamoni and senior 165-pounder Dustin Kawa. Giamoni and Kawa both began the season 6-0.