Caldwell Dominates At NC State Open
RALEIGH, N.C. Darrion Caldwell was Atlantic Coast Conference Wrestler of the Year as a freshman in 2006-07 for a reason, and he showed why Saturday at the NC State Open at Reynolds Coliseum.
Caldwell barely broke a sweat in the 149-pound bracket, winning a 12-5 decision over Andrew Saunders of UNC Greensboro, then winning three consecutive first-period pins to win the bracket. Caldwell pinned Lester France of Old Dominion in 61 seconds, flattened Maryland’s Ryan Brown in a minute and 30 seconds, then won the finals by pinning ODU’s Joey Metzler in 28 seconds.
“Darrion Caldwell was incredible,” Wolfpack head coach Carter Jordan said, understating the obvious. “He really looked amazing.”
Caldwell was not the only Wolfpack wrestler to perform at a high level in the tournament. Kody Hamrah, redshirting the season at 157 pounds, wrestled unattached and won that bracket. Hamrah defeated Tel Todd of Old Dominion 6-0 in the first round, won a technical fall 17-0 over UNCG’s Keith Dillard, and won the finals with a 3-1 decision over Mark Ring of UNCG.
Caldwell and Hamrah were the only NC State wrestlers to win championships, but others wrestled deep into their respective brackets. Redshirt-sophomore Taylor Cummings took third place at 125, redshirt-sophomore Ryan Tice finished fourth at 133, and Josh Langholtz, a freshman wrestling unattached, finished second at 141.
While Hamrah won at 157, redshirt-freshman Ray Ward took third in that bracket, and redshirt-sophomore Anthony Badaracco was fourth. Sophomore William Gilleland finished second at 165 pounds, and junior Jalil Dozier took fourth. At heavyweight, freshman Bobby Isola finished in third place.
“We had several guys we expected to look good who did, and several guys who didn’t,” Jordan said. “All in all it was a good day, but we still have a lot of work to do.”