Virginia Tech grapplers ready to uphold “National Contender” status

2019 National Champion Mekhi Lewis has returned to the Hokies’ competition mats after using an Olympic redshirt last season.


BLACKSBURG, Va. – It’s a wrestling program that is solidified on a national scale with six top 10 finishes in the past eight seasons. So it is no surprise to see the Hokies ranked 8th in the nation.

“I think that’s the standard we’ve set for the program and for us it’s about these guys continuing to improve and climnbing up the rankings and just continuing to get better,” said Virginia Tech wrestling coach Tony Robie. He’s entering his 4th season as head coach and signed a contract extension during the offseason.

The season started a few months later than usual due to COVID but the Hokies didn’t stall-- rather they’re showing that they have a strong hold on their approach.

“We changed things a little bit, I guess, just because we weren’t competing in November like we typically do. So, we didn’t have to rush into things like we had in the past,” Robie said.

It has led to an undefeated start and impressive performances from younger wrestlers like Christiansburg products, Hunter Bolen and Andy Smith.

“I don’t know if it’s something in the water in Christiansburg but those guys both bring incredible toughness evertime they step out there,” said Robie.

18th ranked Sam Latona is also making his presence know eary in the season after recently being named an ACC co-wrestler of the week.

“We have goals and we’re trying to accomplish those goals and we have some unfinished business we’re trying to get to,” said Latona. He wrestles in the 125 division after redshirting last season.

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