Hokies field two individual champions at ACC Wrestling Championship

#8 Virginia Tech is off to a 4-0 start to the season and has six wrestlers individually ranked including #1 Mekhi Lewis (WSLS)

RALEIGH, NC – Virginia Tech wrestling’s Sam Latona and Korbin Myers won individual titles at the ACC Championships Sunday night at 125 and 133 pounds, respectively, and Myers was named the top wrestler of the tournament, earning ACC Most Outstanding Wrestler honors. 

Latona, wrestling as the No. 1 seed in the weight class, went 2-0 Sunday and defeated NC State’s Jakob Camacho 2-1 in the first tiebreaker overtime period of the final. Latona earned a first-round bye as the top seed and then defeated Virginia’s Patrick McCormick in the semifinals. The redshirt freshman won his first ACC title in his first appearance at the ACC Championships. 

After a dominant ACC regular season, Myers won his first ACC title with a 3-1 decision over top seed Micky Phillippi of Pitt, handing the two-time conference champion his first career loss in the ACC Championships. Seeded second, Myers received a first-round bye before taking down North Carolina’s Joe Heilmann in a 10-3 decision in the semifinals. The graduate student in his sixth season of collegiate wrestling earned his fourth qualification to the NCAA Championships. 

Following the conclusion of the championships, Myers was named Most Outstanding Wrestler by the ACC’s coaches, becoming the seventh Hokie to take home the conference trophy and first since 2018. The Pennsylvania native is the first 133-pound Hokie to earn the title.

Earning second place finishes and clinching their spots in St. Louis for the 2021 NCAA Championships were Bryce Andonian, Hunter Bolen and Hunter Catka. Andonian went 1-1 on the day, beating Ed Scott of NC State in the semifinals before falling to No. 1 seed Austin O’Connor in the final 10-8. Bolen was taken down for the first time all season in the sudden victory period against Trent Hidlay after winning his semifinal match over Pitt’s Gregg Harvey. 

The only Hokie to reach the final without a bye, Catka went 2-1, beating Jonah Niesenbaum of Duke and upsetting Virginia’s Quinn Miller before dropping a tight 2-1 decision to top seed Deonte Wilson. A true freshman, Catka will continue his debut season at the NCAA Championships.

Connor Brady and Dakota Howard each fought back in the consolation brackets to secure their births to the NCAA Championships and take third in their respective brackets. Brady, after losing his semifinal matchup, won two straight decisions including a 4-3 victory in the third-place match. 

Howard took a similar path, dropping the semifinal match and winning two straight, but unlike Brady, had to win the third-place match to earn his spot in St. Louis, doing so in comeback fashion. The redshirt sophomore was down 7-2 entering the third period to Virginia’s Victor Marcelli, but an escape and three straight takedowns forced sudden victory at 9-9. Howard capped off the third-place finish with a takedown in the first 10 seconds.

As a team, the Hokies finished second behind champion NC State with 65.5 points at the tournament. Tech tied for second at the championships with two individual champions.

As for Virginia, they had six wrestlers turn in podium finishes, including three runner-up finishes, to lead the Cavaliers to a fourth-place finish at the ACC Championship on Sunday. The six place-winners all secured bids to the NCAA Championships. Jay Aiello (Chantilly, Va.) at 197 pounds, Jake Keating (Naperville, Ill.) at 165 pounds and Justin McCoy (New Paris, Pa.) at 157 pounds all finished second in their weight classes.

The trio of wrestlers all earned All-ACC honors by finishing in the top two at the event. Three Cavaliers locked up third-place finishes from 133-pounder Louie Hayes (Orland Park, Ill.), 125-pounder Patrick McCormick (Poquoson, Va.) and heavyweight Quinn Miller (Lilburn, Ga.) as the three wrestlers all rallied after losses in the semifinals to come back through the consolation bracket. McCormick and Hayes, both seeded fourth in their weight classes, met the top-seeded wrestler in the semifinals.