Virginia Tech Finishes Fifth at ACC Wrestling Championships; Eight Hokies Qualify for NCAAs

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Hunter Bolen Virginia Tech
Hunter Bolen (shown here earlier in the season against UNC), captured an ACC title at 184 pounds (Ivan Morozov)

Virginia Tech Wrestling finished a disappointing fifth at the 2020 ACC Wrestling Championships over the weekend, but Hunter Bolen won a conference title in the 184-pound class, and eight of ten Hokies qualified for the upcoming NCAA Championships.

Here are the team standings from the tournament — the Hokies beat only hapless Duke:

NC State 81
Pittsburgh 77
North Carolina 67.5
Virginia 60.5
Virginia Tech 52
Duke 2

The title was NC State’s second in a row.

This article is sponsored by The Southeast Regional Training Center (SERTC). The SERTC is creating Olympic wrestling opportunities! Assist us in attracting the best recruits in the nation! Your support and contributions will help bring more OLYMPIC HOPEFUL training partners and mentors to Blacksburg, Virginia. Click here to learn more and to donate today!

Bolen, ranked number one in his weight class nationally, defeated number two Trent Hiday of NC State (rankings via Intermat) 2-1 in the finals to grab his first ACC crown. A redshirt sophomore, Bolen could be the top seed in the 184-pound class at the NCAA Championships March 19-21 in US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN.

The eight Virginia Tech wrestlers who got auto-bids for the NCAAs are:

  • 125 pounds: Joey Prata (third in the ACC Championships)
  • 133: Collin Gerardi (fifth in the ACC)
  • 149: Bryce Andonian (second in the ACC)
  • 157: BC LaPrade (fifth in the ACC)
  • 165: David McFadden (second in the ACC)
  • 174: Cody Hughes (fourth in the ACC)
  • 184: Hunter Bolean (ACC champion)
  • 285: John Borst (third in the ACC)

At 141 pounds, Mitch Moore won by forfeit, then forfeited the next round due to concussion protocol. Moore is ranked No. 14 in the country in his weight class and has a good shot at getting an at-large bid to the NCAAs. At larges will be announced Tuesday. At 197 pounds, Stanley Smeltzer went 0-2 and did not qualify for the NCAAs.

For a full writeup from, click here. For a full writeup from, click here.

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17 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Please quit using demeaning insults like “little ole Virginia Tech”. We should not give historical insults or demeaning slights of ACC brethren or sisters any credence by repeating them ourselves. For God’s sake, VT is on a path to be a global land grant University. Let’s act like we know that.

  2. We are not a strong tournament team. This was not unexpected. We are going to be loaded in the next two years (and on hopefully).

  3. There is always HOPE for things to be better next year! Haven’t we all heard enough about Hope?

    1. Check back in next year and the year after (and maybe the year after, too, and so forth). VT Wrestling will definitely be better.

      1. I hope you have noticed that all the other ACC schools have hired impressive young aggressive coaches who can recruit. I hope that the fall off after loosing our previous coaches can be overcome by our current coaches, not so good so far, I really hope that next year will show that you are right.

  4. I guess this is a question, how do you send 8 of 10 guys to the NCAAs while playing 5 of 6 in your conference. Everyone goes? or just one of those weird statistical things?

    Some solace, and not to get ahead of ourselves, but it would be a big deal to have a 2nd national champion in two years. Wrestling’s kinda like that, a couple guys who are really good scores more points than a whole team of guys who are pretty good.

    1. The ACC is particularly strong this year we have 5 of the top 15 teams in the country and between these teams there is a lot of parity. We went into ACCs a man down as Mitch sat to recover – he weighed in so he could preserve his NCAAT at large. We will send 9 once Mitch gets the at large spot — we were down a man at the ACCs. This is a swing year for us — i fully expect us to challenge for the ACC crown next year and for the years following. Robie & Co knew we would sacrifice this year for the next several. That said we will likely be a 12-16 team at NCAAT and yes it would be a big deal if Bolen can continue his strong run to a National Title. Should that happen we will be returning 2x national champs into our line-up for the next two years — and some young and very talented young blood.

      1. Thanks for the inf. Still hard to figure how we started so strong and finished the way we did. I didn’t hear anything about Robie expressing his thoughts about sacrificing this year. Knew we had more competition in the acc this year; but 5th place?

        1. I should not have said “sacrifice”. We wrestled to win. But one of our best wrestlers is out on Oly shirt and another great Grappler had to sit the ACCT due to injury. We have known for a couple of years this would be a transitional year with lots of young guys and some great talent being redshirted. We definitely had some great dual victories over Mizzou and Ohio State early and lost some real close ones in the ACC to close out the year.

          1. Yeah, I did not expect a great season this year and was actually surprised by the early team success. Really dual season is almost glorified practice where, at most, wrestlers establish seeding. It’s tourney time that by far means the most in a Wrestling season both team-wise and on an individual level. And not many knowledgeable Hokie wrestling fans expected much this year during this time. Bolen and Andonian have been very nice surprises though indeed.

            Future is definitely bright!

        2. Robie on the podcast is a pretty interesting guy, doesn’t dodge any questions talks about specific things eg McFadden getting run-ruled. no holdback, not rancorous of course, just matter-of-fact, yeah, I think the team came off the track and caught Robie off-guard a little bit, wasn’t just a re-work year.

      2. Same here, great feeback, I was at the UNC dual and the wth? (spent all our Karma on the UNC bball game I guess including the free bacon). VT should take credit for getting the ACC juiced for wrestling, provide the target on our back that everyone else needed.

        1. consummate observation on ACC getting “juiced” in wrestling by VT.

          for decades it existed as a back-gym sport for guys with size 18 necks and cauliflowered ears. there were a couple ACC school wrestling rivalries and a few individuals of national caliber over many years from the ACC.
          but when VT brought in Dresser and he built success, a large amount of collegiate wrestling attention – national attention – started coming to Blacksburg. the blue-bloods couldn’t stand that little old, and “recent” ACC newcomer, Virginia Tech was getting the headlines. so they started investing thinking if the “Hokie hayseeds” can do it, we can throw some money at it and push ‘em back to the farm. they didn’t realize that they were (and still are) dealing with Dresser, Robbie, their SERTC program and their determined Hokies.

          Go Hokies!

          2019-2020 was projected to be a rebuilding season of sorts with Mekhi at Olympic prep, several experienced, high-caliber ‘19 grads gone, and some talented youngsters who needed experience. all those other schools wrestlers had to gang up on us to keep us from garnering points in our inexperienced weight classes. we all wish we could have done better, but team tournaments are a lot steeper hills than the dual matches.

          no one likes to hear “next year,” but look at the roster, the depth and this year’s recruits; and everything aligns for a much much stronger 2020-2021 wrestling team, individuals, and a team great season record.

          “Thanks Coach Robie, other coaches, and wrestling team.” keep on striving through the nationals, turn a few upsets, and serve notice for next year!

          Go Hokies!

          1. How do we start so strong and leave as last (for the teams that really care about wrestling) place in the tournament?
            How do we go from front of the pack to fifth place? Was it injuries, was it peaking to early?
            The other teams looked stronger and seem to have our weakness figured out.
            Please explain…….

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