Virginia Tech Wrestling Finishes 15th at NCAA Championships

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Korbin Myers Virginia Tech Wrestling
Korbin Myers placed fourth at the NCAA Championships in the 133-pound weight class, capping off a strong senior year. (Virginia Tech Athletics)

Three Virginia Tech wrestlers reached All-American status at the 2021 NCAA Wrestling Championships, but as a team, the Hokies finished a disappointing 15th in the final team scores.

Here are the team scores:

Korbin Myers (4th place at 133 pounds), Sam Latona (6th place at 125 pounds), and Hunter Bolen (7th place at 184 pounds) were the Hokie All-Americans.

Myers, seeded No. 3 in the 133-pound weight class, came in fourth to finish off a strong senior season that saw him go 11-1 leading up to the Championships. Myers’ season came after he missed all of 2019-2020 with an injury. He was featured in one of a handful of “Dear Wrestling” letters that were included on the NCAA Wrestling Twitter feed:

Redshirt freshman Sam Latona came in as the No. 2 seed but ran into a wrestler he couldn’t handle in 7 seed Taylor LaMont from Utah Valley. LaMont beat Latona 7-4 in the quarterfinals, and they later met in the 5th-place matchup in the wrestlebacks, where LaMont beat Latona again, 4-1.

Hunter Bolen was seeded No. 5 and nearly wrestled to his seed, finishing 7th.

Overall, the Hokies had five top-eight seeds, and none of them wrestled to seed, though Myers and Bolen came close. In addition to Myers, Latona, and Bolen, the Hokies had Bryce Andonian seeded No. 6 at 149 pounds. He was beaten 8-3 by the 3 seed in the quarterfinals, and then lost his first match in the wrestlebacks to the 17 seed.

Most disappointing of all was the outcome for 4 seed Mekhi Lewis, the defending champion at 165 pounds, who had to withdraw after his second match because of the injury he suffered dating back to the final dual meet of the season against Pittsburgh. Lewis came into the Championships armored up like a cyborg in an effort to protect his injury:

Mekhi Lewis Virginia Tech Wrestling
Mekhi Lewis, shown here in the huge brace he wore at the 2021 NCAA Championships. (NCAA Wrestling Twitter)

But it wasn’t enough, and Lewis was still clearly injured. He won his first match against Brian Meyer of Lehigh 8-3 without severe distress, but in the next match against 13 seed Tanner Skidgel of Navy, Lewis was in agony. He took a full injury timeout at one point, then gutted out a narrow 3-2 decision to close out his Thursday.

Here’s Lewis, in pain after his win over Skidgel:

On Friday morning, Virginia Tech wasted no time announcing that Lewis couldn’t go on and was withdrawing:

Had Lewis been healthy and able to wrestle to his seed, that would have pushed the Hokies as a team into the top ten, even with everything else that went on.

Here are the results for Virginia Tech’s other wrestlers in the Championships:

  • 157: 27 seed Connor Brady went 0-2, losing to the 6 seed and 22 seed.
  • 174: 27 seed Dakota Howard went 0-2, losing to the 6 seed and 22 seed.
  • HWT: 18 seed Hunter Catka went 1-2, losing to the 15 seed, defeating the 31 seed, and losing to the 17 seed.

For the 2021 Virginia Tech Wrestling team, the highlights were winning the ACC Dual Meet Championship, the stellar season of Korbin Myers, and the promising debuts of several freshmen. The Hokies know they have much work to do, but they also have a young team and a lot of talented wrestlers.

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14 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Brady wrestled at 154 not 149.
    This team is a year or two away from accomplishing really bigger and better things. With a healthy Mekhi and the young dudes with more experience, things will only get better. Our recruiting continues to be great and our coaching staff is super. Very bright future for the Hokies.

  2. Look how high this team has risen that they finish 15th in the country, with 3 All Americans including a first time freshman and first time senior AA, and it feels disappointing. They would have had another AA and been top ten for sure if Mekhi wasn’t injured. They are going to be stronger and even better the next couple of years. Great job guys!

    And while it stinks finishing behind Pitt and NC State, the ACC is no longer an afterthought on the national wrestling scene.

    Nice recap, Will.

    1. Though not in the ACC, it also stinks that we finished behind Rutgers – just sayin’ 🙂 !

  3. Way it goes. Something was up with Lewis even before Pittsburgh, me seems and of course that difference between head to head and in a tournament. Beat Pittsburgh and NC State in duals and fall behind them here. We’ll always have “two two two” though. Great moment.

  4. Will, thanks for the nice article and the team scores. Proud of the guts our guys displayed. Happy for coach Dresser at ISU.

  5. Disappointing finishing behind Pitt and NCState. If Lewis is healthy and wins we would have passed Pitt and finished in top 10 overall. But, still a great season overall. Lewis is just a soph so that’s good news. If the injury was career threatening I assume he would not have wrestled at all.

    1. He needs a LONG off season to heal-up and then, a good regimen to get his shoulder stronger so he never thinks about it again.

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