Jimmy Sheptock punctuated the Maryland wrestling team's final ACC championships with his third straight conference title Saturday night in Blacksburg, Va.
The Terps qualified four wrestlers automatically to the NCAA championships. In addition to Sheptock, Tyler Goodwin (133), Christian Boley (197) and Spencer Myers (285) will all travel to Oklahoma City in two weeks.
"We're excited for Jimmy. He did a great job today," coach Kerry McCoy said. "He's never lost to an ACC wrestler, and he should be the No. 1 seed in NCAAs. Qualifying four guys to the NCAA tournament is good. It's not what we came for, but we've got to make the best of it." Virginia Tech captured the team title with a total score of 87. The Terps finished fifth with 37.5.
Seeded No. 1, Sheptock only needed one win to advance to the finals. The senior put on a workmanlike performance to defeat Virginia's Jon Fausey, 2-0. In the finals, Sheptock secured a third period takedown after some slick defense to earn a 3-1 victory over second-seeded Max Thomusseit of Pittsburgh.
With the wins, Sheptock moved his record to 28-0. His individual title is the 200th in Maryland history.
Goodwin provided fireworks at 133 pounds to gain his first NCAA tournament bid. After a 6-5 decision win against No. 5 Troy Heilman of Virginia, Goodwin faced top-seeded Shelton Mack of Pittsburgh in the semifinals. After a tough first period, the Terps freshman caught the nationally ranked Mack in a pinning predicament and finished for a fall at 3:16. Goodwin fell to Virginia Tech's Dennis Gustafson in the final, but punched his ticket to NCAAs with the second-place finish.
Myers, looking for his third ACC title, pinned Bob Coe of North Carolina to advance to the semis. The junior gained entry into the final with a 2-1 victory over P.J. Tasser. In the title match, Myers fell to No. 1 Nick Gwiazdowski, 10-4.
By virtue of his No. 1 seed, Boley had a bye into the semifinals, but Virginia Tech's Zach Nye outlasted the Terp senior 3-1 in sudden victory. Boley would defeat KaRonne Jones in the consolation semifinals before losing to Duke's Conner Hartmann in the third-place bout.
Maryland leaves the ACC with a conference high 24 team titles. In addition to 200 individual champions, Maryland has four ACC Wrestler of the Year honors and six ACC Coach of the Year awards.
The Terps will finish their season with a trip to Oklahoma City for the NCAA championships. Action begins March 20 and runs to March 22 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun