2023 US Open champion Mike Macchiavello (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
The ACC was well represented in Vegas for the US Open with wrestlers from all six teams covering freestyle and Greco in both the Senior and U20 divisions. Another interesting tidbit was the conference was also repped by three assistant coaches--Jack Mueller, Cody Brewer and Luke Pletcher, a Director of Operations; Demetrius Thomas and a Student-Athlete Development Coordinator; Hayden Hidlay. Several incoming ACC wrestlers also finished on the podium for the U20 tournament, but we will dive into those later. Let’s take a look at the podium finishers for the ACC.
The Tar Heels had reps at Senior Greco and U20 freestyle and brought home trophies in both styles. Cade Lautt opened the tournament with a seventh-place finish in Senior Greco at 97 kg. Nick Fea and Jayden Scott finished on the podium for U20 freestyle. Fea finished in fourth at 74 kg while Scott ended in eighth at 65 kg; Scott defaulted his final two matches and finished with a 7-3 record for the tournament.
North Carolina State:
The Wolfpack had a great weekend in Vegas, especially with the performances by Pack alumni. This was topped off by a US Open title from Mike Macchiavello at 92 kg; he secured a spot at Final X and will face the winner of the WTT tournament. Nick Gwiazdowski also made the finals at 125 kg where he fell to Olympic Champion Gable Steveson. Tommy Gantt finished in sixth at 74 kg and Hayden Hidlay finished in fifth at 70 kg.
Current Pack wrestlers also left Vegas with some hardware. Isaac Trumble had a fantastic tournament run, making it to the finals before dropping to J’den Cox. Jakob Camacho made his return to competition with a third-place finish at 57 kg. Trent Hidlay finished in fourth at 86 kg while teammate Dylan Fishback finished in sixth. On the U20 side, Jackson Arrington and Chase Horne both finished in seventh place at 70kg and 125kg, respectively, while Troy Hohman finished in eighth at 57 kg.
The Panthers sent a smaller squad to Vegas, but returned with two medalists in the U20 tournament. Luca Augustine brought home a third-place finish at 79 kg while Mac Stout finished in third at 92 kg.
The Hoos saw some solid performances in both age groups, with several wrestlers notching multiple wins in the tournament. They did bring some trophies home to Charlottesville at both Senior and U20. Soon-to-be graduate Jarod Verkleeren earned a sixth-place finish at 70 kg while graduate Jay Aiello finished in fifth at 92 kg. On the U20 side, Colden Dorfman was the lone placer for the Hoos, finishing in fourth place at 92 kg; teammate Nick Sanko had a solid tournament and fell just before the placing round at 5-2 on the weekend at 70 kg.
The Hokies sent a small contingent to Vegas and had trophy finishes from two wrestlers. Graduate Ty Walz finished in seventh at 125 kg and current wrestler Cooper Flynn finished in fifth at 57kg. Assistant Coach Cody Brewer made his return to the mat and finished 3-2 on the weekend.