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Pitt wrestling mourns loss of Mikey Racciato

Mikey Racciato (Photo/Pitt Athletics)

PITTSBURGH -- The University of Pittsburgh wrestling program is mourning the death of 2015 ACC champion and former Pitt student-athlete Mikey Racciato, who has passed away at the age of 26.

"We are all saddened to hear this terrible news," Pitt wrestling head coach Keith Gavin said. "We offer our condolences to the Racciato family and Mikey's friends. Although I did not have the privilege of coaching Mikey, I know he was loved by his teammates, coaches and fans during his time here. He certainly made an impact and will be dearly missed."

"Mikey's personality lit up the room," said Pitt wrestling assistant coach Drew Headlee, who coached Racciato for several seasons. "He always knew how to make everyone laugh. On the mat, he was dangerous from every position, so you could never count him out of any match."

A native of Pen Argyl, Pa., Racciato competed for the Panthers from 2013-17. He was a two-time qualifier for the NCAA Wrestling Championships and earned the 2015 ACC title at 149 pounds.

Racciato developed a reputation in high school as one of the most exciting prep wrestlers in the country. His accomplishments at Pen Argyl High School included multiple individual Pennsylvania state titles, with Racciato accumulating a 184-8 career record during that time and nearly 100 of those wins coming by fall.

Well known throughout the wrestling community for his scrambling talents and ability to pin any opponent, Racciato only furthered his status as a thrilling athlete at the University of Pittsburgh.

While at Pitt, he entered the starting lineup almost immediately as a true freshman and became beloved by Pitt wrestling fans for his mastery of the big moment.

Along with the sudden victory in his ACC championship match against North Carolina's Christian Barber, Racciato will also be remembered for his pin of Penn State All-American James English in a dual and his first-period fall of Oklahoma State national finalist Josh Kindig that propelled the Panthers to an incredible upset victory over the Cowboys in a dual meet on Jan. 19, 2014.

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