Two state wrestlers qualify for NCAA Division I nationals
Connecticut Wrestling Online
Two Connecticut natives have earned invitations to compete in the 2017 NCAA Division I wrestling championships in St Louis on March 16-18.
Danbury junior Kevin Jack of North Carolina State earned his third straight NCAA championship berth by winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title at 141 pounds on Saturday. Somers senior Doug Vollaro earned his first NCAA berth by finishing third at 285 pounds in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) championships.
Jack (141) repeated as ACC champion at Reynolds Coliseum on the North Carolina State campus in Raleigh. Jack outscored his two opponents 27-8 on the day, not giving up a single takedown, including a 10-4 win over No. 6 George DiCamillo of Virginia in the finals. He was named the outstanding wrestler of the ACC Tournament.
"It is always fun to win such a great individual title as this weight class in this conference," Jack said. “It was extra special to compete in front of this great crowd and to win the title in Reynolds with my Dad down here. The first step is over, now it's time to turn my attention to the NCAAs."
In his seven ACC wins this year, Jack outscored conference foes 103-25 and did not concede a single takedown. Having won 27 straight matches, Jack will be returning to the NCAA Division I championships for the third straight year.
In addition to the All-ACC honors, NC State earned six NCAA automatic bids on the day. In addition to Sean Fausz (125), Jamal Morris (133), Jack, Brian Hamann (165), and Michael Macchiavello (184), redshirt-senior Mike Kosoy (285 pounds) also earned a bid to NCAAs with his finish. The Pack will also await at-large bids for its other four starters to be announced next week.
In the team race, Virginia Tech claimed top honors with 93 points. NC State placed second with 64 points. Pitt was third (54), followed by Virginia in fourth (52.5), North Carolina in fifth (4) and Duke in sixth (24.5).
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At Lehigh, senior Doug Vollaro finished third in the EIWA Tournament at 285 pounds to earn his first-ever NCAA Tournament berth. Vollaro lost to No. 3 Garrett Ryan of Columbia in the semifinals, 6-2 but rebounded with two straight wins to earn his NCAA Tournament invitation.
Vollaro, who grew up in Somers, beat No. 5 Tyler Green of Bucknell, 4-0 in the consolation semifinals and topped No. 4 Ray O’Donnell of Princeton, 9-5 in the consolation final with four takedowns.
Cornell won the EIWA title for the tenth straight year with 163 points, followed by Lehigh (117½), Princeton (113) and Army (82½).
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The Sacred Heart men's wrestling team ended the season at the EIWA wrestling championships where the team finishing in 16th. The lone Pioneer to pick up a win in a very competitive tournament came from Alex Harnsberger. Harnsberger picked up a 3-2 decision against Butler from F&M in the consolation bracket, but would go on to fall to Sprague, of American University in an 8-3 decision.
The Pioneers ended their season with 3-11 dual meet record.
Sacred Heart (3-11) finished 16th at the EIWA Championships. Alex Harnsberger (149) went 1-2 in the tournament to lead the Pioneers. Xavier graduate Elliott Antler (184) was 0-2 in the tournament.
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At Stanford, sophomore Walker Dempsey (149) went 2-2 in the Pac-12 Tournament at 149 pounds to finish fifth. Dempsey, who is from Greenwich, went to Blair Academy in Pennsylvania for high school. Walker finished 4-6 this year for the Cardinal.
Wesleyan's Carrillo named athlete of the year
MIDDLETOWN, March 1 -- Wesleyan University senior Devon Carrillo and Atlanta Dream guard Bria Holmes have been selected as the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance Bill Lee and Hank O'Donnell athletes of the year. They will be honored at the 76th Gold Key Dinner on April 30 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.
Carrillo is a two-sport standout in football and wrestling, and Holmes, who played for Hillhouse High School, was the first Connecticut native taken in the first round of the WNBA draft. Carrillo helped lead Wesleyan to the NESCAC title in football this past fall and has made the NCAA Division III national championships the last two years in wrestling. Holmes finished her college career at West Virginia last year ranked third in career points (2,001) and field goals made (731).
The awards are given in memory of two former sports editors. Lee was the longtime sports editor of The Hartford Courant. O'Donnell was the former executive sports editor of the Waterbury American and Waterbury Republican newspapers.
Defensive end Dwight Freeney of the Atlanta Falcons, five-time Olympic archer Butch Johnson, Farmington boys soccer coach Steve Waters and former Cheshire swim coach Ed Aston will receive Gold Keys at the dinner.
Carrillo is a standout football player and wrestler at Wesleyan University.
The Middletown High School graduate capped his four-year football career by being named to the New England Small College Athletic Conference's (NESCAC) first team as a running back and wide receiver, and was named to the second team as a punt returner.
He led the NESCAC in punt returns with 22, was second in rushing touchdowns with 12 and 12th in receiving yards with 349.
During his career at Wesleyan, he started at defensive back, linebacker, running back and wide receiver. He also played quarterback out of the Wildcat formation. In his senior year, Carrillo had 807 all-purpose yards in the eight-game season.
His teams were a combined 25-7 and the Cardinals won the NESCAC title in 2013 and 2016 (tied with Trinity). They won Little Three titles in 2013 and 2016.
Carrillo was the recipient of the C. Everett Bacon Award, which is presented annually to the football player at Wesleyan whose efforts during the season contributed most to the team's success. The award was established in 1936 and is the most prestigious in the Wesleyan football program. Bacon was an All-American quarterback at Wesleyan in 1910-12.
Carrillo has also found success as wrestler for Wesleyan. In the 2015-16 season, he was 15-4 in the heavyweight/197-pound classes. He was third in the NCAA Division III Northeast Regional championships and won the Gorrarian Award for the most pins in that tournament.
Carrillo qualified for the NCAA Division III championship in Iowa.
In the 2016-17 season, he started 8-0 at 197 pounds. He was 3-0 at the Scott Viera Tournament, winning the 197-pound championship. He was also 5-0 at the Bud Whitehall Duals at Lycoming College and made the All-Tournament team. He qualified for the NCAA Division III championship at the Northeast Regionals last Saturday.
At Middletown High, Carrillo was the football team's outstanding player. As a wrestler, Carrillo won three Class L championships, two State Open championships, one New England championship and finished seventh nationally in his junior year and was an All-American.