NCAA announces qualifier allocations

ACC grabs 21 automatic bids to 2011 Championships

February 23, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS - The NCAA has announced the qualifier allocations for the 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships and the ACC has grabbed 21 of the automatic bids based on the qualifying system. While it?s not certain that all will qualify, Virginia Tech landed seven of the 21 spots for the conference.

Each qualifying tournament was awarded spots per weight class based on current year data. Each wrestler was measured on the following: Division I winning percentage; rating percentage index (RPI); and coaches ranking.

For each wrestler that reached the threshold in at least two of the three categories, his qualifying tournament was awarded a qualifying spot in that weight class. Each qualifying tournament was awarded a minimum of one wrestler per weight class, which will go to the tournament champion, even if they did not have any wrestlers reach at least two of the three thresholds. NCAA tournament spots for each qualifying event will be awarded at the tournament based solely on place-finish.

The Atlantic Coast Conference earned the following bids at each weight class: 125: 2; 133: 1; 141: 3; 149: 2; 157: 3; 165: 2; 174: 2; 184: 3; 197: 2; 285: 1 for 21 total spots.

Tech had six wrestlers earn gold status: Jarrod Garnett at 125 pounds, Devin Carter at 133 pounds, Chris Diaz at 141 pounds, Brian Stephens at 149 pounds, Jesse Dong at 157 pounds and David Marone at heavyweight. Pete Yates earned a spot for the league at 165 pounds with a silver status. Matt Epperly only qualified in the RPI at 174 pounds, meaning he is a bronze status wrestler. He will have to finish in the top two at his weight class at the upcoming ACC Championships to automatically qualify, or finish third and hope to earn an at-large spot.

Garnett is ranked 13th in the coaches poll and 13th in the RPI at 125 pounds; Carter is ranked 10th in the coaches poll and ninth in the RPI at 133 pounds; Diaz is ranked 18th in the coaches poll and 13th in the RPI at 141 pounds; Stephens is ranked 12th in the coaches poll and 11th in the RPI at 149 pounds; Dong is ranked fifth in the coaches poll and fifth in the RPI at 157 pounds; Yates is ranked 22nd in the coaches poll but not in the RPI at 165 pounds; Epperly is ranked 30th in the coaches poll and 27th in the RPI at 174 pounds; and Marone is ranked 18th in the coaches poll and 16th in the RPI at 125 pounds. John Dickson (184) and Chris Penny (197) will have to earn their way in by pulling upsets to finish in the automatic qualifier are for their respective weight class.

After all of the qualifying events have concluded, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will meet in-person to select the remaining 48 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on March 9. All weight classes will consist of 33 wrestlers. The at-large selections will be made based on the following criteria: head-to-head competition; qualifying event placement; quality wins; results against common opponents; winning percentage; RPI; coaches ranking and the number of matches contested at that weight class.

The ACC Wrestling Championships will be held March 5 at UVa?s John Paul Jones Arena. The 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships will be held March 17-19 at Philadelphia?s Wells Fargo Arena.

For more information on the qualifier status, as well as all of the other conference's bids, go to the NCAA website.

For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Wrestling).