Pack Wrestling Ready for NCAA Championships
March 20, 2013
TV Info | @PackWrestle
RALEIGH, N.C. - The NC State wrestling team will have three wrestlers competing this week at the 2013 NCAA Championships, which start Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa. Junior Joe DeAngelo (125 pounds) and freshman Sam Speno (133) were awarded automatic bids based on their finish at the ACC Championships, and junior Nijel Jones (165) received an at-large bid.
DeAngelo got a late start with the Pack, joining NC State at the semester break. He went 7-7 on the season, all in dual matches after missing the fall tournaments. DeAngelo faced tough competition in ACC action, where the 125-pound weight class was awarded four NCAA qualifying spots. He wrestled six matches against NCAA qualifiers.
DeAngelo will face Christian Cullinan of Central Michigan (21-7) in first round action. The winner will advance to face the winner of No. 4 seed Nicholas Megaludis of Penn State (24-3) and Kevon Powell of Ohio (8-13).
In his rookie season with the Pack, Speno finished with a 16-12 mark, including 5-5 in dual meets this season. The 133-pound weight class was awarded an ACC-best five qualifying spots, and Speno beat top-seed Geoffrey Alexander to earn the bid at the ACC Championships. Speno will be very familiar with his competition in his bracket, as he has wrestled 11 matches against NCAA qualifiers this season.
Speno will face Derek Steeley of Binghamton (15-12), who was coached by NC State head coach Pat Popolizio for two years at Binghamton, before he came to NC State. The winner will go on to face the winner of No. 4 seed A.J. Schopp of Edinboro (29-3) and Rosario Bruno of Michigan (14-16).
Jones, who had to await the NCAA’s at-large announcement, led the Pack in wins this season, going 26-11 and was ranked in numerous polls throughout the year. During the season, Jones faced 10 NCAA qualifiers.
Jones will start off with No. 9 seed Josh Veltre of Bloomsburg (32-5) in the first round. The winner will face the winner of No. 8 seed Nicholas Sulzer of Virginia (24-8) and Bret Baumbach of Stanford (22-10).
Complete tournament information can be found here.