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Dance, Epperly Lead Commonwealth's NCAA Qualifiers

03/06/2017, 7:30am EST
By Virginia Wrestling Association

8 VA Wrestlers Qualify for NCAA Division I Tourney

ACC Champions Joey Dance (125) and Zach Epperly (174) helped lead their Virginia Tech squad to the 2017 ACC team title and qualified for the NCAA Division I Tournament in St. Louis on March 16-18, 2017. The two Christiansburg HS alumni will be joined in St. Louis by five other Virginia natives: George Mason teammates Ibrahim Bunduka (125) and Sahid Kargo (149); Bunduka (TC Williams HS) finished 3rd and Kargbo (Hayfield) 2nd at the EWL Tournament. Liberty Christian Academy's Andrew Atkinson took 3rd at 157 for the University of Virginia to punch his ticket to the Big Dance. University of Pennsylvania's Brooks Martino, a two-time VHSL State Champion at Robinson finished 2nd at 165 lbs. at the EIWA Tournament. Old Dominion's Michael Hayes, a native of Colonial Forge HS took 5th in the MAC Championships with a dominant 9-5 finish over Nick Barber of Eastern Michigan, berthing his first NCAA Tournament bid. Hayes will be joined in St. Louis by teammate Seldon Wright, coached by Donald Motley at Oscar Smith. Wright, who placed 4th at 165 at the MAC Tournament, received an at-large bid to the 2017 NCAA Division I Tournament.

Two Virginia wrestlers: Trung Duong and Bret Romanzak will compete in the NCAA Division II Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama March 10-11. Duong, wrestling for Newberry College via Brookville HS qualified at 125 lbs. and Romanzak, a Jefferson Forest product qualified at 165 from Ashland University.

Six wrestlers with Virginia ties qualified for the NCAA Division III Tournament, which will take place March 10-11, 2017 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Ferrum and Delaware Valley both qualified two Virginia wrestlers to Nationals: Zach Beckner (Warren County) and Collin Saunders (FW Cox) will compete for Ferrum at 125 and 149 lbs. respectively, while Brentsville District teammates Brendan Velez (125) and Zach Rosenberry (285) will represent Delaware Valley. Cam Timok, a former AAA State Champion from Hermitage HS qualified at 133 lbs. for Central (IA) College and Derek Arnold (Westfield) qualified at 157 lbs. for Ursinus College.

Former New Kent AA State place winner Devonte Fitzgerald represented Central Christian (KA) College at the 2017 NAIA National Championships in Topeka, KA March 3-4, posting a 1-2 record at 149 lbs.

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