Wrestlers Open 2001-02 Campaign at West Virginia Open

Nov. 7, 2001

College Park, Md.The Terrapin wrestling squad travels to Morgantown, W. Va. to compete in the West Virginia Open tournament to begin at 9 a.m on Saturday. The team begins the season a week earlier than usual as this weekend's open tournament replaces the East Stroudsburg Open as the normal season opening event. Maryland will head to East Stroudsburg Nov. 17. The West Virginia Open will replace the annual Coppin State dual meet on the schedule.

Head Coach John McHugh begins his 24th season at the helm of the Maryland squad. McHugh is excited about Saturday's tournament, saying, "I think we are in better shape this year than last year beacuase of the early start date."

Returning 11 lettermen and nine starters, the 2001-2002 Terrapin wrestling team is posed for a breakout year. With 16 freshmen newcomers added to the squad, the team is relatively young. Four NCAA qualifiers return balancing out the Terrapin attack. Coach McHugh will try and mix his young talent with the experience of his older wrestlers in hopes of rebuilding on last years 5-5 dual record.

The 2001 version of the wrestling team placed fifth at the ACC Championships, sending four wrestlers to the NCAA nationals for the second consecutive year. Three of the four NCAA qualifiers who made the trip to Iowa City last year are back adding to an explosive Maryland starting lineup which also returns another NCAA qualifier from the 2000 campaign. Leading the way for the Terps will be three-time ACC Champion and three-time NCAA qualifier, senior Brandon York (Gaithersburg, Md.). This year, York will take on a new challenge as he moves up to contend at the 141-pound weight class. Other returning NCAA qualifiers who look to make another trip to nationals, held this year in Albany, N.Y., include seniors Josh Weidman (Hershey, Pa.), a two-time NCAA qualifier, and Jake Stork (Mohrsville, Pa.) who will compete at 184 pounds.

Maryland also returns three more veterans including sophomore Jeremy Duncan (Platte City, Mo.) at the heavyweight position who comes off a red-shirt. After completing their first year as a starter in 2001, redshirt junior Bryan Robinovitz (Hillsborough, N.J.) returns at 149 while senior Joe Guzzio (Greensboro, N.C.) moves to 133, replacing the role vacated by York, to round out a very experienced starting lineup.

Coach McHugh has a bright outlook on the season and has aspirations of claiming his first ACC title at Maryland while taking atleast four qualifiers to nationals for the third straight year.

"I feel this team has great potential to win an ACC title," he said. "We have talent in every position and have worked hard in the off season. Brandon York has a chance to make new strides in Maryland wrestling and our team has a great chance to stride to the top of the ACC this season."