March 9, 2003
BOONE, N.C. - The Maryland Terps wrestling team did not have the regular season they had envisioned, but the ACC championships, held Saturday in Boone, N.C., provided the forum for individuals to show what they could do.
Three Terps finished in the top three of their respective weight classes including two second- place finishes.
In the 149-pound weight class, Adam James, the #2 seed, advanced to the finals before losing to NC State's Jake Giamoni. James opened up the tournament with a bye in the first round, and in the semi-finals, James faced a familiar foe in Virginia's Paul Bjorlo, and promptly sent him to the loser's bracket. James' next opponent was Giamoni who took a 13-7 advantage to take the ACC title.
Senior Jake Stork, the nation's leader in pins with 23, also earned a first-round bye with his perfect 4-0 regular season ACC record. The 17th-ranked Stork then beat NC State's Jon Godwin before facing North Carolina's Dusty Heist in the finals. Heist wrestled a strong match and was able to knock off Stork to take the ACC crown. The loss was the first for Stork in the last 25 matches.
Another senior, Sal Aquia, entered the ACC tournament with high hopes. The No. 2-seeded Aquia, who had a 3-1 ACC regular season record, lost a tough match to North Carolina's David Dashiell, but he rebounded to beat Duke's Levi Craig and NC State's Matt Gulliver to take third place in the 197-pound weight class.
Senior Mark Reid, wrestling for an injured Eric Fehnel, entered the ACC championships with Fehnel's No. 4 seed. In his first bout at heavyweight in his career, Reid beat Duke's Roy Williams, and ended up finishing fourth overall.
Freshman John-Henry Zarzycki came into the championships hoping to become the first Terp to win an ACC title as a freshman in five years, but it was not to be. Zarzycki, 21-7 on the year, struggled, and was unable to earn a win. In the first round of the tournament, Zarzycki earned a bye with his No. 3 seed, but then consecutive losses to Brian Baglio Ryan McCallum knocked him out of the tournament.
In the 125-pound weight class, the fifth-seeded Matt Pandullo opened up competition with a loss to Duke's Tommy Hoang. Pandullo then was knocked out of the tournament by Virginia's Brian Sticca.
Mike Lupa, wrestling at 133 pounds, took his No. 5 seed and advanced all of the way to the consolation match of the loser's bracket, and took home fourth place in the tournament.
Third-seeded Jason Kiessling advanced to the semi-finals with a bye in the first round, and lost to NC State's Scott Garren, but was able to ultimately make it to the finals of the consolation bracket, finishing in fourth place overall.
In the 165-pound weight class, John Antonelli, the No. 5 seed scored a major win defeating Virgiia's 27 match winner Will Durkee in the first round of the consolation bracket. After a loss to Michael Mitchell of Duke to send him to the consolation bracket, Antonelli rebounded and defeated Durkee to finish fourth for the championships.
Patrick Cissne, wrestling at 174 pounds, lost to Virginia's Brian Muir before dropping down to the consolation bracket.
Overall the Terps finished in fourth place with 36 points.