March 19, 2003
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Senior Jake Stork is headed into nationals for the third time in three years Thursday in Kansas City, Mo. Stork, the nation's leader in pins with 23, will face the winner of Purdue's Ben Wissel and VPI's Scott Justus in the first round of the tournament.
Stork is entering nationals having won 27 of his last 28 matches, and is second in the 184-pound weight class in wins with 35. Stork's one loss in his last 28 matches came in the ACC championship match, a 10-4 decision against North Carolina's Dusty Heist.
Should Stork advance to the second round of the tournament, he may face Penn State's Mark Becks, the wrestler he faced in the finals of the Penn State Open earlier in the year. Stork will be looking to avenge that 6-5 loss, and advance deep into the tournament.
Last season Stork advanced to the third round of wrestle backs before being knocked out of the tournament by Indiana's Victor Sveda.
Sophomore Adam James will not wrestle at the NCAA tournament. As the second alternate, James was banking on two wrestlers to drop out of the tournament, but that never happened. Virginia's heavyweight Josh Etu was the sole ACC wrestler to withdraw from the tournament. He tore his ACL during practice last week.