No. 22 Maryland Wrestling Team Claims 2008 ACC Championship
Hudson Taylor's win at 197lbs clinched the 2008 ACC Tournament Title for the Terrapin Squad, a first since 1973. Christopher Blunck/DC Sports Box
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Led by Hudson Taylor, the No. 22 Maryland Terrapin Wrestling Team claimed it's first ACC Championship title in 15 years as the Terrapins racked up 86.5 points in the contest that unfolded in the Comcast Center.  Maryland finished the contest with five individual championships and put an end to a 21 year lock North Carolina teams had on the coveted ACC trophy.

The Maryland wrestlers had their work cut out for them heading into the finals, placing third coming into the closing contests.  Virginia led the pack with 78.5 points while North Carolina trailed just behind them with 74.0 points.  The Terps rounded out the bracket with 71.5 but had six wrestlers competing in the final duals.

The Terps scraped together five out of six wins, scoring victories in all duals except for the 149lb weight class.  Steven Vell defeated Darrius Little in the 133lb weight class, John Kohler upset Nick Nelson in the 141lb weight class, Brian Letters upset Thomas Scotton in 157lbs, Mike Letss defeated Chris Henrich at 174lb, and Hudson Taylor defeated Dennis Drury at 197lbs.  Eric Medina from the 149lb weight class fell to Darriod Caldwell from NC State in a major 12-2 decision.

Brendan Byrne was defeated in the semi-final round by a narrow 3-2 decision by Ross Gitomer from Virginia.  Byrne had a bye in the first round and didn't wrestle.

Maryland's No. 2 ranked Steven Bell fell Duke's Chris Thumen 22 seconds into the second period, then defeated Jared Jones from Virginia Tech by a 17-6 major decision.  In the final Bell faced Darrius Little from NC State and won by a 6-5 decision in the closing seconds of the match.

In the 141lb weight class Jon Kohler dominated his way to the championship title.  In the first round he blanked Virginia Tech's Chris Diaz by a 6-0 decision.  Kohler then marched on to the semifinal round and defeated Nick Stabile from North Carolina by a 5-2 decision. In the final Kohler didn't give Nick Nelson from Virginia a chance and won by a solid 3-0 margin.

Eric Medina advanced to the 149lb weight class final but was defeated by NC State's Darrion Caldwell in a 12-2 major decision.  In the first round Medina earned a bye and didn't wrestle.  In the semifinal Medina handled Vincent Ramirez from North Carolina by a 11-6 decision, but was solidly handled by Darrion Caldwell in the final match.

At 157lbs Brian Letters advanced to the championship round by defeating Voris Tejada from Duke in the semi-finals by a 3-2 decision. In the final match has was able to upset Thomas Scotton by a 3-2 decision.

Mike McGill was defeated by a 12-0 major decision in the semi-final round when he wrestled Kaegon Mueller from North Carolina.  Mueller advanced to the championship match but was upset by Matt Epperly from Virginia Tech by a 7-2 decision.

The 174lb championship was claimed by Mike Letts from Maryland, who defeated Kyle Kiss from North Carolina by a 12-2 major decision in the semi-final round.  He then squeaked past Chris Henrich from Virginia in the finals by a 4-3 decision.

Maryland's Josh Jaines defeated North Carolina's Nick Tenpenny by a 3-0 decision in the first round of the 184lb weight class but was shut down by Ryan Goodman from NC State by a 6-1 decision in the semi-final.  Goodman advanced to the final but lost to Virginia's Rocco Caponi 7-2.

Hudson Taylor clinched the 197lb weight class, and the Terrapin victory, with his win over North Carolina's Dennis Drury in a 10-5 decision.  Taylor previously offed DJ Bruce from Virginia Tech and Danny Tulley from Duke in a 10-7 decision an 18-1 technical fall.

Maryland's Pat Gilmore was defeated 5-2 in the heavyweight category 5-2 by Justin Dobies from North Carolina.  Dobies advanced to the final and claimed the victory over David Marone by a 4-3 margin.

Maryland now awaits the NCAA Tournament announcements in the upcoming weeks.



2008 ACC Tournament First-Round Photo Gallery



2008 ACC Tournament Semi-Final Photo Gallery



2008 ACC Tournament Finals Photo Gallery