The North Carolina wrestling team enters this weekend’s Cliff Keen Invite in Las Vegas after a start to the season it would like to forget, but the team remains optimistic.
A number of inopportune injuries constitute a major reason for UNC’s 0-7 start. In Saturday’s Northeast Duals, UNC had to forfeit three weight classes — 165, 174 and heavyweight — in each of its three losses to nationally ranked opponents.
UNC fell to No. 16 Rutgers, No. 22 Pennsylvania and No. 10 Lehigh by scores of 33-9, 32-12 and 27-17, respectively.
“It is what it is,” coach C.D. Mock said of his team’s slate of injuries. “We’re hoping to have almost everybody back and healthy for this weekend.”
Leading UNC into the weekend is an impressive crop of underclassmen, highlighted by freshmen Evan Henderson and Alex Utley. Henderson has an 11-1 record on the year, while Utley has gone 8-6. Sophomore Corey Mock has also performed well, with a record of 8-4.