The North Carolina wrestling team came out strong to start the season at the Southeast Open, with five wrestlers placing in the event in Roanoke, Virginia.
In the 141-pound group, redshirt senior Joey Ward finished third, beating Duke’s Zach Finesilver 4-3 in his final match. Sophomore A.C. Headlee finished fifth in the group. And redshirt senior Joey Moon finished fifth in the 157-pound group. Junior Chip Ness had the best finish of the day for the Tar Heels, placing second in the 184-pound group and winning three straight bonus points. Redshirt sophomore Cory Daniel finished fifth in the 285-pound group. In the freshman/sophomore event, first-year Andrew Gunning won at 285 pounds. Fellow first-years Josh McClure finished second at 141 pounds and Devin Kane finished third at 174 pounds.
Who stood out?
Ness was the top scorer for the day, finishing second at 184 pounds. Four other Tar Heels placed, with Ward finishing third and Headlee, Moon and Daniel each finishing fifth in their groups. In the freshman/sophomore event, first-years shined for the Tar Heels. Gunning was champion at 285 pounds. And McClure finished second at 141 pounds and Kane finished third at 174 pounds.
When was it decided?
North Carolina began its strong day early with Ness dominating his group en route to a second place finish. That set the tone for the Tar Heels and four other wrestlers placed in events, and the three Tar Heels who placed in the freshmen/sophomore event.
Why does it matter?
This was the first meet of the season for the Tar Heels, and they got off to an encouraging start. Coach Coleman Scott could grasp his athletes skill levels to start the year, and moving forward the team will be able to make improvements.