The North Carolina wrestling team took on three nonconference opponents in the American Duals in Washington, D.C., on Friday, coming away with a dominating sweep before entering conference play.
UNC (4-2) scored three victories in dual matches against Army (3-3), Wyoming (1-4) and American (3-3). Thirteen different Tar Heels competed during the sweep.
North Carolina commenced its dominant day by running up the score to 13-0 in the first four bouts versus Army. The team only dropped two bouts in the first match, never being pressured en route to a 25-6 victory over the Black Knights. Redshirt junior Troy Heilmann picked up a major decision to accompany seven regular decision wins for UNC.
After winning his first bout, sophomore James Syzmanski couldn’t compete with Wyoming’s Drew Templeman to start the second match of the day for the Tar Heels. He went down 17-0, a tech fall that put the Cowboys up 5-0. A one-point team deduction against Wyoming and a win by North Carolina first-year Nicholas Lirette pulled UNC within one to set up a highly anticipated top-10 bout. UNC’s No. 5 ranked Joey Ward took on Wyoming’s No. 8 Bryce Meredith at 141 pounds and the wrestlers were unable to decide a victor in regulation time. In extra time, the men were tied at 6-6 before Ward scored a take down for an 8-6 sudden victory. This put the Tar Heels on top, and they would only drop one more bout on their way to a 25-7 win.
The Tar Heels fell behind again to start the third match of the day, as American’s No. 7 Josh Terao took down Tar Heel redshirt sophomore Tyrone Klump 6-4 at 125 pounds. The Eagles' Esteban Gomez-Rivera then got a major decision over Lirette to put American up 7-0. The Tar Heels reeled off six straight victories after that, including major decisions by Ward and first year Devin Kane and a pin by No. 7 ranked redshirt senior Ethan Ramos. The Tar Heels came away with a decisive 26-10 win to earn their third victory of the day.