Five wrestlers represented North Carolina at the 2017 NCAA Championships over the weekend. Danny Chaid led the way for the Tar Heels, advancing to the Round of 12 at 197 pounds before being eliminated.
Chaid, Troy Heilmann and Ethan Ramos advanced to the second day by finishing 1-1 on Thursday. Heilmann got it started in the 149-pound group, losing his first match by a technical fall before rebounding to win his second. Ramos and Chaid both won their first matches of the day before falling in their second events to place into the consolation brackets of their weight groups at 174 and 197 pounds, respectively. Senior Joey Ward competed in the last NCAA Championships of his decorated collegiate career. The 2016 All-American lost both matches at 141 pounds to finish the season at 26-7. Ward finished his illustrious career with a record of 98-34.
Chaid had a strong Friday, winning his first two matches before falling in the Round of 12 against No. 6 Preston Weigel of Oklahoma State. Chaid won his first match 10-5 and won a 6-5 overtime thriller in his second match. He lost the last contest after a near fall in the final period. Ramos and Heilmann were also eliminated on day two, losing their first matches in the consolation bracket.
Who stood out?
Chaid had a very strong run in his first NCAA Championship appearance. The junior was 3-2 at nationals and advanced to the final 12 of his weight class before losing to Weigel.
Heilmann and Ramos also earned wins for UNC, but each finished the championships 1-3 overall.