Of these five wrestlers, only Utley wrestled in a familiar weight class. But these changes didn’t seem to bother the Tar Heels.
Coach Coleman Scott said he wanted to use this tournament as the stage to introduce his wrestlers at their new weight classes.
The Tar Heels who appeared at a new weight class during the tournament will most likely remain in their current weight class for the remainder of the season.
These changes were made to help these players in pursuit of a national championship and to strengthen the team’s lineup heading into dual meets.
The Tar Heels who made switches all wrestled comfortably and successfully in their new places.
Still, no Tar Heel was able to finish tournament with a first-place finish. UNC will use the remainder of its nonconference games to grow accustomed to the recent changes.
“We felt like (the change) was the best decision for our team. It’s not easy to wrestle in this kind of tournament at a new weight class, but we just wanted our guys to get out on the mat and wrestle.” — Scott on the weight-class changes.
Utley, a redshirt senior, finished the tournament in seventh place after reaching the quarterfinals. His 2014-15 season was cut short due to injury. He was undefeated before his injury.
Three numbers that matter
97.5: The Tar Heels finished fifth in team scoring with 97.5 points, just a point behind Cornell.
50: In his first-ever match at the 149-pound weight class, Henderson pinned Appalachian State's Matthew Zovistoski in just 50 seconds.
1: In his third-place match, Staudenmayer claimed the victory with a one-point sudden victory.
North Carolina will head to Pittsburgh on Saturday to take on Bloomsburg, Columbia and Brown in the Pitt Duals.