The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday June 7th


Austin O'Connor celebrates during his 157-pound national championship match against Levi Haines of Penn State. O'Connor defeated Haines 6-2. Photo Courtesy of Dave Crenshaw and UNC Athletic Communications. 

'It's going to be hard to forget me': Austin O'Connor's second national title cements his place in UNC history

Austin O'Connor topped the podium for the second time in his collegiate career after defeating Penn State's Levi Haines by a 6-2 decision on Saturday, March 18. For a feat that on the surface appears to be the pinnacle of a near year-long recovery, O'Connor sees it as the ultimate reward of a two-decade long career. “I’d definitely say my career was successful, but it wasn’t what I set out to do — I wanted to be a four-time national champ,” he said. “I came here and accomplished a feat that not many people in their lifetime get to accomplish.”

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UNC graduate Clay Lautt pins his opponent during UNC wrestling's competition against Michigan at Boshamer Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022 at Boshamer Stadium. UNC lost 12-23.

Analysis: Despite high expectations, UNC wrestling off to slow start in new season

The Tar Heels returned a quartet of talented graduate seniors, and the preseason No. 16-ranked team looked to make a push to earn UNC’s first conference crown in over a decade. But the returns of Austin O’Connor — an NCAA individual national champion — and Clay Lautt haven’t equated to immediate success for North Carolina on the mat, as the Tar Heels have dropped six of their first eight dual meets.

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