Olson Takes Runner-Up Honors In 157-Pound Championship
UNC senior Brody Olson (157 lbs.) took runner-up honors in the title match at the 2003 NCAA Wrestling Championships in Wheeling, W. Va. Olson lost a 2-1 decision to Paul Carlson (North Dakota State). Carlson had beaten Olson twice earlier in the season (3-1 and 3-2).
As a team the Bears placed 7th overall at the championships. Along with Olson's 2nd-place finish, UNC placed four All-Americans at the 2003 championships. Olson (157 - 2nd), Ronnie Stafford (141 - 5th), Jared Deaguero (165 - 4th) and Tanner Linsacum (174 - 5th) placed in the top eight and walk away with All-American titles.
Olson scored a 3-1 decision over Adam Morris (Findlay Univ.) in the championship semifinals. Olson will take on Paul Carlson (North Dakota State) in the 157-pound championship match. Olson finished 7th overall at the 2002 NCAA Wrestling Championships and has clinched his second straight All-America performance.
Scott Hewit (157 lbs.) was the last UNC wrestler to claim an individual national title when he won the championship in 1999. Hewit was the 7th UNC wrestler to win a national title. At the Division I level, two wrestlers earned the honor: Len Lordino (191 pounds) in 1961 and Jack Flasche (157 pounds) in 1962. Since becoming Division II, the following wrestlers have won national titles: Len Groom (130 pounds) in 1969, Larry Wagner (157 pounds) in 1970, Mike Pantoya (134 pounds) in 1990 and 1991 and Mike Leberknight (177 pounds) in 1992 and 1993.
Junior Tanner Linsacum (174 lbs.) entered Saturday's matches in the championship bracket but suffered a 12-5 loss to Jon Duncombe (St. Cloud State) in the semifinals. Linsacum then lost a 12-6 decision to Thad Pike (North Dakota State) in the consolation semifinals. Linsacum was then set to wrestle for 5th/6th place against Tommy Bauer (Ashland Univ.), however Bauer was forced to give a medical forfeit and Linsacum claimed the victory and 5th place overall. Linsacum also earns All-America honors for his top-8 finish.
Junior Ronnie Stafford (141 lbs.) started Saturday with a 2-0 victory over Jason Nestor (Pittsburgh-Johnstown) in the consolation third round. Stafford then suffered a 1-1 tiebreaker loss to Shaine Jaime (Central Washington) in the consolation semifinals. Stafford bounced back in the 5th/6th place match with an 8-4 win over Ronald Paterniti (Gannon Univ.) to claim 5th place and his second straight All-America effort. Stafford placed 3rd in the nation at the 2002 NCAA Wrestling Championships.
Sophomore Jared Deaguero (165 lbs.) began Saturday's action with a 7-3 victory over Greg Chirieleison (Colorado Mines) to advance to the consolation semifinals. Deaguero continued with his winning ways in the next round with a pinfall (3:44) victory over Dwayne Coward (North Carolina-Pembroke). Deaguero then challenged Matt Neumuller (St. Cloud State) in the 3rd/4th place match. Neumuller scored a 5-2 victory over Deaguero to capture 3rd place and place Deaguero in 4th overall. But Deaguero despite the 4th-place finish, Deaguero does earn All-America honors and makes it a family affair as his brother, T.J., was a three-time All-American at UNC as well.
NOTES: The Bears' 7th-place finish is the highest finish in school history since the 1996 NCAA Championships (hosted by UNC) when the Bears placed 5th overall ... Tony Benallo (134 lbs.) was the last UNC wrestler to lose in the championship match ... Benallo placed 2nd overall at the 1996 NCAA Championships ... the last time UNC had four All-Americans was at the 1998 NCAA Championships.