CHAPEL HILL --- Troy Heilmann and Ethan Ramoswon Atlantic Coast Conference titles in their final career matches at Carmichael Arena to lead North Carolina to a third-place finish at the 2018 ACC Wrestling Championships Saturday. Heilmann beat Virginia's Sam Krivus and Virginia Tech's Ryan Blees to claim the 149-pound title, while Ramos topped Duke's Matt Finesilver and Virginia Tech's Hunter Bolen to take gold at 174.
A total of seven Tar Heels earned automatic bids to the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships with their showings Saturday. In addition to Heilmann and Ramos, Zach Sherman (133), Kennedy Monday (157), Chip Ness (184), Danny Chaid(197) and Cory Daniel (285) will travel to Cleveland, marking the second time in three seasons under head coach Coleman Scott that Carolina will send seven competitors to nationals.
Heilmann continued his storybook redshirt senior season with a thrilling victory at 149. After grinding out a 3-0 win over Krivus in the semifinals, Heilmann and VT's Blees were knotted at 1-1 with 30 seconds remaining in the final. With less than 15 to go, Heilmann got in on a single leg and finished with five seconds remaining to win it.
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With two wins Saturday, Heilmann is now 29-4 on the year and figures to be a lock for a top-8 seed at nationals. The win over Blees avenged Heilmann's lone ACC loss of the year, a 3-1 sudden victory decision in Blacksburg last month.
Ramos capped his fourth consecutive ACC final with his second career league title. After an 11-5 victory over Finesilver in the semis, Ramos got his own shot at revenge against VT's Bolen, who majored the Tar Heel redshirt senior 14-6 in the regular season.
This one started much like the last one ended, with Bolen scoring at the opening whistle. But Ramos responded to tie it up a 3 after one, and a late TD in the second made it 7-4. The third period was all Ramos, who hung on for a 10-6 win and a second ACC crown.
Daniel had a shot to give UNC three champs for the first time since 2006, but he dropped a hard-fought heavyweight final to No. 3 Jacob Kasper, 8-4. The redshirt junior knocked off NC State's Mike Boykin in the semis to earn his spot in the final.
Monday, Ness and Chaid all had to work through the consolation brackets to secure the third of three automatic bids at their respective weight classes. Monday scored in the final five seconds to knock off Taleb Rahmani of Pitt at 157, Ness rolled past Pitt's Gregg Harvey and 184 and Chaid outlasted Alec Schenk of Duke at 197.
Sherman was the final Tar Heel to qualify, and he did so in impressive fashion. After a couple of tough losses, the true freshman 133-pounder majored Duke's Josh Finesilver 11-3 for the final of five auto bids at the weight.
The 2018 NCAA Championships start March 15 at Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena.
Carolina finished in third place in the team competition with 52.5 points, five ahead of fourth-place Duke. Virginia Tech held off NC State for the team title, outscoring the Wolfpack by an 81-73 score. Virginia (34.0) and Pitt (33.5) rounded out the team standings.
Zach Sherman - Fifth Place
QF - Jack Mueller (UVA) - L, Dec - 1-6
Cons. SF - Tariq Wilson (NCSU) - L, Dec - 1-2
5th Place Match - Josh Finesilver (Duke) - W, MD - 11-3
QF - Sam Martino (UVA) - W, Dec - 5-2
SF - Brent Moore (VT) - L, MD - 2-11
Cons. SF - Jeremiah Reitz (Duke) - L, TF - 8-25 (5:40)
Troy Heilmann - Champion
SF - Sam Krivus (UVA) - W, Dec - 3-0
F - Ryan Blees (VT) - W, Dec - 3-1
Kennedy Monday - Third Place
QF - Fred Green (UVA) - W, Fall - 0:33
SF - Mitch Finesilver (Duke) - L, Dec - 0-6
Cons. SF - B.C. LaPrade (VT) - W, Dec - 7-5
3rd Place Match - Taleb Rahmani (Pitt) - W, Dec - 3-1
QF - Jake Wentzel (Pitt) - L, Fall - 1:20
Cons. SF - Andrew Atkinson (UVA) - L, MD - 3-11
Ethan Ramos - Champion
SF - Matt Finesilver (Duke) - W, Dec - 11-5
F - Hunter Bolen (VT) - W, Dec - 10-6
Chip Ness - Third Place
QF - Kaden Russell (Duke) - W, Fall - 3:28
SF - Pete Renda (NCSU) L, Dec - 2-4
Cons. SF - Drew Peck (UVA) W, MD - 14-4
3rd Place Match - Gregg Harvey (Pitt) W, Dec - 6-1
Danny Chaid - Third Place
QF - Jay Aiello (UVA) - W, Dec - 6-5
SF - Michael Macchiavello (NCSU) L, Dec - 3-5
Cons. SF - Kellan Stout (Pitt) - W, Dec - 4-1
3rd Place Match - Alec Schenk (Duke) - W, Dec - 4-1
Cory Daniel - Runner-up
QF - Tyler Love (UVA) - W, Dec - 9-7
SF - Michael Boykin (NCSU) - W, Dec - 3-2
F - Jacob Kasper (Duke) - L, Dec - 4-8