Monarch Wrestling Heads to CAA Championships

March 06, 2003
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

March 6, 2003

The Old Dominion wrestling team will compete in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Tournament this weekend hosted by Hofstra University. Competition begins at 2 p.m. on Friday and continues at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The championship round will be held Saturday night at 6 p.m.

In all, 27 wrestlers from this weekend's competition will advance to the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Kansas City, Missouri on March 20-22. The first and second place finishers in each weight class will qualify for the NCAA's as well as 10 wild card participants, selected by the coaches, following the conclusion of the CAA Championships. The eighth, ninth and tenth wild cards will be listed in rank order as alternates.

As a team, ODU is 6-10 on the season with a 2-5 CAA mark and currently has five wrestlers ranked in the conference, four of which will be in action this weekend.

Junior heavyweight Derrell Lorthridge (Wilmington, DE) leads the team with a 25-5 record and is ranked second in the league behind Drexel's Mike Carroll. Carroll handed Lorthridge his only loss in conference action and one of his two defeats in dual competition.

Senior Ben Summerlin (Lynchburg, VA) is coming off his best season as a Monarch boasting a 22-5 record and a team-high 11 pins at 174 pounds. He will carry a fourth place ranking into the conference tournament and will look to make it back to the NCAA Tournament after qualifying as a member of the Division II Longwood College team.

Other ODU hopefuls include freshman 184-pounder Adam Wright (Bridgewater, VA) and junior 125-pounder John Starkes (Chesapeake, VA). Wright is 24-8 in his rookie campaign and is tied with a team-high 11 decisions. He is 5-1 in CAA dual matches this season and is ranked fifth in the conference. Starkes has fought back from early season injuries to post a 10-8 record and a sixth place ranking.

"Everyone is pretty healthy and anxious to get up there. We hope to wrestle well and get some guys in the finals and work to pick up some at-large bids. Lorthridge is in good position as a two seed and Wright, Summerlin and Starkes could start out in the four or five slot. Chris Buckner (133) and Dennis Whitby (157) face some tough competition but have come on strong late in the year and we hope they will carry that momentum into the tournament," adds head coach Gray Simons.

Schedule of Events:             Saturday, March 8
Friday, March 7                     Second Round Consolations - 10 a.m
First Round - 2 p.m.                    Semifinals - Noon
Quarterfinals - 4:30 p.m.               Third Round Consolations - 2 p.m.
First Round Consolations - 7:30 p.m.    Consolation Finals - 4 p.m
                                        Championship Finals - 6 pm