ODU Hosts 2008-09 CAA Championships Friday and Saturday at Oscar Smith High School

March 05, 2009
By ODU Athletics

March 5, 2009

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - The Colonial Athletic Association tournament begins Friday morning with 20 automatic NCAA Tournament bids on the line for the CAA grapplers. Old Dominion hosts the 18th CAA Wrestling Championship at Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake, Virginia starting at 11:00 am on Friday, March 6 and the finals set for 1:00 pm on Saturday, March 7. Hofstra University will be looking for its eighth straight CAA title while host ODU has closed the gap on the Pride for three straight years.

The eight team event will begin with the quarterfinals at 11:00 am on Friday, followed by the first consolation round at 2:00 pm and the semi-finals Friday night at 5:00 pm. The rest of the consolation round will be finished on Saturday morning, starting at 10:00 am and the placing rounds will begin at 1:00 pm.

Admission to the event is $10 for one-day, $15 for a championship ticket good for both days, and $8 per day for discount (children, seniors, and military personnel).

This year, the NCAA has instituted a new qualification process for the NCAA Tournament in St. Louis, Missouri. Last week, the NCAA awarded each conference a certain number of automatic bids, of which the Colonial was given 20 across all ten weights. The CAA was awarded four bids each at 174 and 197 lbs. Instead of having the league coaches select at-large bids this year, the NCAA has devised a committee to fill out the rest of the brackets, rewarding the best wrestlers nationwide. The at-large bids will be announced on March 11 following the conclusion of all the conference qualifying tournaments.

This years tournament features eight returning champions, including the Most Outstanding Wrestler, ODU senior and 6th ranked Ryan Williams. Williams won his first conference championship and second trip to the NCAA Tournament with an upset victory over Hofstra's #2 ranked Charles Griffin in the finals. Other champions returning include 6th ranked James Nicholson (ODU - 125 lbs), 7th ranked Doug Umbehauer (Rider - 184), and 8th ranked Lou Ruggirello (Hofstra - 133).

The 2008 CAA Tournament was the closest in recent history, with Hofstra winning the event posting 104.5 team points and Old Dominion taking second with 87 team points. The ODU Monarchs are the highest ranked CAA team according to the USA Today/InterMat/NWCA rankings released this week, at 16th in the country, a program-high. Hofstra is also nationally ranked, at 23rd in the country. Twenty-four CAA wrestlers are ranked in the final coaches poll of the year including ten in the top fifteen and eight in the top ten.

The eight teams competing in this years CAA Tournament are the #16 ODU, #23 Hofstra, George Mason, Drexel, Binghamton, Boston University, Rider University, and Sacred Heart University. Brackets, results and other information will be posted on odusports.com throughout the weekend.

Schedule of Events:
Friday, March 6

11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Quarterfinals
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Consolations
5:00 p.m. - Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
10:00 a.m. - Noon - 2nd Round Consolations
1:00 p.m. - Consolations & Finals
True Second and True Fourth Matches - Immediately following finals

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