Four Black Knights Headed To NCAA Championships

Connor Hanafee

Connor Hanafee

March 19, 2013

WEST POINT, N.Y. - After turning in an outstanding showing at the EIWA Championships, four members of the Army wrestling team will make the trek west to Des Moines, Iowa, to compete at the NCAA Championships (March 21-23). The three-day event will be contested inside the Wells Fargo Arena.

Seniors Connor Hanafee (141 pounds) and Daniel Young (149) will be joined by junior Paul Hancock (165) and freshman Bryce Barnes (197) this weekend after each wrestler automatically qualified for the NCAAs by virtue of their finishes at the EIWA Championships. It marks the most Army wrestlers heading to the NCAAs since the Black Knights sent six in 2008.

Young placed runner-up at 149 pounds in the conference tournament, while Hanafee finished seventh at 141 pounds. Hancock rallied in the consolation bracket to take third at 165 pounds at the EIWAs, while Barnes placed fourth in the 197-pound draw.

Young, the18th-ranked wrestler at 149 pounds according to Intermat, carries a 16-12 overall record into this weekend's action. He ranks among the team leaders with three pins, three technical falls and seven bonus-point victories. Young is making his first career trip to the NCAA Championships. Young, who has excelled in tournament settings this season, authored second-place finishes at the Oklahoma-Gold Classic and New York State Championships.

Hanafee, who shows a 21-13 overall mark, is also making his NCAA debut this weekend. In the midst of his finest season since arriving at the Academy, Hanafee has already established a career high with 21 victories. He placed fourth at the Oklahoma-Gold Classic, while recording fifth-place finishes at the New York State Championships and Southern Scuffle.

Hancock, who leads the Black Knights with 32 wins, 10 major decisions and 14 bonus-point victories, will be making his first-ever appearance at the NCAAs. The third-year standout had just 15 career wins over his first two seasons at West Point before exploding this season posting a 32-10 overall record. In addition to placing third at the EIWA Championships, Hancock also turned in runner-up showings at the New York State Championships and All-Academy Championships.

Barnes has enjoyed a consistently strong plebe season and brings a 25-18 overall mark into his first NCAA Championships. He ranks second on the team with 25 wins and 11 bonus-point victories, third with four major decisions and fourth with five pins. Barnes was runner-up at the All-Academy Championships and Oklahoma-Gold Classic, while taking fourth at the Buffalo Invitational.

The national tournament will get under way on Thursday, March 21, with Session I slated to begin at 11 a.m. Session II is scheduled to commence at 6:30 p.m., that evening. Sessions III and IV will be contested on Friday, March 22, with action scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., respectively. The championships will conclude on Saturday, March 23, with Session V at 10 a.m. and Session VI at 7 p.m.

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