Louie Hayes clinches All-America honors at 2021 NCAA Championships
Virginia redshirt senior Louie Hayes locked up All-America honors on Friday night at the NCAA Championships.
The 10 seed at 133 pounds, Hayes will close out his time at the NCAA Championships on Saturday morning when he faces eighth-seeded Chris Cannon of Northwestern in the seventh-place match.
Competition on Saturday begins at the Enterprise Center on ESPN2 at 11 a.m. ET.
Hayes went 1-2 on the Friday, locking up All-America honors with his win on Friday night in the first of two matches in the evening session, pinning Chance Rich of Cal State Bakersfield in the first period. He then closed the evening with a matchup against ninth-seeded Michael McGee of Arizona State, dropping an 8-4 decision to move to Saturday’s seventh-place match in the medal rounds.
Hayes becomes the 17th Virginia wrestler to earn All-America honors.
“One of the best feelings an athlete can experience is seeing their hard work pay off. The support I am getting right now is surreal and I appreciate it so much. Let’s keep riding!” Hayes said.
Hayes opened the day with a quarterfinal matchup against second-seeded Roman Bravo-Young of Penn State, dropping a hard-fought decision to the Nittany Lion by a score of 4-1.
“I’m so proud of Louie Hayes,” UVA coach Steve Garland said. “Anyone that knows this sport knows how hard it is to become an All-American, so what he did today is special. However, what I’m most proud of is his development and how much he has improved since he got to Virginia. He is so much better now, and it has been a long road to get to this point with so much work and so many setbacks, but when it got tough tonight, he found a way. He’s the example for our team. He’s our model for the Virginia Way.”
Jay Aiello and Brian Courtney also saw action on Friday for the Hoos with both wrestlers falling in the morning session to end their seasons. Courtney dropped a 10-9 decision in overtime to Ohio State’s Dylan D’Emilio, while Aiello was pinned by Iowa State’s Marcus Coleman.