No. 2 Austin O’Connor reached the summit of collegiate wrestling when he beat No. 1 Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) 3-2 to win the 149-pound NCAA Championship under the lights of the Enterprise Center.
With the win, he becomes Carolina’s sixth national champion and first since T.J. Jaworsky won the title in 1995.
After a scoreless 90 seconds to begin the match, O’Connor escaped for the first point of the match.
Down 1-0, Sasso earned a quick escape seconds into the third period to tie the match. With 32 seconds remaining, O’Connor took down Sasso and claimed a 3-1 advantage.
With Sasso taking the point for riding time, O’Connor won 3-2.