Caleb Henson Leads #9 Virginia Tech to 23-11 Victory Over #22 Appalachian State

Caleb Henson Leads #9 Virginia Tech to 23-11 Victory Over #22 Appalachian State
Photo Credit: Virginia Tech Athletics
Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP

TLP: Editor
Jan 14, 2023

Caleb Henson has beaten some impressive competition that brought him to the verge of the top 10 at #11 in the 149-pound weight class. Friday night presented an opportunity for him to show that he should be ranked in the top 10 when he took on #8 Jonathan Millner, a two-time All-American and four-time SoCon champion.

The competition was tough but in a match that was chosen to be the opener in Boone, Henson set the tone for a strong night for the Hokies with a thrilling 6-4 win over Millner in sudden victory.

Henson's victory kicked off what was a strong night for the Hokies on their way to a 23-11 victory over #22 Appalachian State. The win for Henson to open not only gives him a good chance at earning ACC Wrestler of the Week, but should also easily put him in the top 10 as a legitimate threat to be an All-American this year.

Tech went through a rough stretch in the next two bouts as Clayton Ulrey had a bad night losing a 12-4 major decision to #31 Tommy Askey at 157 before while Ty Finn struggled filling in for Clayton Brady losing a 12-0 major decision to #26 Will Formato at 165. That put the Hokies in an early 8-3 hole, but Tech would turn it around with steady performances from there.

After being out for a few weeks due to injury, #3 Mekhi Lewis had a grind of a bout at 174 but he beat beat Will Miller 6-5 with #7 Hunter Bolen following that up with his usual workmanlike victories beating Luke Uliano 5-1, giving VT a 9-8 lead.

#23 Andy Smith turned up the heat at 197 with a 13-3 major decision against Carson Floyd while #23 Hunter Catka followed that with one of his best dual meet performances of the season with a 12-2 major decision over Mason Fiscella.

#20 Eddie Ventresca has struggled some lately and those struggles continued Friday night as VT's 125 lost #21 Caleb Smith 8-3. With some of his recent struggles, you wonder if Cooper Flynn might have a chance to take the 125 starting job away especially with ACC dual meets kicking off with the NC State showdown next Friday.

#6 Sam Latona had a grinder of a match in Boone, but Tech's standout 133 wrestler continues to have a strong 2022-23 season at his new weight class with a 3-1 sudden victory over #24 Sean Carter. #15 Tom Crook finished out the solid night for the Hokies with a comfortable 9-4 victory over Heath Gonyer.

The stage is now set for the Hokies' showdown with NC State though if Tech is going to be the favorite that they definitely should be, they could use Bryce Andonian and Connor Brady healthy especially the standout Andonian who's availability could swing that match significantly. Meanwhile, Caleb Henson continues to be the next superstar wrestler for Tech who is showing every sign of being an All-American this year and for the entirety of his collegiate career with clear national champion potential down the road.