Evan Henderson (Chris Gluth, Mirror Image Photography)
Evan Henderson (Chris Gluth, Mirror Image Photography)
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Henderson Takes Fourth At NCAA Championships
Release: 03/22/2014

OKLAHOMA CITY --- Evan Henderson became North Carolina's first two-time All-America wrestler since 2005 and the highest Tar Heel finisher in 18 years with a fourth-place performance at the 2014 NCAA Wrestling Championships at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Henderson defeated Joey Lazor of Northern Iowa 11-8 in the consolation semifinals to secure a top-4 finish.

Led by Henderson's fourth-place finish, Carolina scored 15.5 team points to finish tied for 25th in the final standings. All seven ACC schools finished in the top 30 nationally, led by Virginia Tech in eighth.

Henderson's bout with Lazor in the consolation semis was a wild affair that featured big momentum swings and a lengthy injury delay. Henderson got an early takedown before the match was stopped so Lazor could receive medical attention. After using all of his injury time and getting medically cleared by the tournament doctor, Lazor was able to continue.

Henderson had the choice after the injury stoppage and chose to start on bottom. That paid dividends quickly, as the junior from New Florence, Pa., got a reversal and then a two-count near fall to move ahead 6-0. But after nearly catching Henderson with a defensive fall, Lazor got a reversal and a near fall of his own to make it 6-4 after one.

Henderson started down in the second and got a standing reversal to make it 8-4. Incredible, the two competitors traded two more reversals in the period to make it 10-6 after two. With riding time not a factor, Henderson rode out most of the third period before Lazor got yet another reversal to make it 10-8. But Henderson quickly escaped and finished out the 11-8 win to guarantee himself a top-4 finish.

In the third place match, Henderson had to face No. 1 seed Mitchell Port of Edinboro for a second time in the tournament. This time, it was Port who got the best of it, winning by major decision, 9-1.

Nevertheless, it was another successful NCAA Championships for Henderson, who led Carolina to back-to-back top-25 finishes for the first time since the Tar Heels did it 13 straight years from 1985-97. Henderson finished 37-8, matching his win total from a season ago and joining Rob Koll, T.J. Jaworsky and Doug Wyland as the only Tar Heels to win at least 37 matches in two difference seasons.

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