STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The North Carolina wrestling squad had nine wrestlers finish among the top eight in their weight classes at Penn State's Nittany Lion Open on Sunday.
Evan Henderson led the way with a second place showing at 141 pounds as the sophomore cruised into the semifinals with three straight pins.
The Tar Heels also fared well at 125 and 165 pounds with four wrestlers finishing among the top four. Freshman Nathan Kraisser finished third at 125 pounds by beating fellow Tar Heel Brian Bokoski in the third-place bout.
The 165-pound weight class saw a pair of Tar Heels in the third-place bout as well with Corey Mock besting John Staudenmayer.
Nick Heilmann claimed a fourth place finish at 149 pounds, while Christian Barber followed close behind with a sixth-place finish.
Also finishing sixth in his weight class was sophomore Alex Utley who placed sixth at 184 pounds. Freshman Joey Ward wrapped up the place holders with a seventh-place showing at 133 pounds.
Nathan Kraisser went 4-1 on the day en route to a third place finish. Kraisser opened with a major decision before pinning Nathan Santhanam of Army in 1:41. An 11-9 overtime win pushed Kraisser into the semifinals against No. 2 Nico Megaludis of Penn State. Megaludis claimed an 8-1 decision over the No. 14 Kraisser who bounced back with an 18-4 major decision over teammate Brian Bokoski.
Bokoski was 4-2 at Penn State as he reached the quarterfinals with a decision, a pin and a tech fall before beating Old Dominion's Rob Deutsch, 7-4, to advance to the semifinals. Bokoski faced Pittsburgh's Anthony Zanetta in the semifinal where Zanetta finished a pin in 2:43 before falling to Kraisser in the third-place bout.
Jake Reinemund was 0-2 on the day as he dropped a 16-3 major decision to Lock Haven's Kaleb Lemaire and a 6-2 decision to Ronald Hicks of Clarion.
No. 19 Joey Ward posted a 4-2 record en route to a seventh-place finish Sunday. Ward posted 9-1 and 9-5 decisions before dropping a 9-1 decision to Lehigh's Mason Beckman. Ward bounced back with a pin in 1:40 of No. 16 Erik Galloway of Buffalo. Ward suffered a pin to drop him to the seventh-place bout where he won on a medical win.
Pat Owens was 1-2 on the day with a 9-0 major decision win and a pair of narrow losses, 3-1 and 5-4.
Freshmen Luke Mario and Matt Williams both went 0-1 on the day.
No. 17 Evan Henderson lived up to his ranking as he cruised into the finals against 2012 All-America Devin Carter of Virginia Tech. Carter bested Henderson 16-8 to drop Henderson to second place. Henderson pinned R.J. LaBeef of Cleveland State (1:11), Jordan Tolbert of Campbell (2:58) and Sam Sherlock of Clarion (2:12) to reach the semifinals.
Henderson matched up with No. 6 Undrakhbayer Khishgnyam of the Citadel where he claimed a narrow 4-3 win to reach the final against Carter.
Freshman Joe Moon was 3-2 at the Nittany Lion Open with a major decision and two decision victories. One of his setbacks came in a 9-4 defeat at the hands of No. 19 Bryan Pearsall of Penn State.
Cody Ross went 1-2 as he claimed a pin in his opening bout before dropping a pair of decisions.
Sophomore Nick Heilmann surrendered just seven points in his four victories en route to the semifinals. Heilmann posted a pair of major decisions before falling in 1:36 to No. 6 Andrew Alton of Penn State. Another Nittany Lion, James English, downed Heilmann in the third-place bout by a 7-3 decision.
Christian Barber went 6-2 on the day to finish in sixth place. Barber claimed a pin in his first bout before being pinned by Alton in the second round. Barber then rolled off five straight wins to reach the fifth-place bout where he dropped a 9-4 decision.
Derek Golner went 1-2 at the tournament with a 15-0 major decision before falling to Augustus Sako of Virginia and dropping a narrow decision, 3-1, to Trey Duncan of Navy.
Ryan Harrington was 1-2 with a 12-3 major decision before dropping a pair of decisions. Chris Mears dropped his lone bout with a 5-4 decision setback to Cody Copeland of Lock Haven.
Corey Mock placed third at 165 pounds with a 4-1 record as he advanced to the semifinals with a pair of major decisions and a 4-2 decision against Nijel Jones of NC State. Mock would drop to the third-place bout after No. 2 David Taylor of Penn State claimed a 17-2 tech fall. Mock faced teammate John Staudenmayer in the third-place bout which he won 6-3.
Staudenmayer had a similar route to the semifinals with a 15-0 tech fall in his opening bout before claiming a 4-3 and a 10-4 decision. The redshirt sophomore met No. 13 Mark Lewandowski of Buffalo in the semifinal and battled Lewandowski to the bitter end before falling, 3-2, to drop to the third-place bout.
Freshman Scott Marmoll posted a 2-2 record with pair of narrow decisions before dropping a 7-0 decision to Lewandowski.
Sophomore Frank Abbondanza battled Lock Haven's Tyler Wood in the opening round and was pinned with one second left in the second period in his only bout of the day.
Sophomore Alex Utley claimed a sixth-place finish on Sunday with a 5-2 record. Utley opened with a 9-1 major decision before back-to-back decisions advanced him to the quarterfinals where he matched up with No. 10 Jimmy Sheptock of Maryland. Sheptock would down Utley, 8-3, to drop Utely to the consolation bracket. Utley bounced back in a big way with a 16-1 major decision before a 9-6 decision put the sophomore in the fifth-place bout where he fell by a 4-0 margin.
Sophomore Antonio Giorgio was 0-2 on the day as he was forced to withdraw due to medical reasons.
Redshirt freshman Jake Barnhart dropped his lone bout of the day, a 6-0 decision to Wyatt Baker of Columbia.
Up next for the Tar Heels will be a trip to Evanston, Ill. for the Midlands Championships set for Dec. 29 and 30.