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Four Wrestlers Named to VaSID All-State Teams
Harner and Walker were named to the first-team all-state squad, followed by Kelley and Porter's placement on the second-team all-state listing.
Harner (Jr., Norristown, Pa.) was the all-state selection at 141 pounds, thanks in part to his 32-12 overall record and second-straight NCAA National Championship appearance. He led the squad in total victories and in wins by fall (11).
The rising senior advanced to the "Sweet 16" at this year's national championship event, posting a 2-2 record which including a victory over Old Dominion's Ryan Williams, who was ranked No. 17 at the time of the bout.
Walker (So., Newark, Del.) followed Harner as a first-team honoree at heavyweight, ending the year with a 31-11 overall mark. Walker also made his second-straight appearance at the NCAA National Championship, following one of the most successful regular seasons in program history, as he was ranked No. 16 heading into the national event.
Porter (So., Parkersburg, W.Va.) followed suit with Harner by advancing to the "Sweet 16" at this year's NCAA National Championship. The national run included the program's first-ever championship round victory, when he upended No. 16 Kurt Swart of Boise State. The 165-pounder finished the year with a 28-19 overall record.
Kelley (So., Mineral Wells, W.Va.) was one of two national championship rookies for Liberty, as the 174-pound wrestler won the NCAA East Regional to earn a national-qualifier spot. Wrestling up three weight classes from his freshman season, Kelley finished the year with a 29-19 overall mark.
Old Dominion swept the Commonwealth's major awards, as 125-pounder James Nicholson was named VaSID Wrestler and Rookie of the Year, while Monarch's skipper Steve Martin was tabbed VaSID Coach of the Year.
The VaSID all-state wrestling team was selected from the nine wrestling programs across the state, including six Division I programs. Old Dominion led all schools with four first-team selections, while the Monarchs and Virginia each had six overall picks.
The Flames tied Virginia with each program having a pair of first-team honorees, while Liberty finished third overall among all Commonwealth teams with four all-state selections.
2008 VaSID All-State Wrestling Team
125 - James Nicholson, Old Dominion
133 - Kyle Hutter, Old Dominion
141 - Tim Harner, Liberty
149 - Kaylen Baxter, Old Dominion
157 - Peter Rose, Southern Virginia
165 - Chris Brown, Old Dominion
174 - Chris Henrich, Virginia
184 - Rocco Caponi, Virginia
197 - Cayle Byers, George Mason
285 - Patrick Walker, Liberty
125 - Ross Gitomer, Virginia
133 - Eric Albright, Virginia
141 - Ryan Williams, Old Dominion
149 - Shawn Harris, Virginia
157 - Frankie McLaughlin, George Mason
165 - Chad Porter, Liberty
174 - Aaron Kelley, Liberty
184 - Jesse Strawn, Old Dominion
197 - Brent Jones, Virginia
285 - Josh Wine, VMI
Freshman of the Year – James Nicholson, Old Dominion
Wrestler of the Year – James Nicholson, Old Dominion
Coach of the Year – Steve Martin, Old Dominion