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Smith and Harner Named All-State Selections

April 17, 2009
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Tim Harner (left) and Christian Smith (right) have been named to the VaSID second-team all-state squad.

Tim Harner (left) and Christian Smith (right) have been named to the VaSID second-team all-state squad.

Senior grapplers Christian Smith and Tim Harner have been named to the VaSID All-State Wrestling Team, as the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) named the pair to the second-team all-state squads earlier today.

This marks the second-straight all-state selection for Harner, while Smith receives his inaugural Commonwealth honor from the organization, which sponsored an all-state squad for the second year in a row.

Smith and Harner were two of Liberty's four national qualifiers for the 2009 NCAA National Championship. The Flames have now had 14 national qualifiers over the past three seasons, leaving Liberty ranked No. 29 nationally in grapplers sent to the national event during the three-year span.

Harner (Sr., Norristown, Pa.) capped off a stellar four-year wrestling career on the mats, when he qualified for his fourth trip to this year's national championship in March.

A VaSID first-team all-state honoree in 2008, Harner posted a 25-10 record this season for the Flames, including an impressive 18-2 record in dual matches.

The 141-pounder won 17 of his last 19 matches entering nationals, including his third-straight title at the NCAA East Regional. He finished his Liberty career with a 94-38 overall record, while his collegiate record stands at 120-53 after adding his freshman year at Rider.

Smith (R-Sr., Suffolk, Va.) takes home his first all-state honor with his selection to the squad, after finishing the 2008-09 season with a 25-16 overall record and a 14-5 mark in dual action.

A four-time national qualifier, Smith picked up his first career NCAA National Championship victory when he opened this year's national event with a 7-6 decision over Virginia's Matt Bonson. The 133-pounder was tied with Harner for the team lead in total victories, capping off his collegiate wrestling career with a 95-80 overall mark on the mats.

Old Dominion and Virginia Tech, a pair of Top 20 programs who sent a combined 14 wrestlers to this year's national championship, dominated the two-team, 20-wrestler squad.

Old Dominion's skipper Steve Martin was named the VaSID Coach of the Year for the second-straight year, while 141-pounder Ryan Williams was tabbed the Wrestler of the Year.

Virginia Tech's Jarrod Garnett, at 125 pounds, was named VaSID Rookie of the Year, as the freshman posted a 38-8 record during his first season with the Hokies.

The Monarchs, who sent six grapplers to the 2009 NCAA Division I National Championship and finished the year ranked No. 16, led all programs in the Commonwealth with six all-state selections. Five of the six were national qualifiers, each earning first-team all-state honors.

The Hokies, who were 20-2 on the year and unbeaten during the ACC regular season with a 5-0 mark, had five all-state selections. No. 15 Virginia Tech, who sent eight grapplers to the national championship, had two first-team selections and a trio of second-team honorees.

Virginia followed the Monarchs and the Hokies, in terms of all-state selections, with three. The Apprentice School and Liberty each had a pair of all-state team members, while George Mason and Southern Virginia each placed one on the all-state squad.

Harner and Smith played an instrumental role in helping reestablish Liberty's wrestling program after a 12-year hiatus. The pair of transfers sat out a year, before leading the Flames to their first of three-straight NCAA East Regional titles.

2009 VaSID All-State Wrestling Team

VaSID All-State First Team
125 James Nicholson, Old Dominion
133 Kyle Hunter, Old Dominion
141 Ryan Williams, Old Dominion
149 Pete Yates, Virginia Tech
157 Peter Rose, Southern Virginia
165 Chris Brown, Old Dominion
174 Chris Henrich, Virginia
184 Tommy Spellman, Virginia Tech
197 Jesse Strawn, Old Dominion
HWT Cecil Lee, Apprentice School

VaSID All-State Second Team
125 Jarrod Garnett, Virginia Tech
133 Christian Smith, Liberty
141 Tim Harner, Liberty
149 Joey Metzler, Old Dominion
157 Jesse Dong, Virginia Tech
165 Will Harcum, Apprentice School
174 Mendbagana Tovuujav, George Mason
184 Rocco Caponi, Virginia
197 Brent Jones, Virginia
HWT David Marone, Virginia Tech

Wrestler of the Year
Ryan Williams, Old Dominion

Rookie of the Year
Jarrod Garnett, Virginia Tech

Coach of the Year
Steve Martin, Old Dominion