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Darrion Caldwell named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week for March 17-23



Darrion Caldwell (Rahway, N.J./North Carolina State) has been named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week for March 17-23.

Each week, TheMat.com will select an Athlete of the Week, based upon performance within wrestling for that week. The selection committee will consider any level of wrestling, from youth programs through the Senior level.

Caldwell, an N.C. State junior, delivered one of the most stunning upsets in the 79-year history of the NCAA Championships when he shocked Hodge Trophy winner Brent Metcalf of Iowa 11-6 in the 149-pound finals. Caldwell scored four takedowns in the win.

The third-seeded Caldwell came out aggressively, scoring two early takedowns to stun the No. 1 Metcalf. The second takedown was a headlock. Caldwell also kept Metcalf on the mat, racking up well over a minute of riding time in the match.

Caldwell caught and pinned Metcalf with a spladle early last season. It was Metcalf's only college loss until Saturday night. Metcalf, a junior, won by technical fall over Caldwell in the all-star match at the beginning of this season which did not count in official records.

His victory snapped Metcalf's 69-match winning streak. Caldwell was named Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.

Caldwell opened the NCAA Championships with a pin over Cesar Grajales of Penn in 3:27. In the second round, he scored a major decision over Desmond Green of Buffalo, 10-2. In the quarterfinals, Caldwell had a major decision win over No. 6 Jake Patacsil of Purdue, 10-1. In the semifinals, he had another major decision, stopping No. 7 Bryce Saddoris of Navy, 13-2. He ended his season with a 38-0 record.

Caldwell placed fifth at the 2008 NCAA Championships as a sophomore, and was one match shy of All-American honors as a freshman. He was a three-time New Jersey state high school champion.

Note: To nominate a wrestler for TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week, send the athlete's name, accomplishments for the week and career accomplishments to Craig Sesker at csesker@usawrestling.org
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