Anthony Vizcarrondo of Philadelphia, a senior at Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School in Kingston, Pa., will continue his academic and athletic career at West Virginia University in Morgantown, W. Va., in fall, 2012.
Vizcarrondo will wrestle for West Virginia’s head coach Craig Turnbull and associate coach Greg Jones in the NCAA Division I Eastern Wrestling League (EWL). In his 32nd year as head coach of the Mountaineers, Turnbull led his team to a 2011 record of 9-6 (4-2 in the EWL) and sent five wrestlers to the NCAA championships. A four-time EWL Coach of the year, he has coached 18 All-Americans and four winners of national championship titles, including Greg Jones, who holds three NCAA titles.
Vizcarrondo said he had considered other universities such as Eastern Michigan and Bloomsburg. He chose West Virginia because the university is moving to the Big 12 Conference next year and he is looking forward to competing at the highest level in collegiate wrestling.
“I’m very happy to be going to West Virginia because I think it’s a good fit for me,” he said. “It’s a young team with a lot of up-and-coming talented wrestlers that could finish in the top 20 in the NCAA championship. I’m excited to be working with Coach Jones since he’s a three-time NCAA champion and he has a style similar to my own. He’s quick for a big guy and I think I’ll get a lot better while working with him.”
Vizcarrondo, who wrestles at 220 lbs., expects to be wrestling in the heavyweight class at West Virginia. He has been wrestling for nine years, beginning when he was seven years old. He is a two-time NHSCA All-American and is ranked eighth nationally at 220 lbs. by Amateur Wrestling News and sixth by Intermat. He is also an Intermat Top 100 recruit, was the state prep champion and national prep runner-up in 2011 and earned All-American status at the 2011 Fargo Greco-Roman Tournament. He also placed third at the 2011 Beast of the East and second at the Cheesehead, finishing his junior year with a 36-4 record. As a freshman and sophomore at Northeast Catholic High School, wrestling for head coach James Savage, he won the Eastern Nationals as a freshman and the NHSCA tenth grade championship and set school records for most wins in ninth and tenth grade.
Vizcarrondo’s talents have helped the Blue Knights achieve a national team ranking of sixth place last year according to WIN Magazine, as well as earn the team’s fifth Pa. State Prep Team Championship and a second-place finish at the National Prep Championship in 2011, said Scott Green, Sem head wrestling coach.
“AJ is an invaluable anchor at the top of our lineup. It’s a great feeling as a coach to know you are going to get productivity out of the upper weights,” Green said. “He is athletic and incredibly technical. He always wrestles hard. He is the type of athlete who will contribute at the Div. I level right away, and he could not be in a better training situation than at WVU with three-time NCAA champion Greg Jones as an associate coach and training partner. WVU’s move to the Big 12 will open up many opportunities for AJ.”
Vizcarrondo, who plans to major in physical education, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Antonio Vizcarrondo of Philadelphia.
PHOTO CAPTION: Anthony Vizcarrondo of Philadelphia, a senior at Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School in Kingston, will continue his academic and athletic career at West Virginia University in Morganton, W.Va. Seen during the announcement are, seated from left: Scott Green, head wrestling coach, and Vizcarrondo. Standing, from left: Karen Klassner, director of athletics, and Harvie Ruggles, director of college guidance.