BUIES CREEK, N.C. - Coming off an individual title at the NCAA East Regional Championships, Campbell junior Parker Burns will take the mat Thursday in the 2010 NCAA National Wrestling Championships in Omaha, Neb., at the Qwest Center.
Burns, a native of Everett, Wash., will square off with the University of Michigan's Anthony Biondo in Thursday's opening round match. Burns will become the first Campbell grappler to wrestle in the National Championships since Lantz Nixon competed in the 2002 tournament.
"It's always been my goal to get here," said Burns. "I'm going to be a little a little awestruck, but I have nothing to lose. It's an honor and privilege to be wrestling for Campbell, and I'm going to go wrestle as tough as I can."
Head coach Billy Greene takes pride in seeing Campbell represented on a national stage.
"It's an important step for a program to get to the next level," said Greene. "We (coaches) can show our guys the way and give them the tools to get there, but ultimately once you step onto the mat, it's all on your shoulders-the credit all goes to Parker."
Burns punched his ticket for Omaha on March 5th after winning three consecutive matches at the NCAA East Regionals at the 197 pound weight class. He enters Thursday having triumphed in seven of his last nine matches.
Biondo, who owns a 33-5 record this season, is the seventh seed in the 197 pound weight class and has won eight of his last ten matches. He finished third in last week's Big 10 Championships.
The NCAA Championships will take place in six sessions over three days, beginning at 11 a.m. CST on Thursday (March 18) with pigtail matches and the first round. The second session will resume later that day at 6:30 p.m. and feature continued preliminary matches as well as the wrestleback first round.
On Friday (March 19), wrestling will begin at 9:30 a.m. with the quarterfinal round and continued wrestlebacks. The fourth session will begin at 6 p.m. and will feature semifinals and wrestlebacks.
Saturday's championship matches are slated for a 6:30 p.m. start.