Maryland wrestling heavyweight Youssif Hemida earned a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships this weekend to become an All-American for the second consecutive year. It was the best finish for a Terp since 2014.
The senior dominated his first match against Cornell’s Jeramy Sweany to win by a 7-1 decision on Thursday. Hemida then lost a close 2-0 bout to Wisconsin’s Trent Hillger to move into the consolation bracket.
He didn’t let the defeat shake his confidence, though. On Friday, Hemida won all four of his matches, two of which he ended with pins, to claim All-American status. He didn't allow a single takedown in the victories.
Hemida returned on Saturday with the chance to finish as high as third, but lost both matches as the competition increased. Still, he ended as the sixth-best heavyweight in the nation.
It wasn’t an easy road for Hemida to get to the podium. Last season, he finally achieved his dream of becoming an All-American with an eighth place finish at the NCAA Championships, and he was set to have an even better senior season.
But life had other plans. On October 21, Hemida’s grandfather died. Two days later, his mother passed away after fighting breast cancer for over 10 years. Then, when the wrestling season started at Maryland, Hemida didn’t compete in the first three dual meets.
The Terps had their struggles as a team as well, losing all of their first 11 dual matches. They would only finish the season with two dual wins and zero Big Ten victories for the third consecutive year, which led coach Kerry McCoy to resign from his position.
But through it all, Hemida was the one constant, leading Maryland with a 21-9 overall record. He also powered his way to a third-place finish at the Big Ten Championships, despite the conference being stacked with ranked heavyweights. And this weekend, he added some glory to an otherwise abysmal wrestling season for the Terps by representing the team with the sixth-place finish.
In other news
No. 6-seed Maryland basketball fell to LSU 69-67 in the NCAA Tournament Round of 32 on Saturday. See the best photos from the heartbreaking defeat. And also make sure to read about the scene in the Terps’ locker room after the loss.
Maryland suffers heartbreaking loss to LSU
Hear from an emotional Terps locker room after the season-ending loss.Posted by Testudo Times on Saturday, March 23, 2019
No. 3-seed Maryland women’s basketball won its first game of the NCAA Tournament, defeating Radford 73-51 on Saturday. The Terps will face UCLA in the Round of 32 in College Park on Monday.
No. 4 Maryland men’s lacrosse defeated No. 19 North Carolina 16-9 on Saturday. Four different Terps finished with hat tricks in the victory.
No. 2 Maryland women's lacrosse continued its undefeated season with an 18-5 win over No. 7 James Madison, the defending national champion, on Sunday. With attacker Caroline Steele out with a knee injury, midfielder Jen Giles led the Terps with four goals.
Maryland baseball suffered a series sweep against Creighton this weekend. All three games were close, but the Terps couldn't surge ahead in any of them.
Maryland softball was swept by No. 20 Minnesota in its first conference series of the season. The Terps were defeated 6-5 on Friday, 19-5 on Saturday and 5-3 on Sunday.