Mikey Racciato, a three-time PIAA State Champion for Pen Argyl and an ACC Champion for Pitt, died on Dec. 25, 2020 at the age of 26 in his hometown.
Mikey was always the life of any situation he was in. An outgoing, funny, easy-to-talk-to individual, he was never shy to strike up a conversation, give an interview, or sign an autograph.
His teammate Nick Zanetta: “Mikey was the type of person that you could just look at and start laughing. He wasn’t just a funny friend though. He had the biggest heart and was the type of person who you could talk to about anything. His impact on our lives will never fade away.”
He was an incredibly talented and athletic wrestler, who often wowed the crowd with his unconventional moves. He had the quickest hips, and used them to his advantage, especially on bottom where he would frequently reverse his opponent, even while almost getting turned. Of course, most Pitt fans will remember when he did this to NCAA finalist Josh Kindig in the 2014 dual match versus Oklahoma State. That pin propelled Pitt to its biggest dual meet victory ever.
Mikey finished his high school career with a record of 149-4 with 66 falls and was named the PIAA Class-2A wrestling tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler as a senior. His sophomore year was his best season in college, winning the ACC title at 149 pounds.
From the Pitt Athletics press release: “Well known throughout the wrestling community for his scrambling talents and ability to pin any opponent, Racciato only furthered his status as a thrilling athlete at the University of Pittsburgh. While at Pitt, he entered the starting lineup almost immediately as a true freshman, and became beloved by Pitt wrestling fans for his mastery of the big moment.”
His coach Drew Headlee: “Mikey’s personality lit up the room. He always knew how to make everyone laugh. On the mat he was dangerous from every position, so you could never count him out.”