McCroskey, Condon Lead Mocs at Hokie Open
Junior Jason McCroskey
Courtesy: GoMocs.com
SALEM, Va. - The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team wrapped up the opening weekend with the Hokie Open in Salem, Va., today.  UTC had three top-five finishers led by junior Jason McCroskey (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) and his third place showing at 184. 

Sophomore Prescott Garner (West Linn, Ore.) got things going by advancing to the final eight of the main draw at 125.  He defeated Appalachian State's Austin Annas 16-0 in the round of 16.  He then took on Old Dominion's James Nicholson who came into the weekend ranked No. 8 in the nation.  Garner hung tough in the match until falling 17-11. 

Junior Dan Waddell (Chattanooga, Tenn.) also made it to the final eight of the main bracket at 157.  He defeated UNC Greensboro's Matt Barbo 10-2 and Kent State's Mallie Shuster 5-0 before falling back into the consolation bracket with a loss to Iowa State's Trent Weatherman 3-2.

Sophomore Josh Condon (Powder Springs, Ga.) showed his toughness during an up-and-down day.  In his second match at 157 he took on Ohio State's Josh Demas.  Early in the bout he suffered a cut on his forehead that stopped the match. 

"It was one of the worst cuts I have ever seen," describe head coach Heath Eslinger.  "I was ready for him to be done, but Josh wanted to continue and our trainer (Mike Booi) taped it up and said he was OK to return." 

Condon eventually lost the match 3-1, and after getting nine stitches to close his wound, started marching through the wrestlebacks.  After four wins he found himself in a rematch with Demas.  He got his revenge pinning the Buckeye for a fifth-place showing. 

McCroskey went 4-1 on the day, showing off his No. 19 national ranking.  He finished ahead of 2010 Southern Conference Champion Austin Troutman of Appalachian State.  He also defeated 17th-ranked Andrew Saunders of UNC Greensboro 4-2.  His only loss of the day was a 3-2 defeat to No. 11 Tommy Spellman of Virginia Tech. 

Sophomore Niko Brown may have been the surprise of the event, posting a fifth-place finish at 197.  He went 4-1 on the day with his only loss coming to No. 16 Eric Schuth of Ohio.

"Every time we suit up, I want to see us competing as hard as we can," stated Eslinger.  "We did that today and I am proud of their effort.  They worked hard and had some good results.  It is definitely something we can build on."

For complete results of the 2010 Hokie Open, see the .pdf at the top of the page.  UTC opens its home schedule next weekend when it hosts Liberty and Cumberland on Sunday, Nov. 14.  Action begins at 2:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) in McKenzie Arena. 

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