Senior Alex Hudson
Courtesy: Dale Rutemeyer
Mocs Head to Campbell for SoCon Championships

The 24th-ranked Chattanooga Mocs are off to the 77th annual Southern Conference Tournament in Buies Creek, N.C., this weekend.  The Mocs have won 27 league titles since joining the SoCon in 1978, including each of the last three and eight of the last nine.

The Tournament is hosted by Campbell University in the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center and takes place on Saturday, March 8.   Action begins at 9:00 a.m. (E.S.T.) with the preliminary rounds.  The finals are set to start at 7:00 p.m.

LIVE STREAMING & UPDATES
The Southern Conference will provide a live stream of the action free of charge.  Live scoring for each match is available via Trackwrestling.com, with links for both scoring and video available on the wrestling schedule page on GoMocs.com.  For more live updates be sure to follow Mocs wrestling on Twitter @UTCWrestling.

TICKETS
Tickets can be purchased at the John W. Pope Convocation Center ticket window or on GoCamels.com. Adult tickets are $15 and youth (10 and under) tickets are $10. A group rate of $8 is available for parties of 10 or more.

ANOTHER SOCON TITLE
Chattanooga has already wrapped up its 13th Southern Conference regular season title.  The league started recognizing a season winner in 1994. 

FINAL REGULAR SEASON RANKING
The Mocs checked in at No. 24 in the final regular season USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll.  It is the third time Chattanooga carries a national ranking into the conference tournament.  The Mocs were also No. 18 in 2008 and No. 13 in 2007.

CHATTANOOGA PROBABLE LINEUP:
125:  Byron Smith (Fr. – 7-14) - No. 6 Seed
133:  No. 16/17 Nick Soto (Jr. – 30-9) - No. 1 Seed
141:  Michael Pongracz (Fr. - 20-12) - No. 2 Seed
149:  Austin Sams (So. – 8-17) - No. 6 Seed
157:  No. 26/29 Alex Hudson (Sr. – 28-6) - No. 2 Seed
165:  No. 8/6 Corey Mock (Jr. – 27-3) - No. 2 Seed
174:  No. 32 Levi Clemons (Jr. – 23-13) - No. 1 Seed
184:  No. NR/33 John Lampe (So. – 17-10) - No. 1 Seed
197:  Scottie Boykin (Fr. – 19-13) - No. 1 Seed
285:  No. 24/23 Dawson Peck (Fr. – 12-1) - No. 1 Seed
(Rankings:  NCAA Coaches Panel/RPI)
Head Coach:  Heath Eslinger (61-37 - 5th Year)

AUTOMATIC BIDS UP FOR GRABS
The Southern Conference was allocated 16 spots for the NCAA Championships, with three each at 149 pounds and 165 pounds, two each at 157 pounds and heavyweight and one each at the six other weights.

WEIGHT-BY-WEIGHT PREVIEW
125: Freshman Byron Smith will battle it out for the Mocs at 125.  He is 2-2 in SoCon action this season.  Front runners at this weight are Appalachian State’s Dominic Parisi, who is 5-0 in the SoCon and 15-6 overall with six pins, and Campbell freshman Tyler Walker, who is 6-0 in league bouts, but did not face Parisi in the regular season.  Walker is No. 28 in the current NCAA Coaches Panel.  Smith lost to Walker 13-4 in the dual on Feb. 8 and was not in the lineup against Appalachian State.

      Smith vs. the SoCon
      Joaquin Marquez (Citadel)Navy Classic.......... L-Fall (2:30)
      Dakota Leach (SIUE 1/19)........................... L-D, 6-9
      Tyler Walker (Campbell 2/8)....................... L-D, 4-13
      (Davidson 2.9)......................................... W-Forfeit
      Dalton Henderson (VMI 2/23)................... W-D, 13-9

SoCon Tournament Seeds at 125:
1.  Parisi (ASU), 2. Walker (Campbell), Marquez (Citadel), Starkes (GWU), Leach (SIUE), Smith (UTC), Elias (Davidson), Henderson (VMI).

133: Junior Nick Soto is 19-0 in SoCon regular season matches in his career and is a two-time SoCon Champion.  He won it at 133 as a freshman and 125 last season.  He is currently 30-9 on the year and 6-0 in SoCon bouts.  Campbell’s Drew Walker and The Citadel’s Aaron Hansen were both 5-2 in SoCon matches.  Soto’s six SoCon wins included four majors, a forfeit and an 11-6 decision over VMI’s Michael Flora.  Soto is No. 16 in the NCAA Coaches Panel and No. 17 in the RPI.       

      Soto vs. the SoCon
      Robert Golde (GWU 12/16).................... W-MD, 13-4
      Patrick Myers (SIUE 1/19)..................... W-MD, 15-2
      Aaron Hansen (The Citadel 1/22).............. W-MD, 8-0
      (App. St. 2/2)........................................... W-Forfeit
      Drew Walker (Campbell 2/8).................. W-MD, 15-5
      Michael Flora (VMI 2/23).......................... W-D, 11-6

SoCon Tournament Seeds at 133:
1.  Soto (UTC), 2. Hansen (Citadel), 3. Walker (Campbell), 4. Johnson (ASU), 5. Elias (Davidson), 6. Myers (SIUE), 7. Golde (GWU), 8. Flora (VMI). 

141: Freshman Michael Pongracz will take the mat at 141 for the Mocs.  He is 20-12 overall, 10-7 at 141 and 4-2 in SoCon matches.  Citadel Sophomore Ugi Khishingnyam is the favorite with a 19-3 overall record and 7-0 in the SoCon.  He is No. 18 in the NCAA Coaches Panel and No. 23 in the RPI.  Pongracz lost the head-to-head meeting with Khishingnyam 12-5 on Jan. 22.  Pongracz’s other SoCon loss was a 3-2 decision to Appalachian State’s Jake Smith on Feb. 2.

      Pongracz vs. the SoCon
      Drew Vrbenec (SIUE 1/19)....................... W-MD, 8-0
      Ugi Khishignyam (The Citadel 1/22)............ L-D, 5-12
      Jake Smith (App. St. 2/2)............................ L-D, 2-3
      Michael Dahlstrom (Campbell 2/8).............. W-D, 3-2
      James McCord (Davidson 2/9)................ W-MD, 9-1
      Emmitt Kelly (VMI 2/23)............................. W-D, 5-4

SoCon Tournament Seeds at 141:
1. Khishignyam (Citadel), 2. Pongracz (UTC), 3. Petrov (SIUE), 4. Mosley (GWU), 5. Kelly (VMI), 6. Dahlstrom (Campbell), 7. Johnson (ASU), 8. McCord (Davidson).

149:  With three spots up for grabs at 149, this will be a hotly contested bracket.  Sophomore Austin Sams is in the lineup for the Mocs.  He is 3-7 at 149, including a 2-4 mark in SoCon action.  Appalachian State’s Dylan Cottrell leads the way with a 5-0 SoCon record.  He is 23-1 overall and ranked 10th in the NCAA Coaches Panel and RPI.  Davidson’s Kevin Birmingham is 6-1 in league matches and 18-7 overall.  He is No. 29 in the Coaches Panel.  The Citadel’s Matt Frisch is 4-2 in SoCon matches and 20-6 overall.  He is No. 21 in the RPI and No. 23 in the Coaches Panel.

      Sams vs. the SoCon
      Ryan Mosley (GWU 12/16).......................... L-D, 1-6
      Karsten Van Velsor (SIUE 1/19)149........... W-D, 14-10
      Matthew Frisch (The Citadel 1/22)................ L-D, 3-7
      Aaron Scott (App. St. 2/2)......................... W-D, 3-1
      Brent Jorge (Campbell 2/8)................... L–Fall (0:18)
      Kevin Birmingham (Davidson 2/9).............. L-D, 4-10
      Shabaka Johns (VMI 2/23).......................... L-D, 6-8

SoCon Tournament Seeds at 149:
1. Cottrell (ASU), 2. Birmingham (Davidson), 3. Frisch (Citadel), 4. Johns (VMI), 5. Jorge (Campbell), 6. Sams (UTC), 7. Ziegler (GWU), 8. Van Velsor (SIUE).

157:  The league has two spots at 157, with Chattanooga senior Alex Hudson eyeing his second title.  He won the SoCon at 149 last season and is 6-1 in SoCon matches this year (28-6 overall).  His lone loss in the league was a 7-5 setback to The Citadel’s Aaron Walker in overtime.  Walker is 7-0 in the SoCon and 16-4 overall.  He is currently No. 25 in the NCAA Coaches Panel while Hudson is right behind him at No. 26.  Hudson also holds the No. 29 spot in the NCAA RPI.

      Hudson vs. the SoCon
      Kyle Ash (GWU 12/16)............................ W-MD, 8-0
      Logun Taylor (SIUE 1/19)...................... W-MD, 13-0
      Aaron Walker (The Citadel 1/22)............ L-D, 5-7 (OT
      Nick Hall (App. St. 2/2).................. W-TF, 17-0 (1:46)
      Grant Blumenthal (Campbell 2/8)............. W-TF, 16-0
      (Davidson 2/9)........................................... W-Foreit
      Ted Gottwald (VMI 2/23)........................ W-MD, 14-1

SoCon Tournament Seeds at 157:
1. Walker (Citadel), 2. Hudson (UTC), 3. Blumenthal (Campbell), 4. Scott (ASU), 5. Gottwald (VMI), 6. Taylor (SIUE), 7. Bennett (GWU).

165:  This might be the toughest bracket in the Tournament, with three spots up for grabs.  The Citadel’s Turtogtokh Luvsandorj is No. 7 in the NCAA Coaches Panel and No. 9 in the RPI while Chattanooga junior Cory Mock is No. 8 in the Coaches Panel and No. 6 in the RPI.  Luvsandorj is 20-2 overall and 7-0 in league matches, while Mock is 27-3 and 5-1 in SoCon action.  Gardner-Webb’s Austin Trott also had a solid year, posting a 24-6 record and 3-3 in league matches.  He is No. 23 in the NCAA Coaches Panel and No. 27 in the RPI.  Luvsandorj won the regular season meeting with Mock, scoring a 4-3 decision on Jan. 22.

      Mock vs. the SoCon
      Austin Trott (GWU 12/16)............... W-TF, 17-0 (4:50)
      Matthew Lester (SIUE 1/19)............ W-TF, 16-0 (5:58)
      No. 16 Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (The Citadel 1/22)..... L-D, 3-4
      Zachary Strickland (App. St. 2/2)............... W-D, 5-1
      Paul Duggan (Campbell 2/8)................... W-TF, 21-6
      Mark Darr (VMI 2/23)............................... W-MD, 8-0

SoCon Tournament Seeds at 165:
1. Luvsandorj (Citadel), 2. Mock (UTC), 3. Lester (SIUE), 4. Trott (GWU), 5. Strickland (ASU), 6. Duggan (Campbell), 7.  Darr (VMI), 8. Devlin (Davidson).

174:  Chattanooga junior Levi Clemons posted a clean 6-0 slate at 174 in SoCon action.  He is 22-13 overall and No. 32 in the NCAA Coaches Panel.  SIUE’s Jake Residori is the closest competitor with a 5-2 SoCon record, 22-14 overall.  Clemons pinned him (6:46) in the regular season meeting on Jan. 19. 

      Clemons vs. the SoCon
      Brett Stein (GWU 12/15)....................... W-Fall (2:22)
      Jake Residori (SIUE 1/19).................... W-Fall (6:46)
      Terrell Forbes (The Citadel 1/22)............ W-MD, 16-7
      (App. St. 2/2).......................................... W, Forfeit
      Cody Ryba (Campbell 2/8)................... W-Fall (3:22)
      Jake Koch (VMI 2/23)............................... Fall (2:02) 

SoCon Tournament Seeds at 174:
1. Clemons (UTC), 2. Residori (SIUE), 3. Radford (Citadel), 4. Ryba (Campbell), 5. Powers (Davidson), 6. Hedash (ASU), 7. Stein (GWU), 8. Thurman (VMI). 

184:  Chattanooga sophomore John Lampe is No. 33 in the RPI and went undefeated in SoCon matches at 7-0.  He was 17-10 overall and had a number of close calls in league matches. 

      Lampe vs. the SoCon
      Gray Jones (GWU 12/16)........................... W-D, 5-2
      Derek Nagel (SIUE 1/19)...................... W-Fall (4:24)
      Kenneth Radford (The Citadel 1/22)............ W-D, 3-2
      Dominick Vetell (App. St. 2/2).................... W-D, 5-4
      Ville Heino (Campbell 2/9).......................... W-D, 4-3
      Hardy Hendren (VMI 2/23)..................... W-MD, 20-8

SoCon Tournament Seeds at 184:
1. Lampe (UTC), 2. Duane (Citadel), 3. Patrick (Davidson), 4. Heino (Campbell), 5. White (SIUE), 6. Vetell (ASU), 7. Hendren (VMI), 8. Bennett (GWU).

197:  Freshman Scottie Boykin is 19-13, 6-0 in SoCon matches.  Three of his six wins in league action were by major decision.  He scored at least nine points in each of his SoCon matches.

      Boykin vs. the SoCon
      Boyce Cornwell (GWU 12/16)................. W-MD, 11-3
      Chris Johnson (SIUE 1/19)....................... W-D, 12-6
      Marshall Haas (The Citadel 1/22)............ W-MD, 16-5
      Tyler Radford (App. St. 2/2).................... W-MD, 9-0
      Taylor McGiffen (Campbell 2/8).............. W-D, 13-11
      Andrew Embree (VMI 2/23).................... W-MD, 12-2

SoCon Tournament Seeds at 197:
1. Boykin (UTC), 2. Haas (Citadel), 3. Wood (SIUE), 4. Solcz (Davidson), 5. Hutchinson (ASU), 6. Cornwell (GWU), 7. Embree (VMI), 8. Matthews (Campbell).

285:  There are two spots on the line at heavyweight.     Freshman heavyweight Dawson Peck is 12-1 overall and 5-1 in SoCon action.  The lone blemish on his record since transferring from Virginia Tech in January is a 7-5 loss to SIUE’s David Devine on Jan. 19.  Peck is currently No. 24 on the NCAA Coaches Panel and No. 23 in the RPI.  Campbell’s Eloheim Palma is No. 30 on the Coaches listing and No. 18 in the RPI.

      Peck vs. the SoCon
      David Devine (SIUE 1/19)........................... L-D, 5-7
      Joseph Bexley (The Citadel 1/22)........... W-Fall (4:23
      Denzel Dejournette (App. St. 2/2).............. W-TF 17-1 (4:27)
      Eloheim Palma (Campbell 2/8)................... W-D, 8-3
      Eddie Isola (Davidson 2/9)................... W-Fall (1:48)
      No. 16 Ty Walz (Va. Tech).................... W-Fall (2:10)
      Juan Adams (VMI 2/23)........................ W-Fall (3:20)

SoCon Tournament Seeds at 285:
1. Peck (UTC), 2. Palma (Campbell), 3. Adams (VMI), 4. Dejournette (ASU), 5. Devine (SIUE), 6. Kozera (GWU), 7. Bexley (Citadel), 8. Isola (Davidson).

MOCS AT THE SOCON TOURNAMENT
UTC has won 28 Southern Conference Tournament titles since joining the league in 1978.  The last time UTC did not grab the SoCon crown was a fourth place finish in 2010.  Here is a year-by-year look at how the Mocs have fared at the SoCon Championships. 

Year     Place    Points 
1978     1          100.25
1979     1          94.5
1980     1          100.75
1981     1          101
1982     1          107
1983     1          104.75
1984     2          83.75
1985     3          73.5
1986     1          86
1987     1          97.75
1988     1          110.5
1989     1          107.75
1990     1          94
1991     1          103.5
1992     1          91.75
1993     1          87.25
1994     1          91.25
1995     3          88.5
1996     3          74.5
1997     4          60.5
1998     1          92.5
1999     1          92
2000     1          102.5
2001     2          77
2002     1          72
2003     4          51.5
2004     2          79
2005     1          90
2006     1          112.5
2007     1          117.5
2008     1          104.5
2009     1          104
2010     4          43
2011     1          98
2012     1          102
2013     1          102.5

MOST WINS SINCE
UTC finished the regular season with a 16-7 record, the most wins in a season since going 16-1 in 2007.  UTC was also 16-8 in 2006, 16-2 in 1979 and 16-5 in 1980.  The school record for wins in a season was a 22-4 mark in 1982.

MOCS IN THE RANKINGS
UTC junior Corey Mock is 27-3 on the year and No. 13 in TheOpenMat.com poll at 165.  He is also No. 8 in the Intermat listings.  Junior Nick Soto is currently No. 16 at 133 in both rankings.  As a team, the Mocs are 32nd in the Intermat College Rankings.

Chattanooga has been ranked for each of the last seven weeks and is currently No. 24 in the USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll.

Chattanooga has six wrestlers listed in the second set of NCAA Division I Coaches Ranking Panel Rankings and the NCAA RPI released on March 3, including:

133 - No. 16/17 Nick Soto
157 - No. 26/29 Alex Hudson
165 - No. 8/6 Corey Mock
174 - No. 32/NR Levi Clemons
184 - No. NR/33 John Lampe
285 - No. 24/23 Dawson Peck

TOUGH SCHEDULE
North Dakota State and Virginia Tech were the Mocs sixth and seventh ranked opponent this season.  This is the sixth time since 2000 the Mocs have faced at least six ranked teams in one season.

FIVE MOCS MAKE THE ALL-SOCON TEAM
UTC made up half of the All-Southern Conference squad, the league office announced today.  The Mocs had five on the all-league team for the second straight season and the fourth time in the last six years.  Juniors Nick Soto (133) and Levi Clemons (174), sophomore John Lampe (184), and freshmen Scottie Boykin (197) and Dawson Peck (285) were all honored on the All-SoCon squad.  

THREE MOCS ON THE SOCON ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
Chattanooga tied with Campbell for the most representatives in the league on the SoCon All-Freshman team including, Michael Pongracz (141), Scottie Boykin (197) and Dawson Peck (285).

PECK TWICE NAMED SOCON WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
Chattanooga heavyweight Dawson Peck has twice been named the SoCon Wrestler of the Week.  He won the honor Feb. 12-18 after going 2-0 at the NWCA National Duals.  There he scored an 8-2 decision against Ohio’s No. 20 Evan Knutson and pinned No. 16 Tyler Walz of Virginia Tech.  He repeated the honor Feb. 19-25 after pinning VMI’s Juan Adams in the regular season finale. 

Peck is a 6-8 heavyweight and one of the tallest wrestlers ever to be listed on a Mocs roster.  He was redshirting as a true freshman with the Hokies, but is immediately eligible with the Mocs as a one-time transfer exception.  He was 8-2 as an unattached competitor last semester, including a win at the Hokie Open to start the season.  He replaces junior Kevin Malone who was lost for the season after an injury in the Stanford dual.  A native of Chambersburg, Pa., Peck was a state runner up as a junior and an All-American at the NHSCA Senior Nationals.     

SOTO HAVING A STRONG JUNIOR SEASON
Junior Nick Soto is back up to 133 this season after cutting to 125 in 2013.  He has posted some excellent results, including a 15-8 win over then-No. 1 Ryan Mango in the Mocs 23-15 dual win at No. 15 Stanford on Dec. 20.  He is currently ranked as high as No. 16 in the nation with wins in 23 of his last 28 matches. 

COREY MOCK LEADS THE MOCS
Junior Corey Mock ran out to a 19-0 start for the Mocs before his first loss to No. 3 Nick Sulzer (Virginia) at the Virginia Duals on Jan. 10.  He is currently 27-3 on the year.  He was the SoCon Wrestler of the Month for November after twice taking SoCon Wrestler of the Week honors.  He is currently ranked No. 8 nationally at 165.

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