Freshman Dawson Peck is one of five Mocs competing at the NCAA Championships.
Courtesy: Dale Rutemeyer
Peck Earns At-Large Bid to NCAA Tournament

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga freshman Dawson Peck grabbed an at-large bid to the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships today.  Peck joins four other Mocs who earned automatic qualification at last weekend’s Southern Conference Tournament. 

Peck is a heavyweight from Chambersburg, Pa., who was an All-SoCon selection.  He stumbled to a fourth place finish at the SoCon Tournament, but qualified behind a strong 12-1 mark in the regular season.

“We are excited for Dawson,” stated UTC Head Coach Heath Eslinger.  “He had a disappointing conference tournament, but his performance during the year got him in.  That is why we wrestle such a tough schedule.  It gives our guys a chance to get in if they slip up in the league championships.”

Peck was twice named the SoCon Wrestler of the Week during the month of February.  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.

At 6-8, Peck is one of the tallest wrestlers to ever be listed on a Mocs roster.  He was redshirting as a true freshman with the Hokies, but transferred to UTC in January and was immediately eligible.  He was 8-2 as an unattached competitor last semester, including a win at the Hokie Open to start the season.  He replaced junior Kevin Malone who was lost for the season after an injury in the Stanford dual. 

Junior Nick Soto (133), Corey Mock (165) and Levi Clemons (174) all qualified for the NCAA Championships by winning SoCon titles at their respective weights.  Senior Alex Hudson also earned an automatic spot with a runner-up finished at 157. 

The NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships are set for March 20-22 in Oklahoma City, Okla. 

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