The No. 24 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team is set to compete in the 2014 NCAA Championships on March 20-22. Action takes place in the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., and will be covered live by the ESPN family of networks.
UTC posted a 16-7 dual match record and won the Southern Conference Regular Season Title for the 13th time since the league began recognizing a season champ in 1992. The Mocs also won their 28th SoCon Tournament Championship since joining the league in 1978.
Chattanooga is sending five wrestlers to the NCAA Championships, four who qualified automatically and one at-large bid. Senior Alex Hudson (Marietta, Ga.), juniors Levi Clemons (Kissimmee, Fla.), Corey Mock (Chapel Hill, N.C.) and Nick Soto (Spring Hill, Fla.) and freshman Dawson Peck (Chambersburg, Pa.) represent the Mocs at this week’s national tournament.
133: No. 10 Nick Soto (Jr. – 33-9)
157: Alex Hudson (Sr. – 30-7)
165: No. 6 Corey Mock (Jr. – 30-3)
174: Levi Clemons (Jr. – 26-13)
285: Dawson Peck (Fr. – 14-3)
Head Coach: Heath Eslinger (61-37 - 5th Year)
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Thursday, March 20
Session 1 - 1st Round - ESPNU/ESPN3 - Noon (E.D.T.)
Session 2 - 2nd Round and Consolation Rounds - ESPNU/ESPN3 - 7:00 p.m.
Friday, March 21
Session 3 - Quarters and Consolation Rounds - ESPNU/ESPN3 - 11:00 a.m.
Session 4 - Semifinals - ESPN/ESPN3 - 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 22
Session 5 - Medal Rounds - ESPNU/ESPN3 - 11:00 a.m.
Session 6 - Finals - ESPN/ESPN3 - 8:00 p.m.
IT’S ALL IN THE NAME
On first reference, it is acceptable to refer to us as the “University of Tennessee at Chattanooga”. After that, we prefer to be called “Chattanooga” or “UTC”. Our nickname is “Mocs”. Please do not use UT-Chattanooga, Tennessee-Chattanooga or the Moccasins.
ESPN TO AIR EVERY SESSION, EVERY MATCH
With all six sessions televised and every match carried on ESPN3 for the first time, ESPN will provide unprecedented coverage of the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships from Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., on March 20-22.
ESPN will televise the semifinals and finals, while ESPNU televises the first and second sessions, the quarterfinals and medal round. Digitally, ESPN3 will carry individual mat feeds throughout the entire tournament and debut a special -- Inside the Mat -- during the finals. All six sessions are available on WatchESPN.
ESPN’s coverage will be anchored by accomplished wrestlers and prominent personalities in the sport, including: Kyle Dake, Anthony Robles, Jim Gibbons and Tim Johnson. Adam Amin and Shawn Kenney will call the action and Quint Kessenich will be the reporter.
ESPN3 has expanded its individual mat feed which allows fans to watch every match throughout the tournament, including the wrestleback bracket, accompanied by live commentary. Additionally, for computer users, ESPN3 will once again offer multi-mat simultaneous viewing which allows fans to watch up to four different mats at one time.
In addition to all the individual mat coverage, ESPN3 debuts a scoreboard/navigation page which will keep viewers up-to-date on current action and which mats each wrestler is on. When applicable, updates on up to eight mats will be provided on this page.
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 postseason. The Mocs were also No. 18 in 2008 and No. 13 in 2007.
MOCS AT THE NCAAS
Chattanooga has been represented at the NCAA Wrestling Championships every year since moving up to Division I in 1978. The Mocs’ best finish was a tie for 14th in 1983. UTC has scored points every year except for 1997, 2003 and 2011. Chattanooga’s second-best result was a 21st place showing in 2007. The Mocs also tied for 21st in 2005.
Individually, the UTC has 12 All-American honors won by nine different wrestlers. Cody Cleveland was the last to earn All-American status, finishing eighth at 141 in 2008. The best individual finish was Charlie Heard’s runner-up at 118 in 1983.
TWO SEEDS A RARITY
Juniors Corey Mock and Nick Soto both are seeded in the upcoming NCAA Championships. Mock is No. 6 at 165 while Soto is No. 10 at 133. It is the first time since 2009 when Cody Cleveland was No. 11 at 141 that a Moc has been seeded at the NCAAs.
This is only the fifth time in school history the UTC sends two seeded wrestlers to the Championships. The last time it happened was 2007 when Matt Keller was No. 5 at 133 and Aaron Martin was No. 8 at 149.
133 - NICK SOTO - JR.
Three time Southern Conference Champion junior Nick Soto is making his third trip to the NCAA Championships. He went at 133 as a freshman in 2012 and 125 last season. He is back as the No. 10 seed at 133 in 2014.
Soto is currently a career-best 30-9 on the year and 7-2 against the NCAA field in 2013-14. He has a 1-4 record in his previous two trips to the NCAAs.
He had one of the biggest regular season wins in school history when he defeated then-No. 1 Ryan Mango 15-8 in the Mocs 23-15 dual win at No. 15 Stanford on Dec. 20. That win helped earn him SoCon Wrestler of the Month for December. He went on to win the Reno Tournament of Champions and finish fourth at the prestigious Southern Scuffle. He is currently ranked No. 15 in Intermat and No. 16 in WIN Magazine.
Soto opens with Oregon State sophomore Joey Palmer. Palmer posted a 19-10 overall record and was third at the Pac-12 Championships.
Soto at 2013 NCAAs - 125
No. 12 Tyler Cox (Wyoming) - L-MD, 2-14
Jarrod Garnett (Va. Tech) - L-Fall (4:11)
Soto at 2012 NCAAs - 133
No. 4 B.J. Futrell (Illinois) - L-Fall (4:14)
Scott Fejesto (ODU) - W-D, 9-4
A.J. Shoop (Edinboro) - L-Fall, 2:08
Soto vs. NCAA Field in 2013-14 - 7-4
No. 2 Tyler Graff (Wisc. 11/8) - L–Fall (4:44)
Chuck Zeisloft (Rider - Hokie Duals 11/10) - W-MD, 11-2
Cashé Quiroga (Purdue 12/15) - W-D, 10-8
No. 1 Ryan Mango (Stanford 12/20) - W-D, 15-8
No. 10 David Thorn(Minnesota - Southern Scuffle 1/1) - L-MD, 2-10
No. 12 Shelton Mack (Pittsburgh- Southern Scuffle 1/1) - W-D, 8-2
Matt Manley (Missouri - Southern Scuffle 1/1) - W-D, 4-1
No. 11 Joe Roth (Central Michigan - Southern Scuffle 1/2) - W-D, 6-5
No. 10 David Thorn (Minnesota - Southern Scuffle 1/2) - L-TF, 2-17
Chuck Zeisloft (Rider - Virginia Duals 1/11) - W-D, 11-7
Dennis Gustafson (Va. Tech - NWCA 2/17) - L-MD, 5-14
Soto vs. NCAA Field (Career)
No. 6 Ryan Mangno (Stanford 11/20/11) - L-MD, 6-14
No. 5 David Thorn (Minn. - Southern Scuffle 1/1/12) - W-D, 5-1 (2OT)
157 - ALEX HUDSON - SR.
Senior Alex Hudson is making his second appearance at the NCAA Championships. He won the SoCon Title at 149 last year, and earned an automatic bid as a runner-up at 157 this season.
Hudson is a career-best 30-7 this season. However, he was winless against the NCAA field at 0-4. He is sixth in the nation with seven technical falls against Division I competition.
Hudson opens with Indiana junior Taylor Walsh. He finished fifth at the Big 10 Championships and is 34-5 overall. He is seeded 11th in this bracket at the NCAAs.
Hudson at 2013 NCAAs - 149
No. 5 Steve Santos (Columbia) - L-Fall (6:19)
Max Mayfield (Iowa State) - W-D, 10-5
No. 6 Dylan Ness (Minn.) - L-Fall (2:30)
Hudson vs. NCAA Field in 2013-14 - 0-4
No. 7 Isaac Jordan (Wisc. 11/8) - L-D, 3-5 (SV1)
No. 7 Isaac Jordan (Wisc. - Navy Classic 11/23) - L-D, 1-4
Aaron Walker (The Citadel 1/22) - L-D, 5-7 (OT)
Aaron Walker (The Citadel - SoCon Tourn. 3/8) - L-Fall (4:43)
Hudson vs. NCAA Field (Career)
No. 6 Dylan Ness (Minn. - NCAAs 3/22/13) - L-Fall (2:30)
165 - COREY MOCK - JR.
Junior Corey Mock is the No. 6 at 165 pounds. He was the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the SoCon Championships after not allowing a takedown in three impressive wins. He is 30-3 overall and 10-3 against the NCAA field this season.
Mock transferred to UTC from North Carolina, where he was a two-time NCAA Qualifier. He was 3-4 in those two trips to the national tournament.
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 was the SoCon Wrestler of the Month for November after twice taking SoCon Wrestler of the Week honors.
Mock’s No. 6 seed is the highest by a UTC wrestler since Matt Keller was No. 5 at 133 in 2007.
Mock opens against Navy junior Peyton Walsh. This is a rematch of the finals of the Navy Classic on Nov. 23. Mock used riding time in that match to score a 3-2 win and take the Tournament title.
Mock vs. NCAA Field in 2013-14 - 10-3
No. 11 Joseph Booth (Hofstra - Hokie Duals 11/10) - W-D, 5-1
No. 16 Chris Moon (VT - Hokie Duals 11/10) - W-MD, 8-0
No. 12 Ramon Santiago (Rider - Hokie Duals 11/10) - W-D, 5-0
Peyton Walsh (Navy - Navy Classic 11/23) - W-D, 3-2
Austin Trott (GWU 12/16) - W-TF, 17-0 (4:50)
No. 14 Jim Wilson (Stanford 12/20) - W-D, 4-2
No. 16 Austin Wilson (Neb. - Reno TOC 12/22) - W-MD, 9-1
No. 3 Nicholas Sulzer (UVA - Virginia Duals 1/10) - L-D, 6-10
Jacob Kemerer (Lock Haven - Virginia Duals 1/10) - W-MD, 12-0
Ramon Santiago (Rider - Virginia Duls 1/11) - W-MD, 9-0
No. 16 Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (The Citadel 1/22) - L-D, 3-4
No. 3 Steven Monk (NDSU - NWCA 2/16) - L-D, 0-4
No. 10 Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (The Citadel - SoCon Tourn. 3/8) - W
Mock at 2012 NCAAs - 157
Roger Pena (Oregon State) - L-D, 1-7
Drake Houdashelt (Missouri) - W-D, 5-2
No. 12 Steven Monk (NDSU) - L-D, 4-6
Mock at 2011 NCAAs - 157
Bryan Deutsch (NIU) - W-Fall (6:39)
No. 10 Daryl Cocozzo (Rutgers) - L-MD, 2-10
Jackson Morse (Illinois) - W-D, 12-10
Mark Lewandowski (Buffalo) - L-D, 2-5
174 - LEVI CLEMONS - JR.
Junior Levi Clemons is making a second trip to the NCAAs. He was an at-large bid in 2012, but qualified as the SoCon Champ at 174 pounds this season.
Clemons was a surprise entrant in 2012, gaining a bid after another competitor withdrew after the brackets were announced. He went 0-2 in his first trip to the NCAAs.
A member of the All-SoCon team, Clemons is 26-13 overall and 2-7 against the NCAA field.
Clemons opens with Iowa State sophomore Tanner Weatherman. Weatherman is 22-14 overall and the No. 12 seed at 174 pounds. He finished third at the Big 12 Championships.
Clemons at 2012 NCAAs - 174
No. 4 Logan Storley (MINN)............................. L-MD, 2-11
Patrick Martinez (WYO)................................... L-MD, 4-12
Clemons vs. NCAA Field in 2013-14 - 2-7
Scott Liegel (Wisc. 11/8) - L-D, 7-8
Austin Gabel (VT - Virginia Duals 11/10) - L-D, 4-10
Connor Brennan (Rider - Virginia Duals 11/10) - L-D, 1-2
Scott Liegel (Wisc. - Navy Classic 11/23) - L-D, 2-6
Scott Liegel (Wisc. - Navy Classic 11/23) - L-MD, 8-0
Kyle Meyer (Stanford 12/20) - W-Fall (4:27)
Joe Latham (Oregon St. - Reno TOC 12/23) - L-MD, 11-23
No. 10 Stephen Doty (UVA - Virginia Duals 11/10) - W-D, 10-5
No. 12 Hayden Zillmer (NDSU - NWCA 2/16) - L–MD, 3-11
285 - DAWSON PECK - FR.
Freshman heavyweight Dawson Peck is looking to rebound after a disappointing fourth place showing at the SoCon Tournament. He was 12-1 entering the league championships, but went 2-2 at the event and needed an at-large bid to get into the NCAA field.
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 red shirting as a true freshman with the Hokies, but was 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.
Peck is 14-3 overall and went 3-2 against the NCAA field. He made the All-SoCon team and also grabbed SoCon All-Freshman honors.
He opens with Maryland junior Spencer Myers. Myers is 23-4 overall and the No. 12 seed at heavyweight. An All-ACC honoree, Myers was runner-up at the ACC Championships.
Peck vs. NCAA Field in 2013-14 - 3-2
David Devine (SIUE 1/19) - L-D, 5-7
Eloheim Palma (Campbell 2/8) - W-D, 8-3
David Devine (SIUE - SoCon Tourn. 3/8) - L-D, 3-1 (SV1)
No. 20 Evan Knutson (NDSU - NWCA 2/16) - W-D, 8-2
No. 16 Ty Walz (Va. Tech - NWCA 2/17) - W-Fall (2:10)
HEAD COACH HEATH ESLINGER
Chattanooga head coach Heath Eslinger is in his fifth season with the Mocs. He was guided UTC to four SoCon regular season and tournament titles and has a 61-37 (.622) dual match record. He is third all-time in career wins at UTC and has a 22-1 league record. UTC’s best finish at the NCAAs under Esligner was a tied for 51st in 2012.
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.
MOCK AND SIOREDAS HAVE SIMILARITIES
UTC junior Corey Mock is having a season very similar to assistant coach Jon Sioredas’s 2005 campaign. Both were the No. 6 seed at 165 pounds. Mock hopes to equal or better Sioredas’s fifth place finish and All-American showing from 2005.
MOCS IN THE RANKINGS
UTC junior Corey Mock is 30-3 on the year and No. 6 in WIN Magazine’s poll at 165. He is also No. 6 in the Intermat listings. Junior Nick Soto is currently No. 16 in WIN and No. 15 in Intermat at 133. As a team, the Mocs are 30th in the Intermat College Rankings.
Chattanooga was been ranked for each of the last seven weeks of the regular season and finished the year at No. 24 in the USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll.
Chattanooga had 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
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 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).
HOME OF THE SOUTHERN SCUFFLE
Chattanooga has served as the home of the Southern Scuffle for the past three seasons. Billed as the top in-season collegiate wrestliing tournament in the nation, the Southern Scuffle has grown in both attendance and prestige since coming to the Scenic City in 2012. The two-day attendance total of 6,330 fans this season was a new tournament reocrd.