The Chattanooga wrestling team posted a pair of wins in dual meet action over The Citadel and Campbellsville in McKenzie Arena tonight. The Mocs (11-7, 4-0 SoCon) clinched at least a tie of the Southern Conference regular season championship with a 29-15 win over the Bulldogs (5-3, 0-1 SoCon). UTC capped off the evening with a 34-8 victory over Campbellsville (9-8).
Against The Citadel, Chattanooga broke out to a 15-0 lead with wins in its first four matches. Freshman Demetrius Johnson began the night with a 9-8 decision over Tyler Sim at 125. Sophomore Josh Statum followed that up with a major decision (11-3) against Richard Alarcon at 133. Junior Cody Cleveland extended the Mocs’ lead to 12-0 when recorded a technical fall (3:23) against Derek Royster at 141.
Freshman Daniel Waddell kept the shutout going with a major decision against David Ivashchenko (13-3) in the 149 match. The one shocker of the night came in the 157-pound match. Junior Joey Knox, ranked No. 20 in the nation in his class, was pinned by Keith Koziel just 29 seconds into his match. The 15-6 score following the pin was as close as The Citadel would get to a comeback in the match.
Competing in his first match since Nov. 30, 2008, freshman Tyler Roberson secured a 6-2 decision over Kelby Smith at 184. The Mocs dropped the final two matches of the meet against The Citadel.
The win over the Bulldogs extended UTC’s unbeaten streak in SoCon action to 24 matches. The Mocs have not lost a Southern Conference dual meet since falling to the Bulldogs 27-13 on Feb. 14, 2004, in Charleston, S.C. , posting a record of 23-0-1 in that stretch. Mocs’ head coach Chris Bono is 14-0 in SoCon matches in his career.
Campbellsville brought a No. 18 nation ranking in the NAIA top-20 to Chattanooga, but were no match for the Mocs on their home mat. Johnson, Statum, Cleveland, Garvin and McCroskey all won for the second time of the evening. Garvin recorded his second pin at 165, defeating Kames Linker at the 3:38 mark. Knox rebounded from his earlier defeat to pin Zach Flake (6:17) at 157. Cleveland also recorded a pin (3:31) in his match against Matt David at 141.
Campbellsville scored three points when Spencer Adams won a 4-2 decision over Roberson at 184. They also scored six points when the Mocs forfeited at 197. The Tigers has their point total dropped to eight when the referee penalized the bench for unsportsmanlike conduct.
“Overall we had a good performance,” stated Bono. “I am excited for these guys. They came out and fought hard. We keep making a lot of mistakes and that is the areas we are getting scored on. We got some good matches in and everything is in preparation for the conference tournament.”
The Mocs return to action on Sunday, Feb. 1 when they host No. 3 Cornell in MacLellan Gym. Action begins at 1:00 p.m. (E.S.T.). Fans can still bid on the live auction for the Ultimate Wrestling Experience on GoMocs.com for the match with the Big Red. Sunday’s match will have live stats and live video also available on GoMocs.com.