Softball mm
15th Annual UTC Porky's Open
Wrestlers Head to NCAA Championships with Eight Qualifiers
Senior Lloyd Rogers
Courtesy: GoMocs.com

(click here for NCAA wrestling brackets) 

 

Eight wrestlers depart today for St. Louis and the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in hopes of improving on last year’s 21st-place finish.

 

The Mocs qualified five Southern Conference champions and received three wildcard bids to the national tournament, one shy of last year’s team total.  In 2007, Chattanooga sent nine qualifiers to the NCAAs, one less than national leader Iowa State.

 

Senior Matt Keller earned his second All-America honor in 2007, and Head Coach Chris Bono hopes to have more than one of his pupils on the medal stands at this year’s tournament.

 

“All of our work and training is pointed toward the National Championships,” Bono said.  “This is why we schedule like we do.  We try to qualify as many guys as we can and then try to make some noise at Nationals.  We have several guys who get to that All-America level.  It is going to take total concentration and focus, but we are certainly capable.  We are looking forward to getting on the mat and testing the best wrestlers in the nation.”

 

Sophomore Cody Cleveland drew the only national seed of the Mocs’ eight qualifiers.  Cleveland is making his first appearance at the NCAAs, and the 10th seed at 141 pounds will wrestle Army’s Matthew Kyler in the first-round.

 

Other first-round matchups include senior Javier Maldonado (125) taking on 11th seed David Tomasette of Hofstra and Steve Hromada (133) facing the winner of the Cory VomBaur-Lou Ruggirello match.  Vom Baur wrestles for Wyoming, and Hofstra’s Ruggirello is seeded sixth.

 

Sophomore Joey Knox (149) is matched up with third-seeded J.P. O’Connor or Harvard, junior Seth Garvin (165) will compete against third-seeded Dan Vallimont of Penn State and senior Lloyd Rogers (174) will face Iowa’s Jay Borschel.

 

Senior Josh Edmondson (184) drew eighth-seeded Roger Kish of Minnesota and senior Mat Koz (197) faces Cayle Byers of George Mason.

 

Maldonado and Koz are making their third NCAA Tournament appearances.  Rogers and Edmondson are headed to Nationals for the second straight year, and Cleveland, Hromada, Knox and Garvin are first-timers.

 

Maldonado had a nice run at last year’s event, winning three matches in the consolation bracket.  Koz also won three matches as the Mocs compiled 29.5 team points, their highest in the Division I era.

 

Several Mocs could be facing familiar first-round opponents.  Hromada wrestled Wyoming’s VomBaur at the Midlands Championships and dropped a 4-2 decision before finishing in seventh place.  Garvin lost a 15-7 major decision to Penn State’s Vallimont at the National Duals.

 

The NCAA Championships will take place Thursday through Saturday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

 

Fans can follow the action with updated brackets by visiting NCAASports.com or get updates and other articles on Mocs wrestlers by logging on to Chattanooga’s official athletics website, GoMocs.com.

 

Chattanooga’s First round matchups Thursday morning

125 - Javier Maldonado vs. #11 David Tomasette (Hofstra)

133 - Steve Hromada vs. winner of #6 Lou Ruggirello (Hofstra)/Cory VomBaur (Wyoming)

141 - #10 Cody Cleveland vs. Matthew Kyler (Army)

149 - Joey Knox vs. #3 J.P. O’Connor (Harvard)

157 - Seth Garvin vs. #3 Dan Vallimont (Penn State)

174 - Lloyd Rogers vs. #4 Jay Borschel (Iowa)

184 - Josh Edmondson vs. #8 Roger Kish (Minnesota)

197 - Matt Koz vs. Cayle Byers (George Mason)

 

 

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