ST. LOUIS --- Cody Cleveland will wrestle Minnesota’s Manuel Rivera Saturday at 10 a.m. CT for seventh place in the 141-pound division at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.
Cleveland, a sophomore from Tullahoma, Tenn., who wrestled at The McCallie School in Chattanooga, has earned All-America status at the NCAAs and can finish no worse than eighth place.
He won four straight matches to reach the medal round, edging Michigan’s Kellen Russell, 7-6 in the fifth round of the consolation brackets Friday evening. Army’s Matthew Kyler registered a 7-6 win over Cleveland in the wrestleback quarterfinals late Friday night.
“I am really excited for Cody,” Chattanooga Head Coach Chris Bono said. “He had a great tournament, and this is a building block for our program. This is big for me. He is my first All-America as a head coach, and he is a local product. This sets the stage for him for next year, and he should be ranked pretty high in the preseason rankings.”
Cleveland opened the tournament with a 5-2 loss to Army’s Kyler. In their second matchup in the quarterfinals, Kyler scored a takedown on the edge of the mat with 37 seconds left and limited the Moc wrestler to an escape the remainder of the match for the 7-6 victory.
The 10th-seeded Cleveland won four straight matches in the wrestlebacks including a 3-0 decision over Harvard’s Corey Jantzen, a 14-13 win over Oklahoma’s Zach Bailey, a 5-0 shutout over Liberty’s Tim Harner and the victory over Russell.
Against Russell, Cleveland snapped a 2-2 tie with two third-period takedowns and an escape and held off Russell in the final seconds.
Cleveland, now 29-8 on the year, is Chattanooga’s fifth All-America in the last four years, joining Michael Keefe (2005) and Jon Sioredas (2005) and Matt Keller (2006 and 2007).
Rivera, Cleveland’s next opponent, is the No. 5 seed and lost 8-2 in the consolation quarters to ninth-seeded Nick Gallick of Iowa State. Gallick is the younger brother of Chattanooga assistant coach Nate Gallick.
After the fourth round of the consolation brackets, the Mocs had three wrestlers still challenging for the medal rounds.
Cleveland, and seniors Lloyd Rogers and Matt Koz won their morning matches to move on in the wrestlebacks.
Rogers and Koz were eliminated in the fifth round after morning victories. A pair of Hofstra wrestlers did in the duo, with sixth-seeded Alton Lucas eliminated Rogers, 11-7 at 174 pounds, and 12th-seeded Joseph Rovelli scored a 13-2 major decision over Koz at 197.
Senior Javier Maldonado and junior Seth Garvin weren't as fortunate, each dropping their second consolation match in the fourth round.
In the early session Friday, Cleveland stormed out to a 9-0 first-period lead in his 141-pound match against Oklahoma's Bailey and held on for a 14-13 victory. Cleveland had defeated Bailey on Jan. 18 in Norman, Okla., with a 14-6 major decision.
Rogers controlled his 174-pound match against Iowa State’s Aron Scott and produced an 8-2 victory. He led 5-1 after two periods.
Koz got a mark of revenge over 10th-seeded Joel Flaggert in a 197-pound consolation match. The senior, who lost to Flaggert 5-2 in the Mocs’ dual at Oklahoma Jan. 18, earned all the points he would need in the second period, getting an escape and a takedown for a 3-0 lead. A riding time point at the end gave him the 4-1 win.
Maldonado dropped a 12-6 decision to Eric Hoffman of North Dakota State, and Garvin lost a 10-0 major decision to fourth-seeded Brandon Becker of Indiana.
Chattanooga stands in 37th place in the team standings with nine team points. Iowa leads the field with 102 points, followed by second-place Ohio State (71) and third-place Iowa State (68). The Mocs defeated Ohio State 19-16 on Nov. 10 in a home dual match.
Quarterfinal consolation match results – Friday:
141 – Matthew Kyler (Army) dec. #10 Cleveland, 7-6
Sixth-round consolation match results – Friday:
141 – #10 Cleveland dec. #3 Kellen Russell (Michigan), 5-0
Fifth-round consolation match results – Friday:
141 – #10 Cleveland dec. Tim Harner (Liberty), 5-0
174 – #6 Alton Lucas (Hofstra) dec. Rogers, 11-7
197 – #12 Joseph Rovelli (Hofstra) maj. dec. Koz, 13-2
Fourth-round consolation match results – Friday:
125 Eric Hoffman (North Dakota State) dec. Maldonado, 12-6
141 #10 Cleveland dec. Zach Bailey (Oklahoma), 14-13
157 #4 Brandon Becker (Indiana) maj. dec. Garvin, 10-0
174 Rogers dec. Aron Scott (Iowa State), 8-2
197 Koz dec. #10 Joel Flaggert (Oklahoma), 4-1
Third-round consolation match results – Friday:
125 Maldonado dec. Nicholas Bedelyon (Kent State), 8-4
133 Kyle Hutter (Old Dominion) dec. Hromada, 2-1 (riding time)
141 #10 Cleveland dec. Corey Jantzen (Harvard), 3-0
149 Eric Medina (Maryland) pinned Knox, 2:34
157 Garvin dec. Christian Snook (Army), 5-4 ot
174 Rogers dec. Philip Moricone (Edinboro), 3-2
184 #9 Brent Chriswell (Arizona State) maj. dec. Edmondson, 14-3
197 Koz dec. John Drake (Cal State-Fullerton), 5-1
Chattanooga’s First round results – Thursday morning
125 - #11 David Tomasette (Hofstra) maj. dec. Javier Maldonado 15-1
133 - #6 Lou Ruggirello (Hofstra) dec. Steve Hromada, 3-2 (9 overtimes)
141 - Matthew Kyler (Army) dec. #10 Cody Cleveland, 5-2
149 - #3 J.P. O'Conner (Harvard) maj. dec. Joey Knox, 14-4
157 - #3 Dan Vallimont (Penn State) dec. Seth Garvin, 8-6 ot
174 - #4 Jay Borschel (Iowa) maj. dec. Lloyd Rogers, 13-2
184 - #8 Roger Kish (Minnesota) dec. Josh Edmondson, 6-3
197 - Cayle Byers (George Mason) dec. Matt Koz, 3-1 ot