Cleveland Wrestles to Eighth Place at NCAA Championships
Sophomore Cody Cleveland (photo by Robert Baudier)

ST. LOUIS --- Cody Cleveland placed eighth Saturday in the medal round of the 2008 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in St. Louis.

In the seventh-place match, Cleveland, the 10th seed at 141 pounds, was pinned in 3:46 by Minnesota’s Manuel Rivera, the fifth seed.

Cleveland scored a second-period takedown, but Rivera quickly tied the score at 2-2 with a reversal and put the Chattanooga sophomore on his back.  He earned the fall about four seconds after the move.

Cleveland’s eighth-place finish gives him All-America status, and he is the Mocs’ fifth All-America since 2005, joining Michael Keefe (2005), Jon Sioredas (2005) and Matt Keller (2006 and 2007).

The Tullahoma, Tenn., native finished the season 29-9 on the year.  He went 4-3 at the NCAAs in his first berth at Nationals.

Cleveland 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.

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.

Finals seventh place Saturday:

141 #5 Manuel Rivera (Minnesota) pinned #10 Cleveland, 3:46

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



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