The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team clinched the outright Southern Conference Regular Season Title with today’s 37-3 win at VMI. The 24th-ranked Mocs end the regular season with a 16-7 overall record and another clean slate in SoCon action at 7-0.
The Mocs won nine of the 10 individual bouts today. UTC put the hammer down as the match went on, scoring bonus points in the last six contests.
Freshman Byron Smith opened the day with his first league win. He posted a 13-9 decision over Dalton Henderson to improve to 7-14 overall.
Junior Nick Soto got win No. 30 with his 11-6 decision over Michael Fiora at 133. The No. 16-ranked Soto is 30-9 this season and now 19-0 in SoCon regular season matches in his career.
Freshman Michael Pongracz scored an escape with two seconds left for a 5-4 win over Emmitt Kelly at 141. Pongracz is now 20-12 on the year and 4-2 in SoCon action.
VMI’s only win came at 149 when Shabaka Johns defeated sophomore Austin Sams 9-3.
Senior Alex Hudson and junior Corey Mock all but put the match out of reach with back-to-back major decisions at 157 and 165. Junior Levi Clemons kept it going with a pin at 174, followed by two more majors from sophomore John Lampe (184) and freshman Scottie Boykin (197).
Freshman Dawson Peck lived up to his recently acquired No. 20 national ranking. He pinned heavyweight Juan Adams in the second period to move to 12-1 overall. Adams came into the match with a 6-0 league tally and 18-7 overall this season.
UTC has now won 15-straight SoCon matches and is 29-1 in league duals in the Heath Eslinger era. The Mocs 16 wins are the most for the program since going 16-1 in 2007. Chattanooga has won or tied for the SoCon Regular Season Championship 13 times since the league started recognizing a season winner in 1994.
The Mocs have won the SoCon Tournament 27 times since joining the league in 1978, including each of the last three. UTC will try to extend those numbers when they travel to Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C., for the SoCon Championships on Saturday, March 8. Check out GoCamels.com for ticket information.
No. 24 Chattanooga 37 - VMI 3
Saturday - Feb. 22, 2014 - The Thunderdome (Cocke Hall) - Lexington, Va.
125: Byron Smith (UTC) – Dec. 13-9 - Dalton Henderson (VMI) – UTC 3-0
133: No. 16 Nick Soto (UTC) – Dec. 11-6 - Michael Flora (VMI) – UTC 6-0
141: Michael Pongracz (UTC) – Dec. 5-4 - Emmitt Kelly (VMI) – UTC 9-0
149: Shabaka Johns (VMI) – Dec. 8-6 - Austin Sams (UTC) – UTC 9-3
157: Alex Hudson (UTC) – MD 14-1 - Ted Gottwald (VMI) –UTC 13-3
165: No. 13/8 Corey Mock (UTC) – MD 8-0 - Mark Darr (VMI) – UTC 17-3
174: Levi Clemons (UTC) – Fall 2:02 - Jake Koch (VMI) – UTC 23-3
184: John Lampe (UTC) – MD 20-8 - Hardy Hendren (VMI) – UTC 27-3
197: Scottie Boykin (UTC) – MD 12-2 - Andrew Embree (VMI) – UTC 31-3
285: No. 20 Dawson Peck (UTC) – Fall 3:20 - Juan Adams (VMI) – UTC 38-3