The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team wrapped up its opening weekend with the 2012 Hokie Open today. The Mocs had four wrestlers place in the event, led by sophomore Nick Soto who won the 125-pound title.
Soto, a native of Spring Hill, Fla., racked up four wins on his way to the championship. Ranked No. 14 in the nation, Soto opened with a pin (2:47) over King College's Tanner Bates. He followed that with another pin against North Carolina's Brian Bokoski (4:29) and a major decision (10-2) against Appalachian State's Dominic Parisi.
The biggest win of the day for the Mocs was Soto's championship match against Virginia Tech's Jarrod Garnett. Garnett came into the match ranked No. 6 in the nation, but Soto managed a 10-9 victory. It was his third win over a top-10 wrestler in his career.
Senior Dean Pavlou (Cleveland, Tenn.) advanced to the semifinals of the 141-pound bracket. He lost to The Citadel's Undrakhbayer Khishgnyam (8-3), but came back to beat Rutgers' two-time NCAA Qualifier Trevor Melde to advance to the third place match. There he fell (19-2) in a tech fall to UNC's 20th-ranked Evan Henderson.
Sophomore Trey Stavrum (Chattanooga, Tenn.) advanced to the quarterfinals of the main draw at 157 before falling to Rutger's ninth-ranked Scott Winston (11-3). Junior Jake Young (Ooltewah, Tenn.) posted a fifth place finish at 174. He lost in the quarterfinals to Virginia Tech's Austin Gabel (2-1), but managed to work his way back to the podium with three more wins.
Senior Niko Brown was the last Moc to place in the event, finishing third at 197. He was pinned in the semifinals by UNC's Antonio Giorio, but defeated Virginia Tech's Derrick Borlie (forfeit) and Rutger's Dan Seidenberg (6-3) to place third overall.
The Mocs are back on the road next weekend at the Wolfpack Open. Competition takes place in Raleigh, N.C., on Sunday, Nov. 11. UTC opens its home schedule on Friday, Nov. 16 with a visit from No. 2 Iowa to Maclellan Gym. Season ticket and tickets for the Iowa match at on sale now on GoMocs.com and at the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627).