Chattanooga’s Corey Mock was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler, while The Citadel coach Rob Hjerling was named the SoCon Coach of the Year.
The Mocs tallied 88.0 points on the day, while The Citadel took the runner-up spot with 78.5 points. Campbell, which hosted the tournament, placed third with 54.0 points.
With 36.0 points, Appalachian State finished fourth in front of Gardner-Webb in fifth with 32.5 points. SIUE was just behind in sixth with 30.5 points.
Rounding out the standings were Davidson in seventh with 29.0 points and VMI in eighth with 13.5.
The Southern Conference was allocated 16 spots for the NCAA Championships, with three each at 149 pounds and 165 pounds, two each at 157 pounds and heavyweight and one each at the six other weights.
Dominic Parisi claimed his second straight trip to the national tournament at 125 pounds. Parisi, the No. 1 seed, took out VMI’s Dalton Henderson with a 9-1 major decision in the opening bout. Gardner-Webb’s Cortez Starkes took Parisi to sudden victory, but the Mountaineer pulled out the 3-1 win. In the final match, he defeated Campbell’s Tyler Walker 9-5, punching his bid to the NCAA Championships.
Chattanooga’s Nick Soto took home his third straight conference championship. Soto, the No. 1 seed at 133 this year, pinned VMI’s Michael Flora in 2:54 to advance to the semifinal, where Davidson’s Anthony Elias medically forfeited. In the final, Soto handily defeated Campbell’s Drew Walker, 12-2, to earn the automatic bid to nationals.
The Citadel’s Ugi Khishignyam also earned his second straight championship at 141 pounds. The top seed, he used a 20-5 tech fall over Davidson’s James McCord in the first round. Khishignyam defeated VMI’s Emmitt Kelly 7-2 before meeting UTC’s Michael Pongracz in the final. The Bulldog took the 8-3 decision to first place on the podium.
The SoCon Freshman of the Year, Dylan Cottrell, won the 149-pound title. He cruised past SIUE’s Karsten Van Velsor in the first round with a 14-4 major decision, then edged Campbell’s Brent Jorge, 6-3, in the semifinal. Cottrell secured the championship with an 11-5 decision over the second seed, Kevin Birmingham of Davidson.
Birmingham and The Citadel’s Matt Frisch also earned bids to the NCAA Championships at 149 pounds.
After receiving a bye in the opening round, The Citadel’s top-seeded Aaron Walker took two matches en route to his first conference championship. The freshman 157-pounder defeated VMI’s Ted Gottwald in the semifinal, 6-2, to earn a spot in the final. He pinned UTC’s Alex Hudson, the No. 2 seed, in 4:43 to claim his spot in the NCAA Championships. Hudson will also advance to nationals.
UTC’s Mock denied The Citadel’s Turtogtokh Luvsandorj his first title at 165 and third overall. Mock, the second seed, took down the top-seeded Bulldog, 7-1, in the championship bout to claim his spot in the NCAA Championships. Mock had no trouble advancing to the final round, defeating VMI’s Mark Darr, 6-1, and SIUE’s Matt Lester, 13-0, in consecutive rounds.
Luvsandorj, along with Gardner-Webb’s Austin Trott, also earned bids to the NCAA Championships.
Top seed Levi Clemons took the Mocs’ second championship in a row, taking the 174-pound title, registering two major decisions along the way. He took down VMI’s Derek Thurman, 13-5, before defeating Campbell’s Cody Ryba, 11-2 in the semifinal. Clemons met the second seed, Jake Residori from SIUE, in the championship bout, but Residori had to medically forfeit.
Davidson’s Scott Patrick, who placed third in last year’s tournament, took Davidson’s only individual title of the night at 184 pounds. The second-seeded Wildcat pinned VMI’s Hardy Hendren in 4:50 to open the bracket and went on to take out second-seeded Jack Duane of the Citadel, 11-4. He met Campbell’s Ville Heino, the fourth seed, in the championship bout, and took the 8-3 decision.
Marshall Haas claimed The Citadel’s second title of the night at 197 pounds. Haas, the second seed, pinned VMI’s Jake Koch in 1:10 to open the tournament. In the semifinals, he posted a 6-2 decision over SIUE’s Josh Wood, and earned his title with a 9-5 win over top-seeded Scottie Boykin of UTC.
SIUE’s David Devine, the fifth seed at 285, used two upsets to claim his title. He edged Appalachian’s Denzel Dejournette in the first round, 3-2 to advance to the semifinals. In his first upset, Devine took out top-seeded Dawson Peck from UTC 3-1 in sudden victory. He won the championship with another upset over No. 2 Eloheim Palma from Campbell, 3-0, avenging a loss in the regular season. Palma claimed the second national bid at the heavyweight spot.
For more information regarding the NCAA tournament, please visit SoConSports.com or NCAA.com.
Chattanooga – 88.0
The Citadel – 78.5
Campbell – 54.0
Appalachian State – 36.0
Gardner-Webb – 32.5
SIUE – 30.5
Davidson – 29.0
VMI – 13.5
Southern Conference Coach of the Year
Rob Hjerling, The Citadel
Tournament Most Outstanding Wrestler
Corey Mock, Chattanooga