The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team competes today in the Navy Classic at Annapolis, Md., and it will be the first individual tournament competition for the Mocs' starters.
Several team members competed in the individual tournament at Virginia Tech prior to the Hokie Duals, but most were second-line wrestlers.
The 13-team tournament begins at 10 a.m. with the championship finals set for 5 p.m. Scheduled to join the Mocs and the host Midshipmen are Brown, Bucknell, The Citadel, Cleveland State, Franklin & Marshall, George Mason, Kent State, Ohio, Princeton, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Expected to be among the top seeds are UTC's Corey Mock, currently ranked No. 6 by Amateur Wrestling News at 165 pounds, and Nick Soto, listed at No. 20 by AWN at 133 pounds.
The Mocs will have 16 wrestlers competing, doubling up at 125 (Byron Smith, Zach Bridson), 133 (Soto, Michael Pongracz), 149 (Michael Hooker, Shawn Greevy), 157 (Alex Hudson, Kevin Cooper), 165 (Mock, Trey Stavrum) and 174 (Levi Clemons, Barrett Walthall). Coach Heath Eslinger doesn't view the tournament as auditions in those cases.
"Our lineup is pretty well set. We know who our guys are right now, although things can change," he said. "We're going to get better."
Other UTC participants are Austin Sams (141), John Lampe (184), Scottie Boykin (197) and Kevin Malone (285).
Mock and Greevy are UTC's lone remaining unbeatens. Mock is 6-0 and Greevy 1-0. Hudson, the Mocs' lone senior, is 4-1, Soto and Malone are 5-2, Cooper is 4-2, Hooker is 4-3 and Stavrum is 3-2.
The Mocs left Jared Johnson at home. The freshman 197-pounder is recovering from a knee injury sustained at the Hokie Duals.
Contact Ward Gossett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter.com/wardgossett.
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...
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