CHATTANOOGA (UTC/WRCB) -- While the university of Tennessee at Chattanooga failed to win the regular season league title for the first time since 2004, the Mat Mocs made it clear on Saturday they haven't slipped that far from the top of the mountain in the Southern Conference.
UTC crowned four individual champions en route to 102 team points to run away with the 2012 Southern Conference Tournament championship, its 26th tourney title in program history.
The Mocs, who finished second in the league after a loss to eventual champ Appalachian State, sent eight wrestlers to the championship round and placed nine total wrestlers in the event.
2012 SoCon Freshman of the year Nick Soto won Chattanooga's first individual title at 133 pounds, and was followed by former Bradley Central grappler Dean Pavlou (149 pounds), former Baylor School star Dan Waddell (157) and Brandon Wright (165).
Waddell's match proved to be one of the most exciting of the day. The former Red Raider state champ scored a takedown with two seconds left in the final period to escape with a 4-3 decision over Campbell's Nick Rex.
Manny Ramirez (125), Shawn Greevy (141), Robert Prigmore (184) and Kevin Malone (285) all earned runner-up finishes. Levi Clemons placed third at 174.
ASU and The Citadel tied for second with 72.5 points. Both teams had four in the finals and both won at three weights. Campbell finished fourth with 65 teams points, followed by VMI with 25.5. Gardner-Webb was sixth with 21 points and Davidson rounded out the team scoring with 6.5 points.
All individual champs clinched a spot in the upcoming 2012 NCAA Championships,which are scheduled for March 15-17 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.
2012 SoCon Wrestling Championships
1. Chattanooga - 102
T2. Appalachian State - 72.5
T2. The Citadel - 72.5
4. Campbell - 65
5. VMI - 25.5
6. Gardner-Webb - 21
7. Davidson - 6.5
125: No. 2 Antonio Gravely (ASU) - Dec. 12-9 - No. 1 Manny Ramirez (UTC)
133: No. 1 Nick Soto (UTC) - Dec. 8-5 - No. 2 Joey Rizzolino (Campbell)
141: No. 1 Mike Kessler (ASU) - Dec. 9-4 - No. 2 Shawn Greevy (UTC)
149: No. 3 Dean Pavlou (UTC) - Dec. 4-2 - No. 4 Seth Vernon (Citadel)
157: No. 1 Dan Waddell (UTC) - Dec. 4-3 - No. 2 Nick Rex (Campbell)
165: No. 2 Brandon Wright (UTC) - Dec. 3-2 (TB1) - No. 1 Kyle Blevins (ASU)
174: No. 1 Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (Citadel) - Dec. 2-1 - No. 3 James Cook (Campbell)
184: No. 1 Austin Trotman (ASU) - Tech Fall 21-6 (0:00) - No. 2 Robert Prigmore (UTC)
197: No. 1 Kelby Smith (Citadel) - Dec. 3-2 - No. 3 John Weakley (Campbell)
285: No. 1 Odie Delaney (Citadel) - MD 9-0 - No. 2 Kevin Malone (UTC)
SECOND-PLACE MATCH FOR AUTOMATIC NCAA BID
197: John Weakley (Campbell) - Fall 1:20 - Travis Porter (GWU)
MOST OUTSTANDING WRESTLER
Austin Trotman - Appalachian State
COACH OF THE YEAR
John-Mark Bentley - Appalachian State
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