By William McElyea, Staff Writer-
The Chattanooga Mocs finished third overall in the Southern Conference Tournament, which took place Sunday, February 28th in Boone, North Carolina.
The Mocs finished with 64 total points led by Junior Drew Nicholson. The Memphis native entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed at 165 pounds.
Nicholson’s first match of the day came against VMI’s John Hoover. Nicholson won with an 8-4 decision to advance to the semifinals.
There, he faced Gardner-Webb’s RJ Mosley. Mosley was 3-0 against Nicholson and was seen as the favorite. Nicholson stayed composed throughout the match and ended with a 3-2 victory to move on to the finals.
In the finals, he faced No. 4 seed Dazjon Castro of the Citadel. The final, which stayed tied most of the match, ended in dramatic fashion.
Nicholson landed a takedown with just under 40 seconds left to hold off Castrol for a 3-1 win and the 165 SoCon title. The win also secured Nicholson an automatic berth in the NCAA championship.
The Mocs saw three other wrestlers place in the tournament. Freshman Logan Andrew entered as a No. 3 seed and finished second at 197 after falling 3-1 to the No. 1 seed Chris Kober of Campbell.
Junior Matthew Waddle, the No. 3 seed at 184, managed two convincing wins before falling 5-2 to Campbell’s Caleb Hopkins. His second-place finish was enough to punch his ticket into the NCAA tournament.
Senior Fabian Gutierrez also finished third at 125 after losing to Zurich Storm of Campbell in the semifinals.
Campbell finished with 92 points to win their third straight SoCon title, followed by Appalachian State with 87 points, and UTC with 64 points.
Drew Nicholson won Most Outstanding Wrestler, becoming the 22nd Moc to receive that honor.
UTC will head to St. Louis, Missouri March 18th for the NCAA championship tournament.