By Wendy Jiang, Wrestling Beat Writer—
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team finished strong with nine Mocs placing at the Cougar Clash in Edwardsville, Ill on Sunday. Juniors Chris Debien, Cleveland, Tenn., Jake Huffine, Catersville, Ga., and Sophomore Fabian Gutierrez, Commerce City, Colo. all came in second.
Gutierrez and Arizona State’s Brandon Courtney put 29 points on the board in the semifinals at 125. Gutierrez advanced to the finals with a fall against Courtney at 6:57 with three seconds left in the match. The nail-biting showdown ended with a score of 16-13.
Gutierrez’s final round of the night was a 8-4 loss against Sun Devils’ No. 8 Ryan Millhoff, giving him a runner up spot.
Huffine followed in Gutierrez’s footsteps with a runner up finish at 133. Huffine lost in the finals to a close match against Timothy Rooney from Kent State (5-2).
Debien also had a runner up finish up at 141, scoring in double digits in his wins against Cory Simpson from Kent St. (11-3) and Corey Crooks from Arizona St. (10-5)
“I think all three of our lower weights looked good,” stated head coach Kyle Ruschell. “They continue to wrestle hard, but there are still some things to clean up. We know what they are and will get back work on improving for the next match.”
Junior Dominic Lampe, Fairdale, Ky., finished fourth place at 184 with wins against Cleveland State’s Chris Morrow (6-2) and SIUE’s Sergio Villalobos. Freshman Hunter Fortner (174), Knoxville, Tenn., and seniors Rodney Jones, Duluth, Ga., (197) and Connor Tolley, Franklin, Ind., (285) all finished the Clash in fifth place. Lastly, freshman Franco Valdes, Miami, FL., placed 6th at 133.
Next up for the Mocs is a trip to Edinboro, PA and Athens, OH. on Dec. 18-20.