By Abe Avila, Staff Writer—
The University of Tennessee Chattanooga Men’s wrestling team had two individuals win titles at the Appalachian Open today. Sophomores Hunter Fortner, Knoxville, Tn., and Matthew Waddell, Gilmer, GA., took the trophies at 174 and 184 pounds, respectively.
This was the first tournament setting for the Mocs since the Southern Scuffle on Jan. 1-2. UTC is 5-7 overall in dual matches and tied with Appalachian State for the SoCon lead at 3-0 in league duals.
Waddell had first period pins against App. State’s Mason Fiscella and Virginia’s Dawson Peck in his first two matches. He followed that with an 8-3 decision over Virginia Tech’s Cody Howard in the finals.
“We had some good results and it was a good test for us,” said head coach Kyle Ruschell. “That was the first tournament win for Hunter since high school and Waddell took care of business.”
Junior Fabian Gutierrez (125), Commerce City, Colo., and sophomore Tanner Smith (149), New Carlisle, Ohio, both went 2-0 before bowing out of the tournament. Sophomore Aidan Murphy, Virginia Beach, Va., entered the evening with a 1-11 record, but went 3-1 for a third place finish at 141. Sophomores Tyler Shilson (157), Maple Grove, Minn., and Drew Nicholson(165), Memphis, TN., and senior Rodney Jones (197), Duluth, GA., all had third place finishes.
Up next for the Mocs is a big home match against Appalachian State on Sunday, Feb. 2. Action begins at 2:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) in McKenzie Arena