Penn State Pulls Away to Win Southern Scuffle at McKenzie Arena
Penn State built a big lead through today’s semifinals and cruised to its fifth-straight team win at the 2015 Defense Soap & Flips Wrestling Southern Scuffle. The Nittany Lions outdistanced Missouri 165.0 to 150.0, despite not taking any individual titles.
The host University of Tennessee at Chattanooga placed 14th overall with two medalists. Seniors Sean Boyle and Nick Soto both made the podium. Boyle was third at 125 while Soto placed for the third time in his career with a seventh place showing at 133.
Oklahoma State (135.5), Nebraska (116.0) and Michigan (88.5) rounded out the top five. Cornell (79.5), Lehigh (79.0), Pittsburgh (72.0), Wyoming (57.5) and Virginia (51.5) made up the rest of the top 10.
Boyle started his day in the championship quarterfinals against No. 3 Alan Waters. He dropped that match in a 15-0 tech fall. Waters was on his way to winning the 125 bracket, but Boyle was far from done.
Boyle came right back with a nice 6-2 win over Iowa State’s Kyle Larson. He followed that with an 8-0 major decision over Cleveland State’s Ben Willeford to secure a spot in the medal round.
In the consolation semifinals, Boyle ran into another top-10 ranked opponent in Wyoming’s Tyler Cox. Boyle advanced to the third place match with an 8-4 decision. In the medal round, he outpaced Oklahoma State’s 11th-ranked Eddie Klimara 11-9.
“Consistent,” stated UTC head coach Heath Eslinger. “That is what he is. He is so steady and consistent in the way he wrestles and it paid off in this tournament. I am very proud of the way he competed and this was an outstanding result for him.”
Soto opened his day in the backdraw, posting a 9-5 win over Drew Templeman of Wyoming. He followed that with a 7-5 victory against Campbell’s Nathan Kraisser.
His signature win came against Virginia’s 10th ranked George DiCamillo. Soto got into a 7-1 hole early in the match, but battled back for a 12-9 decision. He slipped up and was pinned by 15th-ranked Kevin Devoy of Drexel in his next match.
That loss dropped him to the seventh place match against North Carolina’s Troy Heilmann. Heilmann had beaten Soto twice in the last month, including a 10-0 decision yesterday. Soto got out in front early and stayed ahead for a 10-4 win.
Individual champions included Missouri’s Waters (125), Lavion Mayes (141) and J’Den Cox (197), Iowa State’s Earl Hall (133), Oklahoma State’s Josh Kindig (149), Alex Dieringer (165) and Austin Marsden, Nebraska’s James Green (157) and Robert Kokesh and Cornell’s Gabe Dean (184).
Dean pinned Pittsburgh’s No. 1 ranked Max Thomusseit in the second period in the finals to win the Most Outstanding Wrestler Award for the second year in a row. It was the second-straight Scuffle title for the sophomore.
Today’s attendance at the 2015 Defense Soap & Flips Wrestling Southern Scuffle was 3,320. That is the second largest crowd since the Tournament moved to Chattanooga, Tenn. in 2012.