published Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Wrestling Mocs get 5 on all-SoCon team

UTC wrestling head coach Heath Eslinger
UTC wrestling head coach Heath Eslinger
Photo by John Rawlston /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Five University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestlers were selected to the all-Southern Conference team.

The Mocs who made the team recorded unbeaten league records. Nick Soto (125) and Niko Brown (197) were 7-0, Alex Hudson (149) and Josh Condon (165) were 6-0 and John Lampe (174) was 5-0.

Brown and Condon are seniors, Hudson a junior, Soto a sophomore and Lampe a redshirt-freshman. Lampe also was named to the conference all-freshman team.

"There were really no surprises," Mocs coach Heath Eslinger said. "I was surprised that there were two 165-pounders. We beat [Appalachian freshman Zack Strickland] in the dual. The team is usually based on performances in the conference."

Other members of the team were The Citadel's Aaron Hansen (133), Ugi Khishignyam (141), Matt Frisch (157), Josh Tuck (184) and Odie Delaney (285). Delaney was named the tournament's wrestler of the year and Khishignyam freshman of the year.

"The honors accorded to our guys were well deserved. Each put together a good string at the end," Eslinger said.

Soto, last season's freshman of the year, and Delaney are the only repeaters.

However, Soto and his Mocs teammates are likely to wait until after the season to celebrate their selections.

"It's hard to enjoy when we know that Saturday's the day we have to take care of business," Eslinger said.

The Mocs, who wrapped up their seventh regular season title in eight years a couple of weeks ago, will be a favorite along with the Citadel to win Saturday's conference tournament in Lexington, Va.

The tournament begins at 10 a.m. with quarterfinals and concludes with championship finals which begin at 7 p.m.

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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