published Sunday, November 24th, 2013

Mock first, Mocs fifth at Navy Classic

Led by junior Corey Mock, seven University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestlers medaled Saturday at the Navy Classic.

Mock finished first at 165 pounds with a 3-2 victory over Navy's Peyton Walsh and extended his Mocs record to 10-0.

"Corey wrestled great. He knows his wrestling, never loses his cool," UTC coach Heath Eslinger said.

The transfer from North Carolina was UTC's lone finalist.

Wisconsin, which beat the Mocs on opening day in Chattanooga, won the 13-team tournament with three champions among 10 medalists. The Badgers had 164 points. Navy was second with 106.5, followed by Princeton (101.5), Kent State (95.5) and UTC (93).

The Mocs' Alex Hudson might have placed third at 157 pounds but tweaked an elbow, and coaches made the decision to default the match, leaving the senior with a fourth-place finish.

Levi Clemons (174), John Lampe (184) and Kevin Malone (285) also place fourth while Mike Pongracz (133) was fifth and Barrett Walthall (174) finished sixth.

A true freshman from Christian Brothers in Memphis, Walthall lost his first match but then reeled off four straight losers-bracket victories to get into the medals.

"It was a good day. A tournament can be so much of an emotional roller coaster, but we came out of it pretty healthy and we got in a lot of good wrestling," Eslinger said.

One Moc who caught the coaching staff's eye was Shawn Greevy, who's pursuing the 149-pound slot currently held by freshman Michael Hooker. Greevy pinned his first two opponents before falling by two in the quarterfinals.

"He wrestled really well and it looked like he was going to medal, but he got caught and pinned in his last consolation match," Eslinger said. "Big K (Malone) also had a good day, but he has wrestled well all year."

Pongracz, another freshman, defeated Mocs 133-pound starter Nick Soto on his way to the medals podium. He beat the 20th-ranked Soto 8-2 in a losers-bracket match.

"That's part of it. We have good teammates, and that's the good thing about it," Eslinger said.

Rogers joins Navy

Former Mocs standout Lloyd Rogers has joined Navy as an assistant coach. Rogers was a two-time NCAA qualifier, a Southern Conference champion and the 2008 SoCon wrestler of the year. He also was a 2009 University Nationals champion and runner-up and finished sixth at the 2011 U.S. Open.

He joined Navy after working as an intern at Iowa while serving as coach for the Eastern Iowa wrestling club. Rogers received a degree in criminal justice at UTC and earned his master's degree in kinesiology and sports management at Central Missouri.

Contact Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter.com/wardgossett.

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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