Four Campbell wrestlers advance at SoCon Championships to compete for league titles on Saturday night

Joey Rizzolino (photo by Bennett Scarborough)
Joey Rizzolino (photo by Bennett Scarborough)

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Chattanooga, Tenn. – Campbell Wrestling is currently in second place through the championship semifinal and consolation semifinal rounds with 63 team points, and four Camel wrestlers will be competing in Southern Conference championship bouts tonight. The championship round gets underway at 6:30 p.m. this evening.

In the 133-pound weight class, freshman Joey Rizzolino (Easton, Pa.) recorded two pins to advance to the championship round. Rizzolino pinned Joe Jarrells of VMI in 0:07 during the first round, and later collected his third pin of the season with a 0:19 fall of The Citadel's Kyle Casaletto. Squaring off against Chattanooga's Nick Soto in the championship bout this evening, Rizzolino will face the only SoCon opponent that he lost to in league competition this season, having dropped an 18-5 major decision to Soto earlier this season.

Nick Rex (Lakeland, Fla.) will also face a Chattanooga wrestler in a #1 vs. #2-seeded championship bout, taking on Daniel Waddell. Rex advanced through the bracket with a 16-0 tech fall win in 4:36 over Davidson's Christopher Talevi before prevailing in a thrilling 2-1 semifinal decision win over William Powell. Waddell won the regular season matchup with Rex 10-3 on Jan. 20, giving Rex his only SoCon defeat of the year.

James Cook (Madera, Calif.) advanced to the championship bout as the #3 seed in the bracket, exacting some revenge on Chattanooga's Levi Clemmons with a 3:22 pin in the semi-final round. Clemmons had taken an 8-2 decision when the two met in the regular season. Cook advanced to the semifinal after an 11-4 decision win over Erin O'Dell of Gardner-Webb in the first round. He will take on Turtogtokh Luvsandorj in another rematch during the championship bout. Cook dropped a 4-2 overtime decision to Luvsandorj during the regular season matchup on Feb. 17.

John Weakley (Cleveland, Ohio) is the fourth Camel to advance to the championship round at the SoCon Championships. After pinning VMI's Urayoan Garcia in 2:56 during the opening round, Weakley also avenged an earlier loss to Paul Weiss of Appalachian State in the semifinals. After losing by pin in the regular season matchup on Jan. 9, Weakley earned a hard-fought 11-10 decision during the semifinals on Saturday to advance to this evening's championship bout against Kelby Smith of The Citadel. Weakley and Smith have split two matchups this season, with Weakley taking a 12-6 decision at the Southern Scuffle on Jan. 1, and Smith taking the SoCon matchup 6-4 on Feb. 17.

A complete recap of all Saturday matches will be available later tonight.