Campbell finishes fourth in SoCon team results after four second place finishes and one third place result, Weakley advances to NCAA Championships
Chattanooga, Tenn. – Campbell finished fourth in the team results with 65 points after narrowly dropping four championship matches. James Cook, Nick Rex and John Weakley each dropped one-point decisions in the championship bout of their respective weight classes, while Joey Rizzolino lost a hard-fought 9-5 decision to the SoCon freshman of the year, Nick Soto. A complete recap of Campbell's results in each weight class is below.
All but one weight class offered one automatic bid to the NCAA Championships, while the 197-pound weight class offered two automatic bids. Weakley earned the second bid to St. Louis for the NCAA finals by defeating Travis Porter (Gardner-Webb) by fall in 1:20 in a 2nd place match to decide who earned the automatic qualifier.
125 pounds: Tanner Bidelspach (Hanover, Pa.) finished fourth at 125 pounds. After losing by fall to Richard Alarcon in the first round, Bidelspach earned a pin in the consolation semifinal over Gardner-Webb's Michael Slaughter. The consolation championship featured a rematch with Alarcon, and Bidelspach lost a tight 6-2 decision to finish fourth.
133 pounds: 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. In the championship match Rizzolino faced SoCon freshman of the year, Nick Soto, having lost to the Chattanooga wrestler by an 18-5 major decision in the first matchup of the season in January. Rizzolino lost a respectable 9-5 decision to Soto, finishing second in his freshman campaign.
141 pounds: Jordan Tolbert (Olney, Md.) lost two matches at 141 pounds, dropping a 6-0 first round decision to VMI's Zeb Stewart. The freshman then fell to Jordan Dix of The Citadel by a 12-4 major decision in the consolation semifinals.
149 pounds: Mark Hartenstine (Easton, Pa.) took home the third place medal in his weight class, defeating #1 seed Savva Kostis of Appalachian State by an 8-2 decision in the third place match. Hartenstine won his opening round match in the morning over David Yost of VMI with a 6-3 decision win. The redshirt freshman then lost a 9-1 major decision to eventual champion Dean Pavlou (Chattanooga), placing him in the third place match.
157 pounds: Nick Rex (Lakeland, Fla.) dropped a heartbreaking 4-3 decision in the championship bout against Daniel Waddell, with Waddell awarded the match-winning two point takedown as time expired after Rex had maintained a one point lead for the majority of the third period. 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 had won the regular season matchup with Rex 10-3 on Jan. 20, giving Rex his only SoCon defeat during the regular season.
165 pounds: #3 seed Ryan Krecker (Nazareth, Pa.) was upset by #6 seed Tyler Mullen of Davidson in the opening round by a 7-3 decision. Krecker then took an 8-6 decision win over The Citadel's Michael Harper in the consolation quarterfinals before falling in a tight 8-6 decision to Gardner-Webb's Justin Guthrie.
174 pounds: James Cook (Madera, Calif.) dropped a close match to The Citadel's Turtogtokh Luvsandorj for the second time in two weeks during the championship bout of 174 pounds. Cook fell 2-1 in Saturday's championships after dropping a 4-2 overtime decision in the regular season matchup. Cook advanced to the semifinal after an 11-4 decision win over Erin O'Dell of Gardner-Webb in the first round. He then exacted 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.
184 pounds: John Merickel (Moscow, Idaho) finished fourth at 184 pounds for Campbell, advancing to the third place match after a 5-4 decision win over John Dommert of VMI in the consolation semifinals. Merickel had dropped his opening round match by a 12-4 major decision against Josh Tuck of The Citadel.
197 pounds: John Weakley (Cleveland, Ohio) earned one of two automatic bids from the SoCon's 197-pound weight class to the NCAA Championships later this month with his second place finish. Weakley dropped the championship match in a narrow 3-2 decision to Kelby Smith of The Citadel before taking the automatic bid with a pin of Gardner-Webb's Travis Porter in 1:40 in the second place match. After pinning VMI's Urayoan Garcia in 2:56 during the opening round, Weakley avenged an earlier loss to Paul Weiss of Appalachian State with an 11-10 win in the semifinals to advance to the championship bout.
285 pounds: Joe Nolan (Jackson, N.J.) finished fourth at 285 pounds, falling by 7-2 decision in the third place match against Andrew Embree of VMI. Nolan had defeated Embree in a 7-4 decision to begin Saturday's competition before losing by fall to #1 seed and eventual champion Odie Delaney in the championship semifinals. Nolan then won a 10-5 decision over Justin Kozera of Gardner-Webb in the consolation semifinals before falling in the third place match.