Updated Thu, Jan 3, 2013 12:00 pm
Going into the second day of the Southern Scuffle, the Bobcats already had something to be proud of: with five wrestlers competing on Wednesday, Ohio was guaranteed to have all five place in the top eight – its best performance at the Scuffle in school history. As a team, the Bobcats finished with 64.5 points, which landed them in seventh place.
Redshirt freshman Phil Wellington began the day in the championship bracket. He was joined by Jeremy Johnson, Cody Walters, Harrison Hightower and Spartak Chino, who all started competition in the consolation bracket.
Wellington, who finished fourth on the day, took on No. 8 Jake Meredith of Arizona State in the championship semifinal. Unfortunately for Ohio’s 197-pounder, Meredith defeated him by a 4-2 decision. Once in the consolation bracket, Wellington advanced to the third place match where he took on Brett Haynes of Missouri. Though Wellington defeated the No. 13 ranked wrestler on Tuesday, he fell this time to finish fourth.
Like Wellington, Chino and Johnson also competed in the consolation semifinals, however both lost by decision. Following their losses, they then competed in the fifth place match in their respective weight classes.
Chino suffered an 11-8 loss to Daniel Zilverberg of Minnesota, which earned the redshirt freshman a sixth place finish.
In Johnson’s fifth place match, he ran into a familiar foe in Andrew Delaney. Before the match, The Citadel’s heavyweight carried a record of 3-0 this season against Johnson, including a pin in 2:43 earlier in the tournament. Ohio’s All-American rebounded strongly, achieving his first victory against Delaney this season by medical forfeit.
Johnson went 6-2 in the two-day event to elevate his season record to 21-7.
In the consolation quarterfinals, Hightower was defeated by No. 10 Zach Toal. With a 9-1 loss, Ohio’s 165-pounder wrestled in the seventh place match, where he lost 5-2 for an eight place finish.
After suffering his first loss of the season on Tuesday, freshman Cody Walters bounced back to defeat his first opponent on Wednesday by a 16-2 major decision. Unfortunately for Walters, he suffered his second loss of the season in the next round to No. 10 ranked John Fausey of Virginia. Walters won his next match to finish seventh at the tournament. The freshman’s record now stands at 22-2.
Ohio will leave Chattanooga on a high note, and will look to carry that momentum into its next conference meet against Northern Illinois in Dekalb, Ill. on Jan. 11.