Wellington Leads Ohio Wrestling On Day One Of Southern Scuffle

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To kick off 2013, Ohio Wrestling spent its time participating in day one of the Southern Scuffle. Though the Bobcats had a rather rough day in Chattanooga, freshman Phil Wellington’s performance landed him in Wednesday’s semifinals.  

The 197-pounder went undefeated on Tuesday to stay alive in the championship bracket. After receiving two byes, Phil Wellington won his third round match by medical forfeit. Though Wellington remained relatively inactive in the first three rounds of the scuffle, he more than made up for it in his quarterfinal match, in which he faced No. 13 ranked senior Brent Hayes of Missouri. The freshman overcame the senior in a 5-2 decision.

Along with Wellington, Ohio head coach Joel Greenlee sent 11 other Bobcats to the mats on New Year’s Day and after the day’s activities four more – Jeremy Johnson, Cody Walters, Spartak Chino, and Harrison Hightower – will be competing on Wednesday.

No. 18 ranked Walters came into the tournament with an 18-0 record. After adding two more victories, he entered the championship quarterfinals with a still perfect 20-0 record. No. 6 ranked Matt Brown of Penn State majored Walters to give him his first defeat of the season.

With a now blemished, but sill spectacular 20-1 record, Walters will look to rebound on day two in the consolation bracket.

All-American junior Jeremy Johnson received a first round bye, and then defeated North Carolina State’s Mike Kosoy by an 8-0 major decision.

In the second round, No. 11 Johnson was matched up against a familiar foe in No. 20 Andrew Delaney of The Citadel. Johnson faced Delaney at both the Navy Classic and the Reno Tournament of Champions this season. Delaney got the best of Ohio’s star in both meetings. Unfortunately for Johnson, the result was the same Tuesday.

Delaney pinned Johnson, and raised his record to 3-0 against Ohio’s heavyweight. Johnson bounced back, however, with wins by pin and decision in the fourth and fifth consolation rounds respectively.

Joining Johnson and Walters in the consolation bracket tomorrow are Chino and Hightower, after each had solid performances Tuesday.

Both Chino and Hightower suffered from losses in the second round of the championship bracket, but finished the day strong in the consolation. Chino went up against No. 10 ranked Jedd Moore of Virginia in the second round, and was pinned. Ohio’s 157-pounder pinned his opponent in the consolation’s fifth round to finish his day.

After Hightower’s second round loss, the sophomore pinned his opponent in the third and fifth consolation round.

Five Ohio wrestlers – Angelo Disabato, Kagan Squire, Zach Rohr, Marshal Willet and Keith Johnson – will leave Chattanooga winless. Youth and inexperience may have gotten the best of the freshman group of Bobcats.

Of the group, the 165 pound Willet may have had the biggest challenge. He was pinned in his championship bracket match by Kyle Dake of Cornell who is ranked first in the nation.

Currently the Bobcats have 35 team points, which puts them in 10th place out of 25 teams. With five wrestlers active tomorrow, they will look to improve that score.

The semifinals are set to begin at noon Wednesday. Wellington will be taking on No. 6 ranked Jake Meredith of Arizona State.