Four Monarchs Place at Southern Scuffle; Team 10th Overall
By ODU Athletics
Dec. 30, 2007
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Old Dominion had four placewinners at the Southern Scuffle and tallied 74.5 team points for a 10th place finish. Redshirt freshman James Nicholson (Des Moines, Iowa) placed third at 125 while sophomore Kaylen Baxter (Fairbanks, Alaska) took fourth at 149. Ryan Williams (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) and Chris Brown (Chesapeake, Va.) took 7th in their respective weight classes. ODU returns to action next weekend at the Virginia Intercollegiate Tournament in Charlottesville.
Nicholson went 2-0 on the first day and started the second day with a win over Maryland's Brendan Byrne. Eventual weight champion Jayson Ness, ranked third in the nation, pinned Nicholson in the semi's, though, sending the Monarch into the wrestlebacks.
The loss did give ODU's 125 a chance to face the CAA's top ranked in the weight, Dave Tomasette (Hofstra). Tomasette is ranked as high as the nation but Nicholson got the better of the Pride grappler, winning the bout 4-2. The huge win propelled Nicholson into the 3rd place bout, where his momentum earned him a 3-1 decision over Virginia's Ross Gitomer.
Baxter, the team leader in wins with 16 coming into the Scuffle, added to his total with four more in the tourney. His championship run was interrupted by tournament shocker and weight class champion from across the conference, Mike Roberts (Boston U). The unranked junior Terrier bumped three nationally ranked opponents from the championship bracket including #20 Baxter, #3 Darrion Caldwell (NC State), and #1 Dustin Schlatter (Minnesota).
Baxter's loss to Roberts put him across Hofstra's 149, Mitch Smith. The two battled to overtime, where Baxter earned a 12-11 win. After the marathon battle against Smith he faced yet another tight match, losing the 3rd place bout to 18th ranked Adam Smith (Boise State) just 6-5.
Williams and Brown also placed for ODU, with 7th place efforts. Williams at 141 dropped Edinboro's Torsten Gillespie in the final bout of the tournament 8-1 for his place. Brown earned a medical default victory in his 7th place bout at 165 over Kent State's Kurt Gross.
Old Dominion is back in action next weekend at the Virginia Intercollegiate State Tournament held at the University of Virginia in 2008. Following the tournament, ODU will begin its dual schedule, including its first home match of the season at The Ted on January 8, 7:30 pm against Delaware State.
Team Scores: Team Points 1. Minnesota 182.0 2. Edinboro 130.5 3. Hofstra 121.0 4. Cornell 94.0 5. Maryland 93.5 6. Virginia 91.5 7. Bloomsburg 86.0 8. Boise State 84.5 9. Navy 79.5 10. Old Dominion 74.5 11. Kent State 73.0 12. Virginia Tech 61.0 13. NC State 56.0 14. Cal St. Bake 49.5 T15.North Carolina 45.0 T15.UNC Greensboro 45.0 17. Appalachian St 39.5 18. Lock Haven 32.0 19. Boston Univ 29.0 20. George Mason 24.5 21. Duke 17.0 22. Ohio Univ 15.5 23. Binghamton 14.0 24. Liberty 11.5 25. The Citadel 11.0 26. VMI 9.0 27. Gardner-Webb 7.5 28. Davidson 3.5 T29.Independent 0.0 T29.Princeton 0.0