ODU Wrestlers Win Six Weight Classes at Hokie Open

November 08, 2009
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Nov. 8, 2009

SALEM, Va. - The Old Dominion wrestling team kicked off the 2009-10 season with a bang, winning six weight classes at the second annual Hokie Open, held Sunday at the Salem Civic Center. The event had nearly 400 wrestlers competing on 10 mats throughout the day, including most of the Monarchs' roster.

Senior Jesse Strawn and junior James Nicholson each defended their Hokie Open titles, winning their respective weight classes.

"The team had a dominating performance at the Hokie Open," said ODU head coach Steve Martin. "This was a good tool to help the coaching staff evaluate our strengths and weaknesses. Joe Budi and Jesse Strawn had impressive performances as they both beat nationally ranked individuals. Budi has improved tremendously with his victory over his opponent from Virginia Tech. We are looking forward to our next tough test, Friday, against Big Ten opponent Wisconsin."

Nicholson posted a 5-0 record at 125-pounds to improve to 9-0 all-time at the event. After an opening round pin, the redshirt junior used a 10-3 decision to advance into the quarterfinals. Nicholson then won three straight bouts by major decision, including an 11-3 win over Matt Oliver of Newberry in the finals.

Strawn went 4-0 at 197-pounds for the second consecutive year. He posted first period pins in each of his first two matches to move into the semifinals. The senior would then face back-to-back opponents from the University of North Carolina. In his toughest match, Strawn upended Dennis Drury, whose ranked No. 16 nationally, 8-7 before getting a third period pin against Zac Bennett to claim the title.

Joe Budi improved on his third place finish from 2008 by winning at 184-pounds this year. The sophomore went 4-0, including a big win over Virginia Tech's Tommy Spellman by a 3-2 decision in the semifinals. Spellman is ranked No. 17 in the nation.

Eric Decker went 4-1 at 174-pounds, garnering a second-place finish. The senior fell 3-1 to Jake Young of Tennessee-Chattanooga in the finals. It was Decker's second consecutive second-place finish at the Hokie Open.

Redshirt freshman Craig Wilson also performed well, advancing to the quarterfinals in the 141-pound weight class.

Kyle Hutter, John Nicholson and Chris Brown also won their weight classes wrestling unattached.

Full results can be found at: http://www.hokieopen.com/Documents/2009/Results/2009_Hokie_Open.html