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Brown and Strawn Lead Wrestling Monarchs at 2009 Southern Scuffle

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: December 30, 2009
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Dec. 30, 2009

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Senior's Jesse Strawn and Chris Brown led the No. 24 Old Dominion wrestling team to a 15th place finish at the 2009 Southern Scuffle, which concluded Wednesday at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center.

After two days of wrestling and 828 total matches, Old Dominion totaled 53 team points, falling one point shy of 14th place Michigan. Cornell claimed their second consecutive team title at the event, edging out Minnesota.

This year's Southern Scuffle field was perhaps the prestigious tournaments best. It included 53 wrestlers ranked in the latest InterMat rankings, including four of the 10 wrestlers ranked No. 1 in the nation at their respective weight classes. The field was also composed of seven teams ranked in the Top 25, including ODU.

Strawn battled through a very tough field to finish fifth at 197-pounds. Six wrestlers at 197-pounds, including Strawn, were ranked in the Top 20 entering the event.

Strawn was surprisingly sent to the consolation bracket early, dropping a 5-4 decision to Cal State Bakersfield's Riley Orozco in the opening round. Strawn, who is ranked No. 14 nationally, would not go away quietly though.

The senior won five consecutive matches, including four by pin, to move into the semifinals of the consolation bracket. Once there though Strawn ran into Michigan's Anthony Biondo, who is ranked No. 5 nationally at 197-pounds.

Biondo was able to pick up an 8-3 decision over Strawn en route to claiming third-place overall. Strawn bounced back once again though, pinning Minnesota's Sonny Yohn in the fifth-place bout.

Strawn was also honored at the end of the event with the Gregorian Award, which is given to the wrestler with the most pins in the least amount of time. Strawn had five falls in 18:36.

Another Monarch wrestler found himself in a very competitive weight class as ODU senior Chris Brown was one of seven ranked wrestlers at 165-pounds.

Brown got off to a hot start by winning his first three matches, including a 4-2 decision over nationally ranked P.J. Gillespie of Hofstra.

In the seminfinals Brown met up with another tough foe, No. 4 Dustin Schlatter of Minnesota. Although Brown gave Schlatter, the eventual champion at 165-pounds, his toughest match of the tournament, he lost a narrow 3-2 decision.

Brown then fell to No. 14 Paul Young of Indiana (9-7) and No. 10 Justin Kerber of Cornell (11-6) to end the tournament in sixth-place.

The Monarchs will compete for the first time this season at home on January 3. ODU welcomes Purdue, UNC Greensboro and Rider to the Ted Constant Convocation Center for a quad meet beginning at 11 a.m.

-ODU-

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