ODU Places Two at Southern Scuffle

December 30, 2006
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Dec. 30, 2006

GREENSBORO, NC -- The Monarchs had six wrestlers still alive on day two at the Southern Scuffle. Two would leave Greensboro as placewinners amidst the toughest competition the Monarchs will see in tournament action this season. Jesse Strawn took fourth at 184-lbs. and David Mendoza earned fifth place at the 197-lb. weight class.

True freshman Jesse Strawn went 7-1 overall at the tournament. After losing to Missouri's Raymond Jordan (ranked 6th nationally by InterMat) in the first round, Strawn put together a string of seven straight victories. The 184-pounder pinned two opponents, earned one technical fall, and added two major decisions.

He defeated nationally ranked Eric Chine from Kent State 11-6 before bowing to Alex Clemsen from Edinboro by default in the third place bout. The freshman finished higher than four nationally ranked opponents as he thrust his name into the national spotlight.

"He had a great tournament," said head coach Steve Martin of Strawn. "This very well could get him into the rankings."

David Mendoza, ranked nationally by wrestlingreport.com, was the other Monarch with a placewinning day in Greensboro. Mendoza also lost his first round bout on day one but stormed through the wrestlebacks. Finishing the tournament with a record of 6-2, Mendoza looks to climb the national rankings.

The 197-pound grappler lost to high school rival Pat Bradshaw (Edinboro) in the first round 4-2. He would earn retribution, however, by knocking his old friend into the 7th/8th place bout. Mendoza worked his way to the re-match by tallying an 11-1 major decision over Kent State's Tommy Larosa, a 5-3 decision over North Carolina's Dennis Drury, a 5:27 pin of Minnesota's Justin Bronson, and a 9-4 decision over Cal St.-Bakersfield's Brandon Halsey.

After the win over Bradshaw, Mendoza fell to nationally ranked Hudson Taylor from Maryland in a tight 3-0 bout. He then won by default in the 5th place matchup to take it home.

"This tournament was huge for the confidence of those two guys. Confidence is everything in wrestling," said Martin.

The Monarchs finished with 57.5 team points good for a 13th place finish of 32 teams. ODU is back in action next Saturday, January 6th as they host the Virginia Intercollegiate Tournament at Granby High School.