Little Rock 197 lber Stephen Little at the Southern Scuffle (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
Little Rocks rocks the nation at Southern Scuffle
Little Rock came into the tournament with a 2-4 record and little expectations from outside its team. However, the Trojans marched into Chattanooga and created some program history, finishing 10th and sending three wrestlers to the podium.
Triston Wills led the charge by going 5-1 in the 174-pound division and claiming a bronze medal. Wills picked up wins over No. 27 Dom Solis and No. 21 Julien Broderson.
Stephen Little went 5-2 and finished fifth in the 197-pound division. Little went the distance in every match, including his two losses against No. 4 Ethan Laird and No. 10 Jaxon Smith.
Heavyweight Josiah Hill went 4-2 and captured seventh with wins over Hofstra's Zachary Knighton-Ward and Stanford's Peter Ming. The Trojans look to keep the momentum rolling in a busy January that sees them host Lindenwood and Oregon State a week and a half from now.
Courtney returns at Midlands Championship
Arizona State has yet to have Brandon Courtney and Michael McGee compete alongside each other this season. McGee was pulled from the Ken Kraft Midlands Championships while Courtney debuted in the 125-pound division.
Despite finishing second, Courtney eased himself back into competition, defeating SIU Edwardsville's Davian Guanajuato, Lehigh's Killian Delaney and NIU's Blake West. He fell to Wisconsin's Eric Barnett in the championship 6-2.
Julian Chlebove filled McGee's shoes in the 133-pound division and captured a fourth-place finish. He was able to down a pair of Penn wrestlers, squeak a win over Wisconsin's Taylor Lamont and pick up a tech fall over Patrick Schellpfeffer. Chlebove's two losses came to Illinois' Lucas Byrd.
In addition, Kyle Parco went 4-1 and finished second and Cohlton Schultz went 6-1 and finished third.
Shane Griffith leads Stanford to Fourth-Place at Southern Scuffle
Shane Griffith's second title at the Southern Scuffle made him the second Cardinal in school history with two. His bonus point victories and placing helped Stanford capture 105.5 points and finish fourth in the tournament.
Nico Provo, Jaden Abas and Daniel Cardenas had a combined 18-3 record, including a 5-2 record over top-25 opponents, and all finished third in their bracket. Charlie Darracott finished fifth, and Hunter Garvin, Tyler Eischens, and Nick Stemmet finished seventh.
Two Roadrunners Place at Southern Scuffle
Angelo Martinoni finished seventh in the 141-pound class after earning wins over Oklahoma State's Carter Young and Virginia Tech's Collin Gerardi. 133-pound Chance Rich claimed sixth place and claimed a win over Stanford's Jackson Disario. Rich also only fell 4-1 to the eventual champion Daton Fix.