The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team opened the 2020-21 season with a 48-0 sweep over Emmanuel College today. UTC won every match, plus four extra exhibition bouts, at Maclellan Gym.
It was exactly 300 days ago the Mocs last competed at the Southern Conference Tournament on March 8 in Boone, N.C. UTC finally got its regular season underway, after a delayed start for all of NCAA Wrestling.
"It was great to compete today," stated head coach Kyle Ruschell. "A lot of hard work over these last 10 months, but I was happy to see our guys make weight and go out there and compete."
Senior Fabian Gutierrez set the tone early with a tech fall (16-0) over Anthony Cruz in the opening period. Junior Colton Landers followed that with a 13-3 major decision over Allen Stone.
Junior Franco Valdes had a 6-1 decision over Nicholas Voiles at 141, followed by junior Tanner Smith's 14-2 major decision over Dalton Flint. Smith enters the season ranked No. 21 in the Flo Wrestling rankings.
After a forfeit at 157, junior Drew Nicholson scored a tech fall (18-3) over Jonathan Oldknow at 165. Another forfeit at 174 was followed by No. 13 Matthew Waddell's first period pin over Markis Hill at 184.
Freshman Logan Andrew closed out the dual with a 14-7 decision over Seth Bell, followed by another forfeit at 285.
"I wanted to see how our guys would come out," stated Ruschell when asked about the goals of today's competition. "Some of them were a little nervous and some were just right. We know what we can start working on and we are ready to get prepared for the rest of the year."
Gutierrez (125), junior Aidan Murphy (133), freshman Weston Wichman (157) and junior Hunter Fortner (174) all won exhibition matches after the dual. Murphy and Wichman both pinned their opponents, while Gutierrez and Fortner scored tech falls.
Today's match was broadcast on ESPN+ and a link to the replay is available at the top of the page. Up next for the Mocs is a trip to Stillwater, Okla., for a quad dual against Oklahoma State, Oregon State and Little Rock on Sunday, Jan. 10.
125: No. 19 Fabian Gutierrez (UTC) over Anthony Cruz (EC) (TF 16-0 4:00)
133: Colton Landers (UTC) over Allen Stone (EC) (MD 13-3)
141: Franco Valdes (UTC) over Nicholas Volies (EC) (Dec 6-1)
149: No. 21 Tanner Smith (UTC) over Dalton Flint (EC) (MD 14-2)
157: Weston Wichman (UTC) over (EC) (For.)
165: Andrew Nicholson (UTC) over Jonathan Oldknow (EC) (TF 18-3 7:00)
174: Hunter Fortner (UTC) over (EC) (For.)
184: No. 13 Matthew Waddell (UTC) over Markis Hill (EC) (Fall 1:01)
197: Logan Andrew (UTC) over Seth Bell (EC) (Dec 14-7)
285: Grayson Walthall (UTC) over (EC) (For.)
125: Fabian Gutierrez (UTC) over Eli Horton (EC) (TF 16-1 2:57)
133: Aidan Murphy (UTC) over Martrez Huff (EC) (Fall 2:53)
157: Weston Wichman (UTC) over Jonathan Oldknow (Fall 2:53)
174: Hunter Fortner (UTC) over Hayden Snowden (EC) (TF 16-0 3:00)