Penn State Holds First Day Lead in Southern Scuffle

Semis at 11 a.m./Finals at 6 p.m.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013 - by B.B. Branton
Cornell's Kyle Dake (red singlet) is a 3-time Southern Scuffle Champion and wrestles in Wednesday morning's semifinals at 11 a.m. at the UTC McKenzie Arena.
Cornell's Kyle Dake (red singlet) is a 3-time Southern Scuffle Champion and wrestles in Wednesday morning's semifinals at 11 a.m. at the UTC McKenzie Arena.
- photo by Lindsey Mechalik

"We believe that the Southern Scuffle has an NCAA tournament feel to it and that is what we want to offer to wrestlers, coaches and fans."

--UTC Head Coach Heath Eslinger


Defending NCAA and Southern Scuffle champion Penn State has six wrestlers in Wednesday morning’s championship semifinals (11 a.m.) at UTC McKenzie Arena and holds an eight point lead – 102-94 – over second place Minnesota.

The Nittany Lions are led by NCAA champions Ed Ruth (184) and Quinten Wright (197), while the Golden Gophers have seven in the semis and led by NCAA champion Tony Nelson (285).

Oklahoma State is in third place at 89.5 points and six semifinalists, followed by Cornell (84.5 pts. with 5), and Missouri (75 pts. with 7) to round out the top five in the 25-team field.

Host Chattanooga is in the 13th place with 25 points and four wrestlers still alive in the consolations.

Mocs to wrestle in the consolation 4th round are Nick Soto (133), Dean Pavlou (141), Niko Brown (97) and Kevin Malone (285).

Soto lost in the round of 16, but posted two wins in the consolations.  Pavlou won three times before falling to No,1 seed Michael Nevinger (Cornell) in the quarters. Brown (19-2) ran his win streak to 13 before dropping a 7-5 decision to No. 3 Jake Meredith (Arizona State). Malone lost in the round of 16, but won twice in consolation action.

"Overall, the Scuffle at McKenzie Arena makes for a great atmosphere for college wrestling," said UTC head coach Eslinger. "We brought in the top teams in the nation, our attendance is up from last year's first day and we will continue to make this, not just a great wrestling tournament, but a great event.

"UTC wrestling is very fortunate to have great administrative support from our university." 

Team Standings-Brackets: Go to for team standings, brackets by weight and team results by weight class.

Surprising Cavaliers: The UVa wrestlers have four in the semis and five still alive in the consolations and are in sixth place with 70.5 points.

Wrestlers In the Semis(40): Minnesota (7), Penn State (6), Oklahoma State (6), Cornell (5), Missouri (4), Virginia (4), Air Force (2), Arizona State (2), The Citadel (1), Ohio (1), Old Dominion (1), Unattached (1)

Good Crowd: Day 1 - 2,543

2012 - Day 1 ... 2,210  .... Day 2 ... 2,163

Jan.2 Schedule – McKenzie Arena

9 a.m – 4th round consolation

11 a.m. – championship semifinals

1 p.m. – consolation semis

6 p.m. – finals for places (1-8)

Tickets: All General Admission … $15 Adults … $5 students

No.1 Seeds Advance: Led by 3-time NCAA Champion and 3-time Scuffle champ Kyle Dake (Cornell, 165), all 10 No.1 seeds advanced to Wednesday morning’s championship semifinals.

Brothers in Semis: The Dardanes from Minnesota are in the semis … No.1 Chris Dardanes at 133 and No. 4 Nick Dardanes at 141 … Chris won the 2012 Scuffle at 133

All But two, No. 2s: the only No.2 seeds to lose in the quarters were David Thom (Minn.) at 125 and Brent Haynes (Missouri) ... Thom lost to No.7 Josh Martinez (Air Force), 13-9 in overtime … Haynes lost to Phillip Wellington (Ohio), 5-2 …

Marquee Semis Match: At 165, NCAA champ and No.2 seed David Taylor (Penn Statet) takes on No.3 Tyler Caldwell (Oklahoma State) … the winner should face No.1 seed and 3x NCAA champion Kyle Dake (Cornell) in the finals … Dake is seeking his fourth Scuffle title and has won 54 straight matches since losing in the EIWA finals as a sophomore … Dake has beaten Taylor and Caldwell this fall.

4-time Scuffle Champs

Cole Konrad (Minn) 2003-04-05-06 … all at 285

3-time Scuffle Champs

Kyle Dake (Cornell) 2010-11-12 … 141-149-157-

Roger Kish (Minn) 2004-05-06 … all at 184

Ben Askren (Misouri) 2003-05-06 … all at 174

OSU Wrestles in 3 UTC Venues: Oklahoma State is the only D-I wrestling school to compete against UTC in three different campus venues …Jan. 10, 1950, No.1 and defending NCAA champion Oklahoma State (then known as Oklahoma A&M) defeated the Chattanooga Mocs, 34-0 in the old campus gym … In Nov .1969 and 1970, Okla. State came to the Southern Open (in Maclellan Gym) ...

Nov. 11, 1996, coach John Smith brought his No.2 OSU team to Maclellan Gym and beat UTC, 39-9 … current UTC coach Heath Eslinger was a sophomore for the Mocs that season.

This week, coach Smith has his Cowboys competing in McKenzie Arena … the third Chattanooga Arena

Southern Scuffle Championship Semis – Wed.  11 a.m.

125 – No.1 Nico Megaludis (Penn State) vs. No. 4 Nashon Garrett (Cornell)

No.7 Josh Martinez (Air Force) vs. No.3 Matt Snyder (Virginia)

Flying High: Josh Martinez of Air Force scored an overtime takedown to defeat No.2 seed David Thom (Minn.) in the quarters … Thom also lost last year in the semis to UTC’s Nick Soto


133 – No.1 Chris Dardanes (Minn.) vs.  No.4 George DiCamillo (Virginia)

No.2 Nathan McCormick (Missouri) vs. No.3 Jon Morrison (Okla State)

Dardanes is 2012 Scuffle champ and NCAA All-American  …


141 – No.1 Michael Nevinger (Cornell A-A) vs.  No.4 Nick Dardanes (Minn.)

No.2 Undrakhb Khishignyam (The Citadel) vs. No.6 Chris Mecate (Old Dominion)

Notes: OT: Khishignyam (The Citadel) needed an overtime takedown to advance … Mecate knocked off No 3 Julian Felkert (OKla. State), 3-1, also in OT

Brothers Advance: Both Dardane brothers (Chris at 133 and Nick at 141) from Minnesota are in the semis


149 – No.1 Jordan Oliver (Okla. State) vs.  No.4 Chris Villalonga (Cornell)

No. 2 Dylan Ness (Minn.) vs. No.3 Cole VanOhlen (Air Force)


157 – No. 1 Alex Dieringer (Okla. State) vs. No.5 James Vollrath (Penn State)

No.2 Jedd Moore (Virginia) vs. No.6 Kyle Bradley (Missouri)

Notes: Trailing 4-3 late, Dierenger used an escape and takedown in final eight seconds to defeat Blaise Butler (Boston), 6-4 … Bulter scored a t.d. with 10 seconds remaining to go up, 4-3, but Dierenger gained the escape to tie it and Butler seemed to relax expecting overtime, but Dierenger scored the winning t.d.


165 – No.1 Kyle Dake (Cornell) vs.  No.4 Nick Sutzer (Virginia)

No.2 David Taylor (Penn State) vs. No.3 Tyler Caldwell (Okla. State)

Note: …. Anticipated Semis: The Taylor-Caldwell is key in the team race and also could be important in NCAA seeding in March … Taylor was 2012 NCAA champ … Caldwell was 2011 NCAA runner-up … both have lost to Dake earlier this year … Dake is a 3x NCAA and3x Scuffle champ …


174 – No.1 Chris Perry (Okla. State) vs. No.5 Blake Stauffer (Ariz. State)

No.2 Logan Storley (Minn.) vs. No.3 Matt Brown (Penn State)

Note: Perry’s dad was a 2x All-American … his brother was an NCAA champ …


184 – No.1 Ed Ruth (Penn State) vs. No.4 Mike Larsen (Missouri)

No.2  Steve Bosak (Cornell) vs. No.3 Kevin Steinhaus (Minn.)

Note: Ruth and Bosak are NCAA champs … Steinhaus is a 2x All-American


197 – No.1 Quentin Wright (Penn State) vs. No.4 Scott Schiller (Minn.

Philip Wellington (Ohio) vs. No.3 Jake Meredith (Ariz State)

Note: Wellington upset No.2 Brent Haynes (Missouri), 5-2, in quarters ... Haynes won the 2012 Scuffle at 197


285 – No.1 Tony Nelson (Minn.) vs. No.4 Nick Gwiazdowski (Unattached)

No.2 Dominique Bradley (Missouri) vs. No.3 Alan Gelogaev (Okla State)

contact B.B. Branton at

Randy Smith: Things I Am Thankful For

As my 64th Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I find myself being thankful for the same things over and over again. My beautiful wife, my two wonderful children, my four fabulous grandchildren, and all my extended family and friends. I have always been thankful for my career; I really wouldn't change much at all. So what's new that I can be thankful for this year? Well, I am very ... (click for more)

UTC's Lampe Named SoCon Wrestler Of The Week

Chattanooga senior John Lampe been named General Shale Southern Conference Student-Athlete of the Week for competition that was held Nov. 18-24, the league office announced Wednesday.   Lampe, who competes for UTC’s wrestling team, earned three wins on his way to the 184-pound championship at the Wolfpack Open on Sunday. The Fairdale, Ky., product notched a pin against ... (click for more)

Residents Concerned Over 7-Story Building On The Southside

Downtown Chattanooga residents expressed their concerns with the proposed seven-story apartment building on Cowart Street on the Southside at Tuesday night’s City Council Meeting. The apartment building, originally zoned at four stories before Belle Investment petitioned for seven, has not been adequately publicized, residents claimed.   Architect and planning professional ... (click for more)

Commissioner Graham Chides Chairman Bankston For Shredding Arts Cigarette Tax Letter; Says Sunshine Law Violated

County Commissioner Joe Graham on Wednesday chided Chairman Chester Bankston for shredding a letter related to the proposed cigarette tax to aid the arts. "Have you shredded any other county legal documents?" he demanded. Chairman Bankston replied, "No, I have not done that." He said the letter did not get the necessary six signatures to forward to the Legislature. ... (click for more)

An Extra Helping Of Gratitude

After being thankful for the grace of God, my family and good health, this year I have an extra helping of gratitude to live in a special place called Chattanooga.   We endured the trauma of terrorism on July 16 and emerged more united and stronger than ever before.  We claim our heritage and celebrate our diversity like no other city in America.  We honor our ... (click for more)

Why I Am Thankful, 2015

I can’t really remember when I first started this – sometime in the 1970s – but my favorite column every year comes during Thanksgiving when I literally pause and use my fingers to thank God for all His richest blessings. The year 2015 has been bountiful so here are just a few of the things I will carry in my heart as I take my place at today’s table: I AM THANKFUL that tomorrow, ... (click for more)