CHARLESTON, S.C. — Jere Heino claimed the heavyweight title, leading Campbell at the 2018 Southern Conference wrestling tournament Saturday at McAlister Field House. The Camels placed third in the team standings.
Heino highlighted a group of five Camels who earned medals. He was joined by 141 pounder Jonathan Ryan and Andrew Morgan at 174, who also made finals appearances at their respective weight classes, earning runner-up finishes.
Austin Kraisser at 157 pounds and Quentin Perez at 165 also made the podium, taking third places.
Appalachian State earned the tournament title with 110 points, followed by Chattanooga at 88 points. At 63 points, Campbell held off Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (62).
The Citadel (30.5), Gardner-Webb (21), VMI (15.5) and Davidson (13) rounded out team scoring.
Heino, the No. 1 seed at heavyweight, cruised to a pair of bonus point wins to reach his second straight finals appearance. The junior started with an 18-2 tech fall (5:36) over Davidson’s Will Cooley in his first match, then claimed an 8-0 major decision over Michael McAleavey from The Citadel. Heino wasted no time in the championship match, pinning Appalachian State’s Cary Miller in just 1:48, capturing his first SoCon Championship, and securing his second straight trip to the NCAA Championships.
The No. 2 seed at 141, Ryan started the day with a win in extra time over Gardner-Webb’s Denton Spencer, getting the sudden victory takedown to advance, 15-13. The redshirt sophomore followed with an 8-4 decision over Douglas Gudenburr of The Citadel. In the championship bout, App. State’s Irvin Enriquez claimed the 14-3 major decision.
Morgan topped VMI’s Cade Kiely with a pin (3:33) in round one at 174 pounds. Morgan, seeded third in his weight class, then took down No. 2 seed Justin Lampe from Chattanooga in overtime, advancing to the finals with a 3-1 decision, where he fell in a tight match, 3-2, to Appalachian State’s Forrest Przybysz.
Kraisser placed third at 157 pounds, advancing to the consolation final with a 10-2 major decision over Chattanooga’s Jake Adcock. In the third place match, the sophomore held off Davidson’s Tony Palumbo, 2-0 to reach the podium. Kraisser also started the day with a 2-0 decision over Palumbo before Gardner-Webb’s Tyler Marinelli registered a 9-3 win in the semifinals.
At 165 pounds, Perez also claimed a third place finish, reaching the podium for the second straight year, pinning VMI’s Blake Hohman at the 4:13 mark to advance to the consolation final. In the third place match, Perez topped Laken Cook 11-7, defeating the Appalachian State product for the second time of the day. He also recorded a 10-3 decision over Cook in round one before Chad Pyke claimed a 10-6 victory in the semifinals.
Boston used a final second takedown of VMI’s Hunter Starner to advance to the third place match at 133, 4-2. The redshirt junior took a 6-4 decision over Gardner-Webb’s Philip Anderson in round one before dropping a 10-8 decision in overtime to SIUE’s John Muldoon. Chattanooga’s Chris Debien defeated Boston 5-0 in the third place match.
Chris Kober took three of his four matches on the day to the final seconds. Down 3-2 with 10 seconds remaining in the third period, the 197 pounder picked up the takedown and pinned Christian Dulaney of SIUE with just three seconds on the clock. After falling 12-4 in a major decision to the eventual conference champion, Chattanooga’s Scottie Boykin, Kober picked up another final second victory, notching the takedown just before time expired to earn the 4-2 decision over Anthony Perrine of Gardner-Webb. In the third place match, Kober carried Appalachian State’s Randall Diabe to the second tie breaker, but fell 5-4.
Zach Barnes (149 pounds) and Charlie Andrews (184) both went 1-2 on the day, while top-seeded 125 pounder Korbin Meink withdrew via medical forfeit.
The 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships are set for March 15-17 in Cleveland, Ohio. Selections for the NCAA Championships will be announced Tuesday, March 6.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for the report)