Written by Brandon McGinnis
Thursday, 03 January 2013 08:32
Redshirt freshman Zack Strickland led the way for Appalachian State University wrestling, closing his 2013 Southern Scuffle campaign on Wednesday with a sixth place finish at 165 pounds, the best
finish of any Mountaineer at the tournament, hosted by Chattanooga at McKenzie Arena.
With Strickland's performance, the Apps tallied 18.5 points and moved from 22nd to 18th in the 24-team field, filled with some of the nation's best teams.
Strickland's road was brutal, matching up with four ranked opponents and closing with a 5-3 record, his best finish in a tournament this season.
The redshirt freshman's day opened with a narrow 4-3 decision over ninth-seeded Nijel Jones of NC State, followed by a sudden victory against fifth-seeded Cody Yohn of Minnesota.
With five victories and advancing into the consolation semifinals, Strickland suffered back-to-back setbacks against third-seeded Tyler Caldwell of Oklahoma State and sixth-seeded Zach Toal of Missouri, placing Strickland in sixth place.
With the five victories in the tournament, Strickland eclipsed the 30-win mark for his career, giving him 32 in two seasons at Appalachian. The Muncy, Pa native now has 15 victories for the season and is perfect in dual-meets this season.
The Mountaineers return to the mats on Sunday, Jan. 6 when they travel to Southern Conference newcomer, SIUE, where they will face the Cougars and non-conference opponent Northern Illinois. The dual with SIUE is slated for noon, while the dual with NIU is set for 2 p.m.
Photo Courtesy: Zack Strickland, ASU Athletics