After a grueling season, junior Dominic Parisi (Concord, N.C./Jay M. Robinson) and redshirt-freshman Dylan Cottrell (Spencer, W.Va./Roane County) punched their ticket on Saturday for the NCAA Wrestling Championships in Oklahoma by winning their respective weight classes at the 2014 Southern Conference Championships at
Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C.
Both Parisi and Cottrell won three matches on Saturday en route to the earn SoCon Champs at the 125 and 149-pound weight classes respectively, leading the Mountaineers to a fourth-place finish.
Top-seeded Parisi secured the first victory of the 2014 Southern Conference Wrestling championships. At the 125-pound weight class, he got the first takedown of the match and never looked back. He finished with the 9-1 victory that moved him into the semifinals.
To get into the finals, Parisi would need extra time. In sudden-victory one, Parisi got a takedown with less than five seconds remaining to earn the 3-1 decision and propel him into the finals. Parisi got takedown after takedown in the championship to win.
Freshman of the year Cottrell faced Karsten Van Velsor of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, an opponent that he pinned in 57 seconds just one week ago. This time, Cottrell major decisioned him by a score of 14-4. Cottrell was able to advance to the finals by beating Brent Jorge of Campbell by a 6-3 decision.
Cottrell dominated the championship match against Kevin Birmingham of Davidson. He secured the 11-5 decision and found himself standing at the top of the podium.
This is the second time in two years that Appalachian has sent two wrestlers to the national tournament. Parisi was an NCAA qualifier in 2013 with teammate Zack Strickland (Muncy, Pa./Muncy) and this will be Cottrells first year qualifying.
Other Mountaineers were also in action.
Sophomore Colin Hedash (Slatington, Pa./Northern Lehigh) lost his first match to Kenneth Radford of Citadel and went to wrestle-backs and won two straight to put him in the third game match. In the consolation finals match, Hedash had to face Radford again. Hedash would drop the match 11-6 plaing him fourth for the tournament.
Strickland faced Austin Trott of Gardner-Webb in the first round for the rematch of the January 13 match in which Strickland was the only Moutaineer to lose. Tables turned for Strickland; he got the 3-1 decision over Trott and advanced to the semifinals. Strickland had to face possible the hardest opponent at the tournament in No. 6 natioanlly-ranked Turtogrokh Luvsandorj and dropped the match by a 9-3 decision. He took his second loss to Paul Duggan of Campbell.
Freshman Kacee Hutchinson (Candler, N.C./Enka) also won his first match over Ian Solcz of Davidson but faced a familiar face in Scott Boykin of Chattanooga who he faced multiple times in high school. Hutchison dropped the match and dropped down to the consolation semifinals. He then lost the second match of the night.
Senior Chris Johnson (Hillsborough, N.C./Orange) lost his first match of the day but responsded with a first-period fall (2:47) in the consolation quarterfinals against Michael Flora of VMI. He lost his next match.
Freshman Javon Johnson (Holly Springs, N.C./ Holly Springs) and Aaron Scott (Ashe County, N.C./ Ashe County) competed in the event but did not collect any wins.
125 -Dominic Parisi 1st place SoCon Champion
No.1 Dominic Parisi (APP) wins by major decision over No. 8 Dalton Henderson (VMI) 9-1
No. 1 Dominic Parisi (APP) wins by decision over No. 4 Cortez Starkes (GWU) SV-1 3-1
No.1 Dominic Parisi (APP) wins by decision over No. 2 Tyler Walker (CAM) 9-5
No. 5 Anthony Elias (DAV) wins by decision over No. 4 Chris Johnson (APP) 10-6
No. 4 Chris Johnson (APP) wins by fall over No. 8 Michael Flora (VMI) 2:47
No. 2 Aaron Hansen (CID) wins by decision over No. 4 Chris Johnson (APP) 7-3
No. 2 Michael Pongracz (UTC) wins by decision over No. 7 Javon Johnson (APP) 9-2
No. 6 Michael Dahlstrom (CAM) wins by major decision over No. 7 Javon Johnson (APP) 15-5
149- Dylan Cottrell 1st Place SoCon Champion
No. 1 Dylan Cottrell (APP) wins by major decision over No. 8 Karsten Van Velsor (SIE) 14-4
No. 1 Dylan Cottrell (APP) wins by decision over No. 5 Brent Jorge (CAM) 6-3
No. 1 Dylan Cottrell (APP) wins by decision over No. 2 Kevin Birmingham (DAV)157
No. 5 Ted Gottwald (VMI) wins by decision over No. 4 Aaron Scott (APP) 4-1
No. 3 Grant Blumenthal (CAM) wins by decision over No. 4 Aaron Scott (APP) 7-4
No. 5 Zack Strickland (APP) wins by decision over Austin Trott (GWU) 4-1
No. 1 Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (CID) wins by decision No. 5 Zack Strickland (APP) 9-3
No. 6 Paul Duggan (CAM) wins by decision over No. 5 Zack Strickland (APP) 5-1
No. 3 Kenneth Radford (CID) wins by decision over No. 6 Colin Hedash (APP) 6-1
No. 6 Colin Hedash (APP) wins by decision over No. 7 Brett Stein (GWU) 8-7
No 6 Colin Hedash (APP) wins by decision over No. 4 Cody Ryba (CAM) 6-3
No. 3 Kenneth Radford (CID) wins by decision over No. 6 Colin Hedash (APP) 11-6
No. 4 Kacee Hutchinson (APP) wins by decision over No. 5 Ian Solcz (DAV) 7-5
No. 1 Scott Boykin (UTC) wins by decision over No. 4 Kacee Hutchinson (APP) 7-5
No. 6 Boyce Cornwell (GWU) wins by decision over No. 4 Kacee Hutchinson (APP) 4
No. 5 David Devine (SIE) wins by decision over No. 4 Denzel Dejournette (APP) 3-2
No. 3 Juan Adams (VMI) wins by decision over No. 4 Denzel Dejournette (APP) 3-2
The Citadel 78.5
Appalachian State 36.0
Southern Conference Coach of the Year
Rob Hjerling, The Citadel
Tournament Most Outstanding Wrestler
Corey Mock, Chattanooga
Photo Courtesy: Dominic Parisi and Dylan Cottrell, ASU Athletics