Wildcat Wrestling Places Fifth at SoCon Tournament
BOONE, N.C. – A pair of Wildcat grapplers stepped onto the podium, helping Davidson place fifth at the 2020 Southern Conference Championship Sunday at the Holmes Convocation Center on the campus of Appalachian State.
Gorant opened his winning account in the championship first round with a third period fall. The Coopersburg, Pa., native had a tough bout ahead against a top 10 nationally ranked opponent, eventually falling in a second period pin. The second-year man battled back, pinning his second opponent of the day in the consolation semifinals before earning his podium spot with a convincing decision for third.
Freshman Gavin Henry upset third seeded Julian Gorring of App State in the first round before falling to a nationally ranked foe from Chattanooga. Like Gorant, Henry held strong, pinning his first consolation opponent before earning his medal with a major decision over Samuel Mora of Gardner-Webb.
“The great thing about Gorant and Gavin in their third-place match, they both beat guys that had beaten them earlier this year. Revenge is something that builds a lot of confidence in the sport of wrestling,” said head coach Andy Lausier.
Davidson finished in fifth place, recording 29 points, the most for the ‘Cats at SoCon’s since 2014. Campbell repeated as tournament champions with 117.0 points, while Appalachian State (102.) and Chattanooga (75.) rounded out the top three squads.
“The future of this program rests on the shoulders of freshmen and sophomores and so for those guys to do what they did today and battle for third places is huge. I told those guys that careers are often changed in the wrestle backs at the last tournament of the year because that’s when you really have to learn how to fight because no one wants to be wrestling for third place. You have to dig deep and find reasons to do really difficult things and Fischer just missed out on the doing that, but again, put himself in a good position.”
Classmate Cian Fischer also posted a strong showing in his first SoCon Championship appearance. The Fremont, Wis., native placed fourth and picked up his team-leading seventh pin of the year in the championship first round. His two losses on the day came to ranked opponents as the 125-pound class boasted a total of three nationally recognized grapplers.
Junior Will Baldwin, sophomore Mitchell Trigg and freshman Steven Newell proved gritty after first round exits, picking up wrestle-back wins. Baldwin blanked Presbyterian’s Bryton Goering, 12-0 at 149-pounds, while heavyweight Trigg outlasted the Blue Hose’s Imani Heslop, 7-2. Newell opened his SoCon Championship winning account with a late first round fall over The Citadel’s Kyle Kretzer.
“Guys picking up points for us on the backside and spending most of the day in fourth place, that’s miles from where we were my first year when we didn’t win a match in the first round … Progress is our measuring stick for success, but we’re really, really close to start using success as our measuring stick for success.”
Campbell – 117.0
Appalachian State – 102.0
Chattanooga – 75.0
The Citadel – 30.0
Davidson – 29.0
VMI – 28.0
Gardner-Webb – 16.5
Presbyterian – 1.0
Cian Fischer (DAV) fall over Jacob Brasseur (PC), 2:58
#24 Fabian Gutierrez (CHATT) maj. dec. over Cian Fischer (DAV), 12-1
Cian Fischer (DAV) maj. dec. over Jordie White (CIT), 15-2
#28 Sean Carter (APP) maj. dec. over Cian Fischer (DAV), 11-3
Kyle Gorant (DAV) fall over Cliff Conway (VMI), 6:05
#7 Noah Gonser (CU) fall over Kyle Gorant (DAV), 4:28
Kyle Gorant (DAV) fall over Nathan Orosco (CIT), 2:37
Kyle Gorant (DAV) dec. over Wade Cummings (CHATT), 14-8
Gavin Henry (DAV) dec. over Julian Gorring (APP), 8-4
#22 Matthew Waddell (CHATT) fall over Gavin Henry (DAV), 0:46
Gavin Henry (DAV) fall over Austin Stith (PC), 2:17
Gavin Henry (DAV) maj. dec. over Samuel Mora (GWU), 12-4