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Peake Takes Second at SoCon Wrestling Championship

by | Mar 5, 2023

First year wrestler Tanner Peake


BOONE, N.C. – Freshman Tanner Peake took second place while Bryce Sanderlin and Jake Fernicola finished fourth to pace the Davidson wrestling team at the Southern Conference Championships on Saturday.

Peake and Jaden Hardrick were the lone Wildcats to win their first-round matchups to begin the day. Peake picked up a 6-3 win over Anthony Allen of The Citadel, and Hardrick defeated Jon Hoover of VMI, 3-0, to move onto the semis.

In the semis, Hardrick was defeated by No. 11 in the country, Rocky Jordan of Chattanooga, and Peake won over Troy Nation in a thriller. The SoCon All-Freshman selection came from behind twice in the match, first with a takedown in the second period to go up, 2-1. Nation got a reversal near the end of the period to take a 3-2 lead into the third. In the final 30 seconds, Peake got a takedown that was eventually reviewed. The call was confirmed, and Peake rode out the final 20 seconds to earn a spot in the 157-pound championship.  

Peake took on top-seeded Tommy Askey in the 157-pound final and delivered the first blow. After a scoreless first period, the Flemington, N.J. native got an escape to take a 1-0 lead. Askey countered with a takedown to move in front 2-1 headed to the second final two minutes. In the third, the 30th-ranked Askey got an escape, a takedown, and controlled the riding time for a four-point third. Peake got an escape in the final 20 seconds to bring the final to 6-2.

Bryce Sanderlin held a 6-0 lead after the opening period of his first-round match before Chattanooga’s Weston Wichman scored nine points in the final two periods to advance. The Chesapeake, Va. product bounced back with a commanding win in the consolation semis with a 17-3 major decision over Presbyterian’s Tyler Chittum, then defeated Campbell’s Domonic Baker, 6-1, to move to the third-place match. Sanderlin ended the day with a fourth-place finish after falling in the third-place bout in a 5-2 decision.

Heavyweight Jake Fernicola also ended the day with a fourth-place finish. After dropping his first-round match, the Piedmont, S.C., native then won his next two matches in the consolation bracket without surrendering a point. Fernicola defeated Gardner-Webb’s Abraham Preston 6-0 before taking down Chattanooga’s Logan Andrew 4-0. In the third-place match, Fernicola’s run came to an end against The Citadel’s Jonathan Chesser.

At 184 pounds, Cameo Blankenship nearly pulled off the upset of the tournament in his first-round match. The McRae, Ga., native got a takedown in the second period to go ahead 2-0, but Campbell’s Caleb Hopkins, the top-seed in the weight class, got an escape to make it 2-1 headed to the final period. In the third, Hopkins tied the score with another escape and a minute remaining. Blankenship nearly forced overtime, but Hopkins got a takedown with three seconds left to advance.

125: Caleb Smith (App State) def. Devon Diaco, TF 16-1
133: Brayden Palmer (UTC) def. Jackson Sichelstiel, dec. 4-0
141: Shannon Hanna (Campbell) def. Joshua Viarengo, TF 26-10
149: Chris Rivera (Campbell) def. Noah Frack, dec. 7-3
157: Tanner Peake def. Anthony Allen (The Citadel), dec. 6-3
165: Weston Wichman (UTC) def. Bryce Sanderlin, dec. 9-8
174: Jaden Hardrick def. Jon Hoover (VMI), dec. 3-0
184: Caleb Hopkins (Campbell) def. Cameo Blankenship, dec. 4-3
197: Carson Floyd (App State) def. Gavin Henry, fall 3:11
285: Jacob Sartorio (App State) def. Jake Fernicola, dec. 7-1

157: Tanner Peake def. Troy Nation (Campbell), dec. 4-3
174: Rocky Jordan (UTC) def. Jaden Hardrick, major dec. 13-0

157: Tommy Askey (App State) def. Tanner Peake, dec. 6-2

Consolation Semifinals 1
125: Blair Orr (The Citadel) def. Devon Diaco, fall 4:06
133: Jacob Brasseur (Presbyterian) def. Jackson Sichelstiel, dec. 4-3
141: Franco Valdes (UTC) def. Joshua Viarengo, major dec. 10-1
149: Khalid Brinkley (Presbyterian) def. Noah Frack, fall 4:44
165: Bryce Sanderlin def. Tyler Chittum (Presbyterian), major dec.
184: Cordel Duhart (Presbyterian) def. Cameo Blankenship, major dec. 13-5
197: Sam Mora (Gardner-Webb) def. Gavin Henry, dec. 8-2
285: Jake Fernicola def. Abraham Preston (Gardner-Webb), dec. 6-0

Consolation Semifinals 2
165: Bryce Sanderlin def. Domonic Baker (Campbell), dec. 6-1
174: Zachary Wells (Presbyterian) def. Jaden Hardrick, dec. 3-1
285: Jake Fernicola def. Logan Andrew (UTC), dec. 4-0

Third Place
165: Braxton Lewis (VMI) def. Bryce Sanderlin, dec. 5-2
285: Jonathan Chesser (The Citadel) def. Jake Fernicola, major dec. 12-0

Team standings
1. Appalachian State – 103.0
2. Campbell – 78.5
3. Chattanooga – 52.0
4. Gardner-Webb – 42.5
5. The Citadel – 33.5
6. Presbyterian – 18.5
7. VMI – 18.0
8. Davidson – 17.0

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