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Southern Conference announces seeding for 2022 Wrestling Championship

by Southern Conference

Action image of Jonathan Millner (Appalachian State) courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics/SOCON


SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference has released the seeds for the 2022 SoCon Wrestling Championship, the league office announced Wednesday. The championship is set to take place Saturday, March 5, at the Holmes Convocation Center in Boone, North Carolina. Eight squads will compete for the 2022 SoCon title with 15 NCAA allocations available for the NCAA Championships.


The SoCon earned two NCAA allocations each at 125 pounds, 133 pounds, 149 pounds, 165 pounds, and heavyweight. The remaining weight classes earned one allocation each, which is the automatic qualifier for the conference tournament champion.


Campbell seeks to defend its last three tournament titles under second-year head coach and 2021 coach of the year Scotti Sentes. The Camels finished second in the conference regular-season standings with their only loss coming to App State on Feb. 13. App State, the 2021-22 preseason favorite, finished first in the conference standings, concluding the campaign with a 7-0 conference record and 9-2 record overall.


App State’s Jonathan Millner (149) returns to defend his 2021 title after defeating No. 2 seed Tanner Smith of Chattanooga last season, while Campbell’s Josh Heil took home the weight class title in 2019.


Millner and Thomas Flitz (174) enter the championship as the No. 1 seeds in their respective weight classes. The Mountaineers’ remaining seeded wrestlers include Caleb Smith (125, No. 2), Codi Russell (133, No. 2), Heath Gonyer (141, No. 2), Cody Bond (157, No. 2), Will Formato (165, No. 2) Barrett Blakely (184, No. 4), Wyatt Miller (197, No. 6) and Michael Burchell (HWT, No. 3).


Campbell holds a league-best four No. 1 seeds for the second consecutive year, with Shannon Hanna (141), Caleb Hopkins (184), Chris Kober (197) and Taye Ghadiali (HWT) all earning a top spot. The Camels’ remaining seeded wrestlers include Korbin Meink (125, No. 3), Domenic Zaccone (133, No. 5), Heil (149, No. 2), Jojo Aragona (157, No. 3) and Troy Nation (165, No. 6), and Austin Murphy (174, No. 2).


The Citadel’s Dazjon Casto headlines the 157-weight class seeded at the top, followed by App State’s Bond and Campbell’s Aragona. Michael McAleavey, competing in HWT for the Bulldogs, is seeded second in his weight class, while the remaining Citadel wrestlers, Malike Hardy (125, No. 5), Jake Rotunda (133, No. 6), Jackson Bradford (141, No. 7), Ben Haubert (174, No. 6), Cole Burke (184, No. 6) and Ben Stemmet (197, No. 7), will take the mat Sunday with hopes to earn the championship crown.


Chattanooga secured three No. 1 seeds entering the championship on Sunday, with Fabian Gutierrez (125), Brayden Palmer (133) and Drew Nicholson (165) all representing the Mocs in that spot. Matthew Waddell (197) and Thomas Sell (184) enter the tournament as the No. 2 seed in their respective weight classes, while Noah Castillo (149, No. 3) and Carial Tarter (174) clinch the No. 3 seed in their respective classes. The Mocs’ Franco Valdes (141) and Lincoln Heck (157) sit as the No. 4 seeds for their matches, while Chattanooga’s Matthias Ervin earns the No. 6 seed in the 285 category.


Gardner-Webb’s Todd Carter (133), Trevor Majette (141), RJ Mosely (165) and Jha’Quan Anderson (184) are all seeded third, while Aedyn Concepcion (125), Evan Schenk (174) and Anthony Perrine (197) all sit at fourth. Teammates Brandon Bright (149) and Peyton McComas (285) are the No. 5 seeds in their individual weight classes, while Taylor Parks (157) secures the No. 8 seed in his weight class.


Presbyterian will compete in its second conference championship, as the squad finished its third season as a member of the SoCon. Ten Blue Hose wrestlers are set to take the mat Sunday, as they compete for their second individual conference titles.


VMI’s Tyler Mousaw (197) will face tough competition seeded third behind Campbell’s Kober and Chattanooga’s Waddell. Teammate’s Blake Showers and Jon Hoover sit as the No. 5 seeds at 165 and 174 pounds, respectively, while Freddy Junko and Seth Fillers are seeded sixth at 141 and 157 pounds, respectively.


Davidson will have 10 wrestlers set to take the mat on Sunday, with three Wildcats’ sitting as the No. 4 seed in Kyle Gorant (133), Gavin Damasco (149), and Mitchell Trigg (285).


Eight SoCon wrestling teams compete at the 2022 SoCon Wrestling Championships in Boone, North Carolina, on Sunday March 5. Bellarmine will not compete as it completes its transition to Division I. A clear-bag policy will be in effect at the Holmes Convocation Center. The championship will be streamed in its entirety on ESPN+.

Seeds


125 (2 NCAA allocation)

#1 Fabian Gutierrez, Chattanooga

#2 Caleb Smith, App State

#3 Korbin Meink, Campbell

#4 Aedyn Concepcion, Gardner-Webb

#5 Malik Hardy, The Citadel

#6 Bernardino Gomez, Presbyterian

#7 Cameron Chicella, VMI

#8 Hale Robinson, Davidson

133 (2 NCAA allocation)

#1 Brayden Palmer, Chattanooga

#2 Codi Russell, App State

#3 Todd Carter, Gardner-Webb

#4 Kyle Gorant, Davidson

#5 Domenic Zaccone, Campbell

#6 Jake Rotunda, The Citadel

#7 Dominic Chavez, Presbyterian

#8 Patrick Maglathlin, VMI

141 (1 NCAA allocation)

#1 Shannon Hanna, Campbell

#2 Heath Gonyer, App State

#3 Trevon Majette, Gardner-Webb

#4 Franco Valdes, Chattanooga

#5 Nick Cambria, Davidson

#6 Freddy Junko, VMI

#7 Jackson Bradford, The Citadel

#8 Khalid Brinkley, Presbyterian

149 (2 NCAA allocations)

#1 Jonathan Millner, App State

#2 Josh Heil, Campbell

#3 Noah Castillo, Chattanooga

#4 Gavin Demasco, Davidson

#5 Brandon Bright, Gardner-Webb

#6 Reid Stewart, Presbyterian

#7 Ethan Willis, The Citadel

#8 Luke Fegley, VMI


157 (1 NCAA allocation)

#1 Dazjon Casto, The Citadel

#2 Cody Bond, App State

#3 Jojo Aragona, Campbell

#4 Lincoln Heck, Chattanooga

#5 Bryce Sanderlin, Davidson

#6 Seth Fillers, VMI

#7 Zachary Phillips, Presbyterian

#8 Taylor Parks, Gardner-Webb

165 (2 NCAA allocation)

#1 Drew Nicholson, Chattanooga

#2 Will Formato, App State

#3 RJ Mosley, Gardner-Webb

#4 Selwyn Porter, The Citadel

#5 Blake Showers, VMI

#6 Troy Nation, Campbell

#7 Jaden Hardrick, Davidson

#8 Logan Spell, Presbyterian

174 (1 NCAA allocation)

#1 Thomas Flitz, App State

#2 Austin Murphy, Campbell

#3 Carial Tarter, Chattanooga

#4 Evan Schenk, Gardner-Webb

#5 Jon Hoover, VMI

#6 Ben Haubert, The Citadel

#7 Mason Watkins, Presbyterian

#8 Lachlan Rosato, Davidson

184 (1 NCAA allocations)

#1 Caleb Hopkins, Campbell

#2 Thomas Sell, Chattanooga

#3 Jha’Quan Anderson, Gardner-Webb

#4 Barrett Blakely, App State

#5 Gavin Henry, Davidson

#6 Cole Burke, The Citadel

#7 David Bertrand, Presbyterian

#8 Joel Diaz, VMI

197 (1 NCAA allocation)

#1 Chris Kober, Campbell

#2 Matthew Waddell, Chattanooga

#3 Tyler Mousaw, VMI

#4 Anthony Perrine, Gardner-Webb

#5 Finlay Holston, Davidson

#6 Wyatt Miller, App State

#7 Ben Stemmet, The Citadel

#8 Aiden Jean, Presbyterian

285 (2 NCAA allocations)

#1 Taye Ghadiali, Campbell

#2 Michael McAleavey, The Citadel

#3 Michael Burchell, App State

#4 Mitchell Trigg, Davidson

#5 Peyton McComas, Gardner-Webb

#6 Matthias Ervin, Chattanooga

#7 Josh Evans, VMI

#8 Airin Spell, Presbyterian