Six Ohio wrestlers took to the mat on Thursday for day two of the Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tenn.
One of those wrestlers was No. 11 heavyweight redshirt senior Jeremy Johnson, who fared 4-1 to land a fourth-place finish and lead the Bobcats to 15th out of 34 teams competing in the two-day tournament.
After winning each of his matches on Wednesday, Johnson began Thursday with a semifinal matchup against No. 5 Nick Gwiazdowski of North Carolina State. Johnson lost the semifinal match, but then defeated No. 14 Austin Marsden of Oklahoma State to earn a berth to the third place match.
However, Johnson (21-3) was forfeited the match because of an injury and settled for fourth place.
“(Johnson) had (Gwiazdowski) where he wanted him,” coach Joel Greenlee said. “He gave up a takedown at the end, and got taken down in the process. It was a good match for him because we know that’s a guy that we can beat down the road. We had him tired, we had him exactly where we wanted him, it just didn’t work out.”
Two Bobcats were able to move within a round of placing on Thursday, but came up just short. 165-pound redshirt junior Harrison Hightower began day two by picking up a 26 second fall in his first match. Hightower picked up a 6-5 win in his next match before falling to Cornell’s No. 15 Dylan Palacio in the round to place 7-3. Hightower went 4-2 in the tournament and is now 20-7 on the season.
Also moving within a round of placing was No. 13 Phil Wellington, a 197-pound wrestler, who entered the tournament having already won three titles this season.
Wellington started well by winning his first two matches, one of which was a 5-3 win against No. 7 Taylor Meeks of Oregon State. However, like Johnson, Wellington was forced to medically default from the remainder of the tournament.
“We’re really starting to get more aggressive in trying to score points, and that’s what we want,” Greenlee said. “We’ve gotten better every time we’ve gone to the mat.”