Campus celebrates Lady Mocs Basketball, UTC wrestlers and Cross Country
A celebration of three outstanding UTC athletic teams was held on campus to honor the Lady Mocs Basketball Team, UTC Wrestling Team and the UTC Cross Country Team. The UTC Pep Band and Elite, cheerleaders, Sugar Mocs, coaches and team members gathered on Lansing Court, between Maclellan Gym and the UC. Read the full stories of their accomplishments on www.gomocs.com. Watch a video of the celebration on timesfreepress.com.
"How about those Mocs!" exclaimed State Senator Bo Watson, who greeted the crowd saying he was a proud 1983 UTC graduate.
"On behalf of the Tennessee General Assembly it is a privilege and an honor to represent you. I want you to know that your championships and academic success are recognized in Nashville," Watson said. "And I am proud to say that the best championship teams are from right here in Chattanooga, Tennessee."
Super effort by Lady Mocs
Drawing a #12 seed and facing # 5 seed Baylor, the Lady Mocs Basketball team played like the winners they are in the NCAA first round and cut an 11-point halftime deficit to just one point 10 minutes into the second half. But Baylor went on to claim a 68-55 win over Chattanooga at the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C.
Alex Anderson led the Lady Mocs with 16 points while Brooke Hand claimed the Southern Conference and Chattanooga 3-point single season record with three in the game to reach 90 this year, surpassing the previous best mark by three.
Earlier, the Lady Mocs had won the Southern Conference title, and received the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
SoCon Tournament Most Valuable Player Alex Anderson led four Lady Mocs in double-figures with 30 points to become the single-season scoring leader at UTC with 661 points. She became just the third person in league history to be named both the Tournament MVP and regular season Player of the Year.
Chattanooga closed the year with a 25-8 record.
Keller is two-time All America; wrestlers post highest team total in 30 years
Senior wrestler Matt Keller became the University’s sixth two-time All-America, placing fourth in the 133-pound weight class at the 2007 NCAA Wrestling Championships and earning All-America accolades.
Keller, seeded fifth at 133, defeated sixth-seeded Darrell Vasquez of Cal Poly, 5-2 to advance to the third-place match. Top-seeded Nick Simmons of Michigan State scored an 8-0 major decision over Keller, and Keller finished fourth. The McDonald, Tenn., native placed eighth last season for his first All-America status.
Keller finished with a 5-2 record in the national tournament and concluded the season with a 33-4 overall record.
The Mocs compiled 29.5 team points, the most in the program’s NCAA Division I era, which began in 1978. UTC finished in 20th place, and that would give Chris Bono’s team the top NCAA finish in the school's Division I era.
UTC tied National Champion Minnesota with a national-best nine qualifiers in the Nationals entering the tournament. And the Mocs went farther at Nationals than any year previously in the Division I era.
Six Mocs advanced to the fifth round of the consolations Friday including Javier Maldonado at 125 pounds, eighth-seeded Aaron Martin at 149, Jake Yost at 157 and heavyweight Matt Koz.
Michael Keefe, an All-America in 2005, was one of a handful of unseeded wrestlers to make the championship bracket quarterfinals. After defeating two seeded wrestlers, No. 10 Kyle Ruschell of Wisconsin and No. 7 Brandon Rader of West Virginia, Keefe was sent to the consolation bracket by second-seeded Derek Moore of Cal State-Davis.
Cross Country success
Last fall, the Cross Country Lady Mocs, led by Lanni Marchant, reclaimed the Southern Conference title with a one-point victory over Appalachian State at the 2006 Championships. Marchant went on to compete in her first NCAA National Cross Country Championships at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Indiana.
March 26, 2007