BUIES CREEK, N.C. – When action begins Saturday morning at the Southern Conference Wrestling Championships, it will be SIUE Head Coach Jeremy Spates' first look at his team during a league championship.
"Our biggest goal from this weekend is to get a few guys to nationals," said Spates.
The first match is set to begin Saturday at 8 a.m. CT in the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center on the campus of Campbell University. The eight-team SoCon Championships is a launch pad for wrestlers to qualify for the NCAA Division I Championships March 20-22 in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Live video is available at http://www.sosconsports.com.
SoCon wrestlers were allocated 16 spots for the NCAA Championships. The top three place winners at 149 and 165 pounds will advance as well as the top two from 157 pounds and heavyweight (285 pounds). The champion at the other six weight classes also advances.
"We have a two seed all the way through an eight seed," said Spates. "I think there are a few guys who are capable of placing ahead of their seed."
Chattanooga, the three-time defending champion, has five No. 1 seeds followed by three from The Citadel and two from Appalachian State.
"We're interested to see how we'll do," said Spates. "I think we can wrestle better than what we are projected."
The finals are expected to start at 6 p.m. CT.