The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday May 28th

Henderson, Mock lead UNC wrestling at weekend invitational

Sophomore Corey Mock and freshman Evan Henderson might not be old enough to gamble, but in their recent trip to Las Vegas, they came home big winners.

The North Carolina wrestling team had one of its best meets of the season at the Cliff Keen Invite in Las Vegas, Nev., where the Tar Heels finished 14th out of 34 teams.

It was the second non-dual meet for the Tar Heels, who, despite having a winless start to the season, came through with a respectable finish in a meet that featured many top programs.

At the competition were a number of ranked teams, including No.3 Cornell and the invitational’s champion, No. 6 Ohio State.

UNC was led by Henderson — the No. 14 wrestler in the 141-pound weight class — and Mock, who each posted seventh-place finishes in their respective weight classes. It was the second consecutive strong performance by both wrestlers, who were each 5-2 on the weekend.

During the two-day invite, both Henderson and Mock went 3-1 on Friday and 2-1 on Saturday.

Three of the seven wrestlers Henderson faced were ranked 18th or higher in the 141-pound weight class, while Mock wrestled against two of the top 25 157-pounders in the nation.

Henderson had an inspired start, opening with three straight wins on Friday — including an 11-6 result against No. 20 Nathan Pennesi of West Virginia—before falling 8-1 to No. 2 Boris Novachkov of Cal Poly.

The freshman entered Saturday with a chance to finish third in the meet, but his one loss on Saturday prevented him from doing so.

In his first match of the day, Henderson pinned Boise State’s Josh Strait in six minutes and 23 seconds. After an 8-7 defeat at the hands of Nebraska’s Jake Sueflohn, he went up against No. 12 Michael Nevinger of Cornell in the bout for seventh place.

Henderson won that match 7-2 to finish his impressive showing at the invite.

Mock followed a similar path to a top-eight finish.

After a first-round bye on Friday, the sophomore fell to No. 17 Steven Monk of North Dakota State before reeling off three straight wins.

Two of those victories were pins that came rather quickly — a two minute and 27-second defeat of San Francisco State’s Vicente Aboytes and a one-minute triumph against Pittsburgh’s Donnie Tasser.

Mock finished the day with a 9-4 win against No. 18 George Ivanov of Boise State to advance to day two of the invitational.

On Saturday, he had the same results in the same order as Henderson — win, loss, win — to grab the seventh-place spot.

The Tar Heels now have a break in competition until 2012, when North Carolina will travel to Chattanooga, Tenn., for the Southern Scuffle on New Year’s Day.

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