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Seven Good Minutes with Chris Daggett
Today, the "Seven Good Minutes" segment sits down with Chris Daggett, who will be making his second-straight trip to the national event after retaining his 184-pound title at this year's NCAA East Regional Qualifier.
The series, which began yesterday with an in-depth look into Shaun Smith, Liberty's national qualifier at 157 pounds, will continue tomorrow, when we sit down with Christian Smith (133 pounds). The segment's finale will be on Wednesday, with the Flames 141-pound national qualifier in Tim Harner.
Seven Good Minutes Segments
Shaun Smith – March 15
Chris Daggett – March 16
Christian Smith – March 17
Tim Harner – March 18
This year's quartet gives Liberty 14 national qualifiers since the program was reinstated after a 12-year hiatus for the 2006-07 season. The Flames posted a 12-9-1 dual meet record this past season, culminating with their third-straight NCAA East Regional team title.
Seven Good Minutes with Chris Daggett
Audio Interview with Chris Daggett
If experience is a teacher for future success, then Chris Daggett has been a prize pupil in its classroom throughout his career in a Liberty singlet.
During his first year with the program, the Williamsburg, W.Va., native posted a 12-12 mark at 184 pounds, but dropped five of his last six bouts, including a second-period fall (5:32) to Duquesne's Jared Ricotta in his first go around at the 2007 NCAA East Regional.
Last campaign, Daggett jumped all over head coach Jesse Castro's line-up, wrestling at three different weight classes throughout the year, ranging from 174 up to 197 pounds.
Daggett wrestled over 75 percent of his bouts at 184 pounds last season, and the practical knowledge he picked up from the previous year greatly benefited him and the Flames down the stretch.
He reversed his trend from the previous season by winning seven of his last eight bouts to become one of six Liberty grapplers to gain a national qualifier and a trip to St. Louis, Mo.
At the NCAA East Regional, the No. 1 seed opened the event, which was hosted by Liberty inside the Vines Center, in the same fashion he was dismissed from the previous year – a second-period fall (3:50) win over Wagner's Edward Broderick.
Daggett dominated the next two bouts as well, scoring 27 points en route to back-to-back major decision wins, 11-2 and 16-6, giving the 184 pounder his initial collegiate tournament first-place finish and punching his ticket to the national championship.
However, the competition inside the Scottrade Center proved too much for Daggett, as the then-junior suffered a last-second fall to Stanford's Zack Giesen (6:27) in the opening round. A medical forfeit, due to the persistent affects from a flu virus, left him unable to wrestle in the Wrestleback bracket and gave the national qualifying rookie a quick exit at the nation's elite collegiate event.
However, if the experience theme continues to follow suit this season, Daggett might be making a similar run as teammates Tim Harner and Chad Porter, who advanced to the round of 16 during last year's national championship.
Daggett opened the 2008-09 year as one of three Liberty grapplers to garner a Top 20 national ranking by NWCA, when he was ranked No. 19 at 184 pounds.
He began the year strong, winning his first three bouts, including two by fall. By early December, Daggett was still among nation's best, as he stood with a 10-5 mark after posting four-straight wins at the Nittany Lion Open.
A mid-year "slump," where he won only five out of 13 bouts, may have dropped the grappler from the country's elite list, but it didn't diminish his drive to polish off his collegiate career in fine fashion.
Daggett got back on track at the East Regional Duals, leading the Flames in victories on the day, with a 4-0 mark, to help the squad seal up its second-straight team title at the regional qualifying preview event.
The string of wins has continued since Liberty's East Regional Duals win in Pittsburgh, as the former West Virginia transfer has reeled off 10-straight victories, including three wins at the NCAA East Regional Qualifier.
A 16-0 technical fall win over Campbell's Kyle Higgins was sandwiched between a pair of two-point decision victories, including a 2-0 blanking of Gardner-Webb's Alex Piasecki.
The two-point victory over the Bulldogs' grappler not only sealed the senior's return trip to the national championship, but it continued his ride on the wave of experience – one Daggett hopes will drive him much deeper into the event's brackets in St. Louis this go around.
Daggett's Career Record at Liberty
Daggett's Career at the NCAA National Championship
2008: 0-2 (184 pounds)
L – Zack Giesen (Stanford) – Fall, 6:27
L – Lior Zamir (Penn) – Medical forfeit
Career record at the NCAA National Championship: 0-2
Getting to Know Chris Daggett
What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
Philippians 1:20, because I hope Christ is always exalted in my body.
I know it's not good for me, but I love to eat …
What was the best movie you watched over the last year?
Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe
I came to Liberty because …
I was asked to and the Lord had a hand in it.
Share something about one of your teammates that someone outside the program would never know without you telling them.
Josh Pelletier, prefers to be called Joshie.
Who is your favorite Bible character and why?
Jesus, because He is the man.
My earliest memory while competing in my sport is …
Doing 100 mat drills at beginning and end of practice.
The best part of being a Liberty student-athlete is …
The spiritual encouragement I receive from my teammates.
My dream job would be …
To coach wrestling.
What is the best book you have ever read (other than the Bible)?
"For Men Only" by Shaunti Feldhahn
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
I wish I could read others people's minds.
If I were named "Coach for a Day", I would make my coaches (and why) …
Do a "SAM" workout.
My favorite thing about being a part of the Liberty wrestling program is (and why) …
The fellowship I have with my teammates and Joshie.
If you could have dinner with three people throughout history, who would they be and why?
Jesus, Adolf Hitler (before the Holocaust, so Jesus could bring him to salvation) and Kobe Bryant (because he's the man).
My personal goals this season are …
To glorify the Lord and to be an All-American.
What cartoon character are you most like (and why)?
Maximillian "Max" Goof, the son of Disney's Goofy.
If someone would look at the songs on my iPod, I would be embarrassed for them to see I have this song is …
"You Say it Best" by Allison Krauss
The first thing people notice about me when they meet me is …
When you were a little child, what did you want to be "when you grew up" and are you pursuing it still as a career/profession after graduation?
No, because I wanted to be a professional athlete.