Feb. 15, 2013
OSU, Michigan, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech all to square off on the mats in one of four National Duals Regionals to take place throughout the nation
It will truly be 'Mat Mayhem' Sunday inside Gill Coliseum as Oregon State will host one of four*regional sites for*the 2013 National Duals. OSU will take on Michigan in*its first match at 1 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 17 for a chance to compete against the winner of the Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma dual. Four dual meets will commence within a two hour stretch between two pairs of Top-25 teams for the right to move onto Minneapolis.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The eyes of the collegiate wrestling world will be focused on Corvallis, Ore., this weekend as well as three other sites across the nation for regional competition of the 2013 NWCA Cliff Keen National Duals.
Oregon State joins Cornell, Kent State and Missouri as one of four regional hosts this weekend, with a total of 16 schools competing in the second installment of ‘Mat Mayhem’. Joining the No. 8/9/11 ranked Beavers at Gill Coliseum this Sunday will be No. 7/10 Virginia Tech, No. 11/14/25 Oklahoma as well as No. 19/29 Michigan. Oregon State will square off against Michigan in a rematch of their Nov. 16th dual at 1 p.m. on Sunday on Mat No. 2, while the Sooners and Hokies square off at the same time but on Mat No. 1.
“It’s good to have these top name teams coming in,” OSU head coach Jim Zalesky said. “If you think about Oklahoma, Michigan and Virginia Tech, they bring a lot of big name wresters in here and a lot of good coaches, so it will be good to be at home with those teams here (in Gill Coliseum).”
The winners of the OSU/Michigan dual and the OU/VT meet will take to the first mat at 3 p.m., with the winner going on to Minneapolis the following Sunday for the Final Four of National Duals. The two losers will also do battle on Mat No. 2 at the same time for third and fourth place regional honors.
“Fans will see a lot of great individuals wrestling some top ranked guys and will get to see two duals side-by-side,” Zalesky explained. “There will be one dual going on right here and another taking place right next to it, so it’s going to be an action packed weekend for us.”
A total of four ranked teams with 25 nationally ranked wrestlers between them will be on display at Gill on Sunday.
*CORVALLIS REGIONAL NOTES
The Beavers enter National Duals riding an eight meet win streak, following their 92-4 combined scores against Cal Poly and Arizona State last weekend. OSU shutout the Mustangs 50-0 on Friday and then 42-4 on Saturday inside Gill Coliseum. Oregon State brings a 10-3 overall record into this weekend’s National Duals Regional as well as a 5-1 conference mark. Jim Zalesky’s squad is 5-1 on the road and 4-2 at home with a 1-0 mark in neutral sites. The ‘Beavs are currently ranked as the eighth best team in the nation by Intermat, which is its highest team ranking of the season. OSU is placed at No. 9 by The Open Mat and as the 11th best team by D1 College Wrestling’s latest poll. The Orange and Black stayed put in all three polls from a week ago as it was No. 8/9/11 heading into last weekend.
As a unit, OSU boasts six wrestlers with a total of 17 rankings beside their name, the highest of which is 141 pounder Mike Mangrum who pulled a No. 3 rating from The Open Mat and No. 4’s from the Intermat and D1 College Wrestling. Behind Mangrum is heavyweight Chad Hanke who is No. 4 across the board. as well as 197 pounder Taylor Meeks who pulled triple sixes. Scott Sakaguchi (149 lbs.) at No. 6/7/10 and RJ Pena (157 lbs.), who is No. 7/8/10, round out the Orange and Black wrestlers ranked in the top 10 in their weight class. The final ranked wrestler for the ‘Beavs is Ty Vinson who is rated No. 19 by the Intermat and No. 24 by D1 College Wrestling.
The Wolverines come to Corvallis for the second time this season and will take on the Beavers for the second time in just three months. Their first trip to Gill Coliseum was Nov. 16, when they defeated an OSU team in its home opener 21-18. At that time the U of M was ranked 16th in the nation, while OSU was at No. 10. This time around, Michigan is ranked 19th by the Open Mat and D1 College Wrestling and 29th in the country according to the Intermat poll. The Maize and Blue are currently 9-6 overall and 3-5 in the Big Ten. They are riding a one match win streak and are the third seeded team in the Corvallis Regional of the National Duals. The Wolverines have beaten Olivet, No. 18 Pittsburgh, No. 10 Oregon State, Stanford, Duke, Eastern Michigan, No. 23 Northwestern, Indiana and Michigan State. They have lost to No. 17 Central Michigan, No. 17 Nebraska, No. 22 Wisconsin, No. 4 Iowa, No. 18 Purdue and No. 5 Ohio State.
Michigan has a total of five ranked wrestlers, the highest of which is 149 pounder Eric Grajales who is rated No. 7 by The Open Mat and No. 9 by D1 College Wrestling. Following Grajales is Taylor Massa (165 lbs.) No. 9/9/9, Dan Yates (174 lbs.) No. 10/10, Sean Boyle (125 lbs.) No. 12/12/14 and heavyweight Ben Apland at No. 18/19.
The Hokies enter the Corvallis Regional as the highest rated team in the bracket. VT is No. 7 in The Open Mat and D1 College Wrestling and ranked 10th by the Intermat. Tech carries an overall record of 14-2 and a 5-0 mark within the ACC and is the overall No. 1 seed in the regional, taking on No. 4 Oklahoma. The Hokies have beaten ranked opponents such as Wisconsin (No. 25), Oklahoma (No. 16), Edinboro twice at No. 16 and 20 and Virginia twice at No. 17 and 19.* They have lost to No. 5 Ohio State and No. 18 Pittsburgh. VT’s match-up with the Sooners this weekend will be the third time this season they have squared off against a school twice in a season, so far they are 2-0 against Edinboro and Virginia in 2012-13. Their 22-19 victory against Oklahoma came January 27, in Blacksburg.
The Hokies have eight total wrestlers ranked out of ten possible weight classes. Their highest ranked wrestlers are 149 pounder Nick Brascetta and 165 pounder Peter Yates who are both rated No. 5 across the board. Following that tandem is Jarrod Garrett (125 lbs.) at No. 5/7/7 and Jesse Dong (157 lbs.) at No. 6/7/7. Other ranked Hokie grapplers include Zach Neibert at No. 10/12, 133 pounder Eric Spjut (No. 16/18), Derrick Borlie (197 lbs.) at No. 23 and 174 pounder Austin Gabel who is No. 25.
The Sooners will enter Gill Coliseum losers of three in-a-row, with a 4-6 record and a 1-2 mark within the Big 12. Despite their sub .500 record, Oklahoma is currently ranked 11th in the Intermat’s latest poll, 14th in D1 College Wrestling and 25th in The Open Mat. OU has defeated opponents Oklahoma City, Binghamton, Iowa State and West Virginia. They have dropped dual meets with Wyoming, Oklahoma State, Northern Iowa, Lehigh, Virginia Tech and Missouri. Their 22-19 loss to the Hokies came January 27, in Blacksburg, Va., and will make the second time in three weeks the two schools’ will square off.
Oklahoma has a total of five nationally ranked wrestlers, the highest of which consensus No. 1 Kendric Maple at 141 lbs. following Maple is 165 pounder Buddy Graham who is ranked No. 4 across the board, then Cody Brewer (133 lbs.) at No. 9. Outside of the Top 10 is 149 pounder Nick Lester at No. 15/15/16 and 157 pounder Matt Lester who is No. 17/20 in the nation.
OREGON STATE AT NATIONAL DUALS
This will mark the second straight year the Beavers have taken part in the Cliff Keen National Duals as they went 1-1 in last year’s competition. OSU defeated Iowa State 27-12 in Ames during the 2012 Regionals but then lost to Iowa 22-14 in the dual to decide who moved on to the Final Four. This will mark the second straight year that Oregon State and Virginia Tech appear in the same regional as the Hokies lost to Iowa in their first meet. This will also be the second season in-a-row Jim Zalesky’s squad has pulled a No. 2 seed at Regionals, with the Beavers eventually finishing second in Ames during 2012 and perfectly aligning with their No. 2 seeding. There are currently nine Orange and Black wrestlers with prior National Duals experience under their belts that are on the OSU roster. They include Pat Rollins (125 lbs.), Mike Mangrum (141 lbs.), Scott Sakaguchi (149 lbs.), RJ Pena (157 lbs.), Joe Latham (165 lbs.), John Tuck (174 lbs.), Brian Engdahl (184 lbs.), Ty Vinson (184 lbs.) and Taylor Meeks (197 lbs.)
NATIONAL DUALS HISTORY
2013 will mark the arrival of the second edition of the NWCA Cliff Keen National Duals and the first time a regional will be hosted in Corvallis. Last year Minnesota won the entire thing, beating Iowa (who defeated Oregon State during regional competition), followed by host Oklahoma State in Stillwater. Close to 4,500 fans were on hand to witness the final dual meet, while Ames, Iowa (Iowa State), Stillwater, Okla. (Oklahoma State), Ithaca, N.Y. (Cornell) and New Brunswick, N.J. (Rutgers) acted as host sites and schools for regionals.
There are currently seven OSU wrestlers who have 20 or more wins so far during the 2012-13 season. That select list includes 141 pounder Mike Mangrum (32-4), heavyweight Chad Hanke (29-3), 157 pounder RJ Pena (28-3) and 197 pounder Taylor Meeks (27-5). Of those four, All four boast a team best 12-1 record in dual competition, while the wrestler with the best tournament record is Mangrum who boasts a 22-3 record. Hanke is 21-3, followed by Pena (19-2) and Meeks (18-4). Scott Sakaguchi (149 lbs.) 21-5, Seth Thomas (165 lbs.) 21-4 and Austin Morehead (174 lbs.) 21-13 round out Oregon State’s 20-Win Club, with Sakaguchi boasting the best dual record out of the final trio with an 11-2 mark.
As a whole, the OSU wrestling team is on an eight meet winning streak. The Beavers have beaten eight straight dual opponents for the first time since the 17 straight the won from Nov. 2009 to Feb. 2010. A number of OSU wrestlers are also riding impressive win streaks into this weekend as well, including five who have won at least six in-a-row or more. Heavyweight Chad Hanke is tops on the list who has won a season best 14 straight dating back to his 5-0 run and individual weight class title at the Midlands Championships in Chicago. Hanke is followed by 141 pounder Mike Mangrum who has won 13 straight, including four at the Midlands and another nine in dual competition. Behind Hanke and Mangrum is RJ Pena (157 lbs.) who has won nine in-a-row as well as 197 pounder Taylor Meeks who boasts a six match win streak. It is also of note that redshirt freshman Seth Thomas has won four out of the first five collegiate dual meets he has started, including three in-a-row. The only blemish on his dual resume is a technical fall to No. 1 Kyle Dake at Cornell, which put a halt to Dake’s pin streak at five.
CLIMBING UP THE CAREER LADDER
Mike Mangrum (141 lbs.) is continuing his assault on the OSU record book when it comes to career wins. The senior captain began the season with 96 victories and now has 128, which places him in sole possession of sixth place on the all-time career wins list. Next up for the Auburn, Wash., native is legendary OSU grappler Les Gutches (1993-96; 177/190) who has 134. The only other current Beaver with 100 or more career wins is heavyweight Chad Hanke, who is 17th on the all-time list with 109.* The next rung on the all-time career wins list ladder are Brad Swartz (1979-82; 150), Pat Plourd (1975-78; 118) and Eric Jorgensen (1998-2001; 142/150/157) who all have 113.
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