Feb. 27, 2013
OSU freshman Joey Palmer will be competing in his first ever Pac-12 Championship this weekend in Tempe. Palmer has a dozen wins in his initial collegiate campaign. He and the Beavers will look to defend their Pac-12 Championship crown.
Oregon State will look to repeat as Pac-12 Champions at the conference championships in Tempe, Ariz., on Saturday
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The No. 8/9/11 ranked Oregon State wrestling team will head to the arid desert of Arizona this weekend to defend its conference crown at the 2013 Pac-12 Championships. OSU won the Pac-12 title in 2012 with 129 total team points and four individual championships in Boise, Idaho.
This time around the Beavers will look to win their third Pac-12 Championship in four years as they claimed the first ever Pac-12 Championship in 2012 and the final Pac-10 Championship in 2010.
“History can be made this week by winning another championship but it is always a fight with the way the scoring goes,” said OSU head coach Jim Zalesky. “There are only six teams, so you have to go and work for those bonus points because it can come down to that.”
Oregon State has beaten all five Pac-12 opponents this season, suffering only one loss to their Border Rivals, Boise State (19-15), Jan. 5 at Gill Coliseum. Zalesky’s squad defeated the Broncos earlier in the year 21-16 in Spokane, Wash, as well as Stanford 32-6 (Jan. 19), CSU Bakersfield 35-7 (Feb. 2), Cal Poly 50-0 (Feb. 8) and Arizona State 42-4 (Feb.9), all in Corvallis.
“We have wrestled most of the competition here but this is what counts,” Zalesky added. “It doesn’t matter if you have beaten a guy two, three times before or you’ve gotten beat, you have to be ready for this weekend.”
The Beavers have outscored conference opponents 195-52 and have won 45 out of the 60 individual Pac-12 matches they competed in, giving them a .750 winning percentage in conference matches and .833 mark in Pac-12 duals.
The 2013 Pac-12 Wrestling Championships take place Saturday, March 2 in Tempe, Ariz., at Wells Fargo Arena with Arizona State hosting.
*CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES
OREGON STATE
The Beavers enter the Pac-12 Championships as defending conference champions, carrying an 11-4 overall record and 5-1 Pac-12 mark. Jim Zalesky’s squad is 5-1 on the road and 5-3 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 tied for 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 climbed one spot in Intermat from last week and stayed put in the other two polls.
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. 7/8/8 and RJ Pena (157 lbs.), who is No. 9/10/10, 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.
PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIPS
The 2013 Pac-12 Championships will be held on Saturday, March 2 at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Ariz., with the Sun Devils of Arizona State acting as the host school. Five other schools, Oregon State, CSU Bakersfield, Cal Poly, Boise State and Stanford will also be taking part in the action. Competition starts at 10:30 a.m., Mountain Time when Session I commences and will last until 1:30 p.m. Session two gets underway at 3:30pm and will feature the semifinals and consolations. Finals will then take place at 5 p.m., followed by an awards ceremony at 7 p.m. Championship action will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks and live results/web stream are available by going to: http://championships.pac-12.com/wrestling/*
Last season the Beavers took home top honors at the Pac-12 Championships, which were held in Boise, Idaho. The conference title was the program’s 18th since the inception of the Pacific 8 in 1966-67, and their second Pac-10/12 crown in the last three years. OSU boasted four wrestlers with individual weight class titles including Mike Mangrum (141 lbs.), Scott Sakaguchi (149 lbs.), RJ Pena (157 lbs.) and Clayton Jack at heavyweight. Jim Zalesky’s squad wrapped up conference competition in 2012 with a Pac-12 best 129 points, just four ahead of second place Stanford.
PAC-12 RANKINGS
The final edition of the Pac-12 Rankings are out and a total of seven OSU wrestlers are ranked in the top two of their individual weight class, including four number one’s. Those seven include Joey Palmer who is No. 1 among Pac-12 125 pounders, Mike Mangrum, No. 1 at 141 lbs., No. 2 Scott Sakaguchi at 149 lbs., top ranked RJ Pena at 157 lbs., second ranked 165 pounder Seth Thomas, Taylor Meeks, who is No. 2 at 197 lbs., as well as top ranked heavyweight Chad Hanke. Other rankings are as follows: 133 lbs. Drew Van Anrooy (No. 4), 174 lbs. Cody Weishoff (No. 4) and 184 lbs. Ty Vinson (No. 5).
20-WIN CLUB
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 (34-4), heavyweight Chad Hanke (31-3), 157 pounder RJ Pena (29-4) and 197 pounder Taylor Meeks (29-5). Of those four, Mangrum, Hanke and Meeks boast a team best 14-1 record in dual competition, while Pena is 13-2. 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.) 22-6, Seth Thomas (165 lbs.) 21-6 and Austin Morehead (174 lbs.) 22-14 round out Oregon State’s 20-Win Club, with Sakaguchi boasting the best dual record out of the final trio with an 12-3 mark.
GOING STREAKING
A number of OSU wrestlers are also riding impressive win streaks into this weekend as well, including three who have won at least eight in-a-row or more. Heavyweight Chad Hanke is tops on the list who has won a season best 16 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 15 straight, including four at the Midlands and another nine in dual competition. Behind Hanke and Mangrum is Taylor Meeks (197 lbs., who boasts an eight match win streak.
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 130, 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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