Meeks Places Fourth, a Pair Finish Fifth as OSU Wrestlers Sit in Eighth at NCAA's
March 23, 2013
OSU wrestlers go out with a bang, three earn top five finishes as team reels off 7.5 points on tournament’s final day
DES MOINES, Iowa – 197 lb. sophomore Taylor Meeks finished off his second NCAA Championships as an All-American and a fourth place finisher, becoming the highest placing Oregon State wrestler in the process. Meeks defeated Minnesota’s Scott Schiller with an 11-3 major decision before succumbing Pittsburgh’s Matthew Wilps by way of a technical fall (17-2) during the morning’s wrestleback finals.
149 lb. junior Scott Sakaguchi and 157 lb. junior RJ Pena each took home fifth place finishes, winning their final matches of the 2012-13 season. The three top five finishes enabled the Beavers to score crucial team points as OSU sits in eighth place with 48.5 total points heading into the night session on the Championships’ final day.
After dropping his first match to eventual third place finisher Steve Santos of Columbia, Sakaguchi picked up a 6-5 decision over Missouri’s Drake Houdashelt to earn his highest career finish in the tournament and his second straight All-American honor.
Like his teammate, Pena, who is a first-time All-American, also fell in his first match on a pin by Northern Iowa’s David Bonin (5:39). Ironically enough Bonin was then pinned in his third place match by Oklahoma State’s Alex Dieringer, while Pena cruised to his fifth place finish, with an 11-2 major decision and five minutes of riding time over Virginia’s Jedd Moore.
The last time Oregon State saw a three of its wrestlers finish within the top five in the nation at NCAA’s was back in 1995, when Glenn Nieradka, Chad Renner, Babak Mohammadi and Les Gutches all placed fourth or higher. 2012-13 is also significant as it marks the first time since 1995-96, that the Beavers have had back-to-back trios of All-Americans.
As a unit, Jim Zalesky’s squad went a combined 20-13 during the three-day tournament, with a .650 winning percentage. If the Beavers hold onto their eighth spot in the standings following the night session, it will be OSU’s highest finish at NCAA’s since 1996, when they also finished in eighth place under then head coach Joe Wells.
Tonight’s championship rounds will be televised LIVE on ESPN starting at 5 p.m. Pacific Time.
OREGON STATE RESULTS
**Through Session V**
No. 7 Scott Sakaguchi (5-2)
(3.21) Scott Sakaguchi def. Blake Roulo (Buffalo) Dec. (12-5)
(3.21) Scott Sakaguchi def. Ivan Lopouchanski (Purdue) Dec. (4-1)
(3.22) Jason Chamberlain (Boise State) def. Scott Sakaguchi Dec (3-2) 3OT
(3.22) Scott Sakaguchi def. Donald Vinson (Binghamton) Dec (2-1)
(3.22) Scott Sakaguchi def. Nick Brascetta (Virginia Tech) Dec. (8-5)
(3.23) Steve Santos (Columbia) def. Scott Sakaguchi Dec. (4-2)
(3.23) Scott Sakaguchi def. Drake Houdashelt (Missouri) *Dec. (6-5)
(7) Scott Sakaguchi (Oregon State) 30-8
*FINAL PLACE -- FIFTH
No. 10 RJ Pena (6-2)
(3.21) Josh Demas (Ohio State) def. RJ Pena Dec. (7-6)
(3.21) RJ Pena def. Luke Smith (Central Michigan) Pin (2:29)
(3.22) RJ Pena def. Zac Cibula (Rider) Dec. (10-4)
(3.22) RJ Pena def. Scott Winston (Rutgers) Dec. (8-1)
(3.22) RJ Pena def. George Ivanov (Boise State) Dec. (3-2)
(3.22) RJ Pena def. James Fleming (Clarion) Maj. Dec. (8-0)
(3.23) David Bonin (Northern Iowa) def. RJ Pena Pin (5:39)
(3.23) RJ Pena def. Jedd Moore (Virginia) Maj. Dec. (11-2)
(10) RJ Pena (Oregon State) 38-8
*FINAL PLACE -- FIFTH
No. 5 Taylor Meeks (4-2)
(3.21)* Taylor Meeks def. Maxwell Huntley (Michigan) Pin (1:49)
(3.21)* Taylor Meeks def. Jackson Hein (Wisconsin) Dec. (4-3)
(3.22) Taylor Meeks def. Alfonso Hernandez (Wyoming) Pin (4:54)
(3.22) Dustin Kilgore (Kent State) def. Taylor Meeks Dec. (8-6)
(3.23) Taylor Meeks def. Scott Schiller (Minnesota) Maj. Dec. (11-3)
(3.23) Matthew Wilps (Pittsburgh) def. Taylor Meeks Tech Fall (17-2)
(5) Taylor Meeks (Oregon State) 36-7
*FINAL PLACE -- FOURTH
POST MEET NOTES
--Scott Sakaguchi finished in fifth place overall in the 149 lb. weight class during the NCAA Championships, besting his seventh place finish from a year ago.
--Sakaguchi improved to 12-6 during his career at the NCAA Championships.
--Sakaguchi also reached the 30-win plateau for the second time in his career, finishing the 2012-13 season with a 30-8 mark, he was 38-7 in 2011-12.
--RJ Pena went to 8-4 all-time during the NCAA Championships during his career, with a 2-2 record in 2012 and a 6-2 mark in 2013.
--Pena had the most major decisions for OSU in the tournament with two, while also pinning an opponent.
--The 157 lb. junior led his team in matches wrestled during the tournament (eight) and bonus points scored.
--Taylor Meeks had the most pins, with his pair.
--Four of Taylor Meeks’ six matches this tournament have been rematches of opponents he’s already faced this season, including Maxwell Huntely (Michigan), Alfonso Hernandez (Wyoming), Scott Schiller (Minnesota) and Pittsburgh’s Matthew Wilps.
--Oregon State placed three in the top five at NCAA’s for the first time since 1995, when Glenn Nieradka (4th), Chad Renner (4th), Babak Mohammadi (2nd) *and Les Gutches (1st) all accomplished the same feat.
--Together the OSU top five finishers Scott Sakaguchi, RJ Pena and Taylor Meeks went a combined 15-6, during the NCAA Championships, with Pena having the most victories (six) and the trio each sharing two losses.
--Taylor Meeks was the first OSU underclassman to finish in the top five at NCAA’s since Babak Mohammadi’s fifth place finish in 1992 as a sophomore.
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