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Oregon State wrestling head coach Jim Zalesky announced the signing of four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Monday. They will join the team for the 2012-13 season.
The four student-athletes come from four states. They include: Joey Delgado (Hermiston, Ore.), Joey Palmer (Covington, Wash.), Patrick Downey (Baltimore, Md.) and Jack Hathaway (Iowa City, Iowa).
?It?s a good group that has accomplished a lot,? Zalesky said. ?They?ve gotten a lot of titles so far and have done very well nationally. As a coach, you not only look to see how they?ve done in their state or regionally, but against national competition.?
Considered the top wrestler in the state of Oregon, Delgado, who attends Hermiston High School, has wrestled at 130 pounds and most recently won the Reser?s Tournament of Champions, for the second consecutive year. With the win in the final, he concluded his junior year with a perfect 36-0 record. He is expected to wrestle at either 138 or 145 pounds this season.
?Joey is an in-state kid who is going for his fourth title,? Zalesky said. ?He?s one of those kids who has always wanted to come to Oregon State. It was good to get to know his family and see what he brings to the table.?
Palmer is considered the nation?s No. 88 wrestling recruit nationally by The Open Mat. He is projected to wrestle at 125 or 133 pounds in college, and last season, defeated five state champions during his junior campaign. He has won one state championship and appeared in the finals twice. He has also appeared in the finals at the Fargo Junior Freestyle.
?Sometimes you recruit guys and another wrestler catches your attention,? Zalesky said. ?We were looking at Taylor Meeks. I remember going to watch Taylor practice and then seeing Joey Palmer there as a younger guy. He caught my eye and we?ve been watching him ever since. He won state last year. I don?t think he was on too many people?s national radar lists until this summer but we knew about him a couple years ago.?
Downey, originally from Baltimore, was ranked No. 1 at 189 pounds in Florida?s 2A level while at Oviedo High School. He won the NHSCA Senior Nationals at 189 pounds and the USA Junior National Freestyle title at 171. He?s also an honorable mention at 189 pounds by hswrestling.net.
?Patrick is a guy who came on last year,? Zalesky said. ?He won the junior nationals and has done well nationally. He?s a bigger guy and any time you can find a good big guy, you have to go get him.?
Hathaway is ranked 19th nationally at 126 pounds according to Wrestling Insider News Magazine. Through three years at the high school level, he owns a record of 146-12 while competing at Iowa City West High School. Most recently, he won the 3A state title at 125 pounds and has been a runner-up at FILA Junior Nationals, qualifying for the U.S. FILA Junior World Cup team.
?Jack is one of those guys who has really gotten better every year,? Zalesky said. ?I watched him a couple years ago at junior nationals and then last year on tape. He?s improved a lot. I know he comes from a pretty good wrestling program. His coach, Mark Reiland, I coached at Iowa, so I know he comes from a good coaching background. We?re excited to get him out here.?
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