Jorgensen, Coy win titles

Feb. 26, 2001

EUGENE, Ore. - Oregon State 157-pounder Eric Jorgensen and 174-pounder Nathan Coy won individual titles and the Beavers placed third in the team race as the Pacific-10 Wrestling Championships wrapped up Monday night at McArthur Court. OSU 141-pounder Shane Cunanan and heavyweight Jason Cooley both placed second.

The Beavers will send seven wrestlers to the NCAA Championships, joining the finalists are 133-pounder Ben Richards, who placed third, and 125-pounder Nathan Navarro and 165-pounder Jed Pennell, both of whom placed fifth. The top four placers at each weight earned automatic berths, but Navarro and Pennell earned two of the Pacific-10's wild-card entries to the national meet, the wild cards are selected by the conference coaches from among the fifth-place finishers.

Jorgensen was named the meet's Outstanding Wrestler, earning one pin and then winning the championship with a 10-2 major decision over top-seeded and nationally third-ranked Kirk White of Boise State. Jorgensen, a senior ranked sixth nationally, has won 14 straight matches heading into the NCAA Championships to be held March 15-17 at Iowa.

Jorgensen was the first Beaver to earn the Outstanding Wrestler award since two-time national champion Les Gutches won it in 1995 and 1996. The two conference champions were the most for OSU since 1998, when Jason Buce placed first at 126 pounds and Oscar Wood was first at 142.

Arizona State won the Pacific-10 championship with 123.5 points, followed by Boise State with 110.5 and Oregon State with 109.5. It was the second straight third-place finish for the Beavers, whose goal was the team title, a disappointing Monday morning session cost OSU a chance to win the tournament.

'It's good to have two champions and have four in the finals,' OSU head coach Joe Wells said. 'But that doesn't cut it. We planned to be champion and we didn't do it, so we fell short of our goal. Our goal was to have 10 qualify for nationals and we had seven, that's not bad, but that wasn't our goal.

'Right now, I'm thinking of the disappointments and where we failed, and what we need to do between now and the NCAAs to be in the hunt and be respectable.'

Jorgensen and Coy won titles, including Coy's pin of Cal Poly's Steve Strange in 4:54 in the final, but Wells called Cunanan 'the warrior of the evening.' The sophomore went against third-ranked Eric Larkin of Arizona State and lost 12-8, but scored three takedowns against the only collegian who is a member of the U.S. National Team.

'He set the tone for how we wrestled tonight,' Wells said of Cunanan's effort at 141 pounds. 'He did what we have to have people do to win this tournament - we need people to step up and not be afraid of who they're wrestling, and wrestle to win. He came up a little short tonight, but he won't do that often when he wrestles that way.

'Then Jorgy went out and followed in his footsteps, and Nathan did him one better with the pin.'

Jorgensen and White - a national champion in 1999 at 165 pounds - had split a pair of regular-season meetings at 157 pounds, with White winning 2-1 in overtime in December and Jorgensen winning 6-1 in January.

'I knew I had my work cut out for me after the first time we wrestled,' Jorgensen said. 'I knew it was up to me, how hard I wanted to work and how hard I wanted to train.'

Jorgensen's win fulfilled a longtime dream.

'Since I was in grade school, I wanted to be a conference champion in Division I,' said Jorgensen, now 32-5 with 4 pins this season. 'The second goal was, I wanted to win a national title ...

'This is a big confidence-booster. I can go to the national tournament knowing I haven't had a letdown in however-many matches in a row now, I'm going in wrestling well, I'm in good condition, and I'm confident.'

Jorgensen found White in on his leg early but fought off the advance. Midway through the first period, Jorgensen slipped in and got a single-leg hold on White, he lifted him high in the air and took him straight to his back for a five-point move. Jorgensen added a two-point near-fall before the end of the period for a 7-0 lead.

Then it was a matter of staying collected through the final two periods and collecting his first conference title.

'I just had to keep going after the guy and hoping I could get the major decision to help the team points,' Jorgensen said. 'We were down a few points, and every point helps the team in the long run. I just went out to wrestle as hard as I could and give it everything I've got, and I did.'

It took Coy a while to get going in the 174-pound final. After a scoreless first period, Strange began the second with an escape and a quick takedown.

'I just felt sluggish,' Coy said. 'Maybe it was the anticipation of this tournament the past few weeks, wanting to go out and do my best in front of our fans that were here - I got a little jittery. I like to go on the offensive, and I didn't accomplish that.'

But, once Coy found himself trailing, he went right to work. He scored an escape with 44 seconds to go in the second period and a takedown just four seconds later, getting Strange into a cradle and working it into a pin with six seconds remaining.

'When somebody takes me down, it gets me going,' Coy said. 'I was trying for the reversal and he tried to clear me for the escape, but I caught him with his head down and got him in the cradle.'

Coy, who had placed second last season, credited Cunanan and Jorgensen with getting him motivated.

'Shane and Jorgy came up and displayed the courage they did and that got me going - just the way they came out and wrestled,' said Coy, now 33-7 with 2 pins this season. 'My goal was to get a pin in this tournament, but I wanted to do it earlier. It's nice to get it here, but I wish I could have gotten one earlier and gotten us bonus points for the team. We wanted first place, nothing but first place was going to be good enough for this team.'

Cooley, seeded third, dropped an 8-5 decision to top-seeded Kellan Fluckiger of Arizona State. After a scoreless first period, Cooley started the second period in the down position and gave up a three-point near fall, he managed a reversal to get within 3-2. Fluckiger, though, scored an escape and a takedown before the end of the second period for a 6-2 lead and Cooley was never closer than three points the rest of the way.

On Monday morning, the Beavers had five wrestlers in the consolation semifinals, where a win meant an automatic trip to the NCAA meet. Richards was the only one of the five to win.

Richards, a senior, guaranteed his fourth trip to the NCAA Championships by beating Nate Ybarra of Cal Poly 15-3. He picked up his fourth consecutive third-place finish by beating Charlie Griggs of Boise State 6-3.

Navarro, seeded second, was pinned by fourth-seeded John Fasana of Portland State in 4:09 in the consolation semifinals. He came back for a 7-4 win over Jaime Garza of Cal Poly in the fifth-place final, making him eligible for wild-card consideration.

Pennell, a freshman seeded first, was beaten by Luke Larwin of Oregon 6-5 in overtime. Pennell then stopped Casey Eager of Boise State 4-1 in the fifth-place final to give himself a chance at a wild-card spot.

Isaac Weber was topped 3-2 by fourth-seeded R.D. Pursell of Arizona State in the consolation semis at 184 pounds, but earned a major decision over Harold Penson of Stanford by a 12-2 score in the fifth-place final. Jason Lovell was pinned by David Schenk of Cal Poly in 33 seconds in the consolation semis at 197 pounds before taking a 14-2 major decision over Brandon Arsenault of Cal-Davis for fifth place.

Monday night's finals will be televised via tape delay by Fox Sports Net on March 4 at 11 a.m.


TEAM SCORES - Arizona State 123.5, Boise State 110.5, Oregon State 109.5, Oregon 103.5, Cal Poly 80.5, Cal State-Bakersfield 70, Cal-Davis 60, Portland State 48.5, Stanford 19, Cal State-Fullerton 15.5.

(Tournament seeding in parentheses)

125 NATHAN NAVARRO (2) - Dec. over Jaime Garza, CPU, 8-6 in quarterfinals, dec. by (3) Ben Vombaur, BSU, 1-0 in semifinals, pinned by (4) John Fasana, PSU, 4:09 in consolation semifinals, dec. over Jaime Garza, CPU, 7-4 in fifth-place final.

133 BEN RICHARDS (3) - Major dec. over Urijah Faber, UCD, 11-0 in quarterfinals, dec. by (2) Brian Watson, UO, 4-1 in semifinals, major dec. over Nate Ybarra, CPU, 15-3 in consolation semifinals, dec. over (4) Charlie Griggs, BSU, 6-3 in third-place final.

141 SHANE CUNANAN (2) - Dec. over Casey Hunt, UO, 3-2 in quarterfinals, dec. over (3) Andrew Gharst, CPU, 9-0 in semifinals, dec. by (1) Eric Larkin, ASU, 12-8 in championship final.

149 CASEY HORN -Lost to Dana Holland, ASU, disqualification in quarterfinals, dec. over Robert Lynn, PSU, 3-1 in consolation first round, dec. by Josh Sternberg, UCD, 3-1 in consolation quarterfinals.

157 ERIC JORGENSEN (2) - Pinned Josh Blagg, CPU, 2:14 in quarterfinals, dec. over (3) Rocky Smart, ASU, 5-2 in semifinals, major dec. over (1) Kirk White, Boise State, 10-2 in championship final.

165 JED PENNELL (1) - Major dec. over Chris Parker, PSU, 13-1 in quarterfinals, dec. by (4) Burt Pierson, UCD, 10-5 in semifinals, dec. by Luke Larwin, UO, 6-5 (OT) in consolation semifinals, dec. over Casey Eager, BSU, 4-1 in fifth-place final.

174 NATHAN COY (1) - Major dec. over Garrett Johnston, SU, 16-4 in quarterfinals, dec. over (4) Curtis Owen, ASU, 8-7, pinned (2) Steve Strange, Cal Poly, 4:54 in championship final.

184 ISAAC WEBER - Dec. by (2) Cash Edwards, BSU, 3-1 (OT) in quarterfinals, dec. over Chuck Sandlin, CPU, 4-2 in consolation quarterfinals, dec. by (4) R.D. Pursell, ASU, 3-2 in consolation semifinals, major dec. over Harold Penson, SU, 12-2 in fifth-place final.

197 JASON LOVELL - Dec. over (3) Babak Nejadmaghaddam, CSUF, 7-0 in quarterfinals, major dec. by (2) Chael Sonnen, UO, 11-3 in semifinals, pinned by (4) David Schenk, CPU, 0:33 in consolation semifinals, major dec. over Brandon Arsenault, UCD, 14-2 in fifth-place final.

HWT JASON COOLEY (3) - Dec. over Brad Selby, SU, 2-1 in quarterfinals, tech. fall over Joe Johnson, PSU, 5:40 in semifinals, dec. by (1) Kellan Fluckiger, ASU, 8-5 in championship final.

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