Beavers Crown Three Champions

March 3, 2002

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State had three individual champions as the Pacific-10 Conference Wrestling Championships wrapped up Sunday evening at Gill Coliseum. Nathan Coy repeated as champion at 174 pounds, Jason Cooley regained the title at heavyweight and Isaac Weber won his first crown at 184 pounds as the Beavers finished fourth in the team race.

Boise State won the team championship, followed by Oregon, Arizona State and OSU. The three individual champions were the most for Oregon State since the Beavers had four in 1995.'Congratulations to the seniors on their championships,' OSU coach Joe Wells said of Cooley, Coy and Weber. 'They've all dealt with adversity, injury, etcetera, etcetera and done a great job this season. They've continued to improve, and we're very hopeful of them breaking into All-America status at the national tournament and vying for a championship.'

Joining Cooley, Coy and Weber at the NCAA Championships on March 21-23 in Albany, N.Y. will be Jason Lovell, who placed third at 197 pounds, and Michael Delaney, who placed fourth at 125. Oregon State 133-pounder Nathan Navarro and 165-pounder Jed Pennell both placed sixth.

'Congratulations also to Michael and Jason on qualifying for nationals for the first time,' Wells said. 'It was a fine finish to the tournament, considering the horrific beginning we had.'

OSU lost 141-pounder Casey Horn and 149-pounder Jordan Barich to injury in the first session on Saturday.

'I thought we fought well and dealt with the adversity as a team and bounced back,' Wells said. 'It was just a real topsy-turvy tournament with all these seeded athletes being knocked off. There was no respect for the No. 1 guy.'

Coy won as a No. 1 seed, but Cooley and Weber were both No. 2 seeds who knocked off the top seeds in their weight class.

Coy became the first Beaver to win back-to-back Pacific-10 titles since Oscar Wood won at 142 pounds in 1998 and 149 in 1999. He beat Cal Poly's Steve Strange 7-3 in a rematch of last year's 174-pound final, in which Coy had pinned Strange.

This time, Coy had to score a takedown with 24 seconds remaining to take a 4-3 lead, he was eventually awarded a three-point near-fall as time expired.

'Nathan was going for the points at the end,' Wells said. 'He scooped him up last year with a cradle and it was close to same situation this year, but Nathan got him turned and got the near-fall at the end.'

Cooley had won the heavyweight title as a sophomore in 2000, then was beaten in the final last season. Arizona State's Kellan Fluckiger, who had beaten Cooley 8-5 in last season's final, was again his opponent in another championship rematch.

The match was scoreless and neither wrestler had riding time going into the third period. Cooley, on top to start the period, was awarded a point after Fluckiger received two stall warnings, he also accumulated enough riding time for a point before Fluckiger escaped with 36 seconds left. When neither wrestler scored the rest of the way, Cooley had regained the heavyweight title.

'Jason is wrestling real well,' Wells said. 'He's learning to win the close matches and using his conditioning. That will be real important for him - to keep his cool and composure at nationals. It's a good field, but he'll be as good as anyone there. He needs to wrestle in similar fashion, and he'll be right in hunt.'

Weber ran his winning streak to 11 with a 4-3 sudden-victory win over Jeremy Wilson, who had beaten Weber 6-4 in a November dual meet. After falling behind 3-1 when Wilson scored a takedown with 59 seconds left in the third period, Weber managed an escape with 53 seconds left, a second stall warning against Wilson tied the match with 16 seconds to go in regulation.In the one-minute overtime, Wilson was again warned for stalling with 20 seconds remaining. That handed the victory to Weber.

'He's also in there with any of them, right there with them,' Wells said of Weber. 'He's having a great year, he's having a lot of fun and sure enjoying it. He's coming right up against graduation and he'll be making a trip to Europe this spring for his undergraduate studies - what better way to finish off his academic year than with All-America status or a national title.'

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