Wreslting Crowns Three Indvidual Champions, Finishes Second At Pac-10 Championships

March 3, 2002

CORVALLIS - Three Oregon wrestlers were crowned Pacific-10 Conference Champions as the Ducks finished second with 115.5 team points in the Pac-10 Wrestling Championships at Gill Coliseum Sunday. It is the most individual conference champions and the highest finish for Oregon since 1989.

'We wanted to win it and we wrestled hard,' Oregon head coach Chuck Kearney said. 'We just didn't score any bonus points and that's what it came down to. But, the guys went after it and now they know what it will take to win a championship.'

Along with Oregon State, who also had three champions, Oregon won the most individual titles, but it was Boise State who took home the title with 123 points. The Broncos won four matches by fall on Sunday and had two individual champions to edge Oregon down the stretch.

Shaun Williams (125), Tony Overstake (157) and Eugene Harris (165) all won titles for the first time in their careers and will advance to the NCAA Tournament along with second place finisher Brian Watson (141), third place finishers Shane Webster (174), Eric Webb (Hwt.) and fourth place finisher Casey Hunt (149). Sophomore Jason Harless (133), who finished fifth as the second seed, earned one of the four wild card bids to the NCAA Tournament to be held March 21-23 in Albany, New York. The eight wrestler contingent will be the largest traveling to the national tournament for Oregon since taking nine wrestlers in 1981 under coach Ron Finely.

Williams, seeded No. 3 at 125, started the championship finals on an exciting note for Oregon and the 1,499 fans, upsetting the No. 1 seed from Boise State. With the team race still up for grabs, Williams' win over Ben Vombaur was a must for Oregon. From the start, Williams was the aggressor, scoring two takedowns and two near fall points in the first period. Entering the second period, in which neither wrestler scored, Williams held a 6-2 advantage. Vombaur earned a point in the third period after Williams was called for stalling. The senior from Pretoria, South Africa, responded by closing the match the way he started - attacking to score a takedown and near fall points en route to a 10-4 victory.

The Ducks then won back to back championships at 157 and 165 pounds. Overstake took an early lead over Jeremiah Jarvis of UC Davis, scoring on a takedown with 2:30 left in the first period. Jarvis tied the match at 2 with a reversal and Overstake escaped to take a 3-2 lead heading into the second period. Overstake scored on an escape and a takedown in the second period, but Jarvis narrowed the score, 6-4 with a reversal as time expired in the period. Jarvis then tied the match with a takedown in the third period, but Overstake outscored his opponent 4-1 to win 10-7.

Harris, Oregon's only No. 1 seed in the tournament, scored early as well, taking a 2-0 lead over second seeded Burt Pierson of UC Davis. Pierson escaped twice to tie the match at 2 and the only other scoring was an escape by Harris early in the third period. It was enough though as Harris won his 15th consecutive match. Ironically, one of Harris' two losses this season was a 2-1 decision to Pierson Nov. 10.

After being bumped to the consolation bracket on Saturday, freshman Shane Webster advanced to the third place final after defeating Imad Kharbush of Stanford and a medical forfeit by Portland State's Quinn Collett. Webster scored a huge upset in the third place final, defeating third-seeded Pat Owens of Boise State, 13-4.

Team Scores1. Boise State, 1232. Oregon, 115.53. Arizona State, 103.54. Oregon State, 83.55. Cal Poly, 72.56. UC Davis, 567. Stanford, 50.58. Cal State Bakersfield, 439. Portland State, 31.510. Fullerton, 29

Sunday's Results

125 Championship Finals(3)Shaun Williams (UO) DEC (1)Ben Vombaur (BSU), 10-4

133 Wrestleback Semifinals(1)David Douglas (ASU) DEC Jason Harless (UO), 8-1

133 Fifth Place Final(2)Jason Harless (UO) DEC (3)Nathan Navarro (OSU), 8-4

141 Championship Finals(1)Eric Larkin (ASU) Major Dec Brian Watson (UO), 11-1

149Wrestleback Semifinals(4)Casey Hunt (UO) DEC Matt Cox (CPU), 10-5

149 Third Place Final(3)Thomas Juarez (CSUB) DEC (4)Casey Hunt (UO), 2-1

157 Championship Final(2)Tony Overstake (UO) DEC Jeremiah Jarvis (UCD), 10-7

165 Championship Final(1)Eugene Harris (UO) DEC (2)Burt Pierson (UCD), 3-2

174 Wrestleback SemifinalsShane Webster (UO) MED. FRFT. (4)Quinn Collett (PSU)

174 Third Place FinalShane Webster (UO) Major Dec. (3) Pat Owens (BSU), 13-4

197 Wrestleback SemifinalsRandy Davidson (PSU) INJ. DEF. Jake Leair (UO), 6:06

197 Fifth Place FinalJacob McGinnis (BSU) DEC Jake Leair (UO), 10-4

Hwt. Wrestleback Semifinals(3)Eric Webb (UO) DEC Clint Walbeck (CPU), 4-3

Hwt. Third Place Final(3)Eric Webb (UO) DEC (4)Boe Rushton (BSU), 8-4

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