Four Wrestlers Still Competing After Day 1 Of NCAA Wrestling Championships

March 21, 2002

ALBANY, New York - After one full day of competition at the NCAA Wrestling Tournament in Albany, New York, four of Oregon's eight wrestlers that qualified will still be competing in Session III Friday morning. As a team, Oregon stands tied for 19th with 10.5 points. Oklahoma leads the team race with 37.5 points, followed by defending champion Minnesota, 35.5 points and Iowa, 31.0 points.

Two of the four wrestlers remaining - Shaun Williams, seeded eighth at 125 pounds, and Eugene Harris, seeded seventh at 165 pounds - remain in the championship bracket and will wrestle Friday morning in the quarterfinals. Both wrestlers faced seeded opponents in the second round to advance. Williams defeated ninth-seeded Jason Powell of Nebraska, 6-3 and Harris won by injury default against No. 10 Matt King of Edinboro. At the time the match was called, Harris was leading 8-3 and seemingly on his way to a victory anyway.

'We had eight wrestlers qualify, but only three of them have been in this environment before,' Oregon head coach Chuck Kearney. 'To have two guys still in contention, especially two seniors, is great for them. For the other guys, this is a great chance to learn what the national tournament is all about.'

Tony Overstake (157) picked up Oregon's most dominating win in round one, defeating Frank De Fillippis (E. Illinois) by technical fall, 17-1 (4:59). Overstake's victory kept him in the championship bracket briefly as he faced No. 1 seed Bryan Snyder of Nebraska in the second round Thursday evening. Snyder was 30-0 this season heading into his match with Overstake and improved to 31-0 with a 25-10 technical fall win against the Oregon junior.

Overstake will now face Doug Cieleski of Oklahoma in the wrestle-back bracket Friday morning. Cieleski defeated Zachariah Doll of Pittsburg in the opening round of the consolation bracket before defeating Dave Bolyard, 7-6 in consolation round one.

Freshman Shane Webster lost a close match in the pigtail round of the 174 pound bracket to move to the wrestle-back consolation bracket. Webster was nearly eliminated from the tournament in the wrestleback opening round when he fell behind 11-3 to Tony Gansen of Central Michigan. In the third period, Webster began to dominate Gansen and slowly pulled himself within a point, 12-11. Webster then outscored Gansen7-3 to win, 18-15 and advanced to face Lance Nixon in the consolation bracket. Webster was eventually eliminated on Thursday when he dropped an 18-13 decision to Nixon in round one of the consolation bracket.

'I'm proud of the year that Shane has had,' Kearney said. 'This is a tournament that will expose your weaknesses and he got caught behind early. But, he wrestled hard, he wrestled with a lot of heart and he's going to be one of the guys that can win this thing in the future.'

At 133, sophomore Jason Harless, who earned a wild card invitation to the tournament after finishing fifth at the Pac-10 tournament, lost 8-4 to Chris Spealler (Lock Haven) in the opening round. Harless fell behind 5-4 in the second period and then scored on an escape to come within a point, 5-4. But, Spealler scored the only points in the third period, a takedown with 1:03 remaining and added a point with 2:12 of riding time.

Harless then won in the opening round of the consolation bracket, defeating Alejandro Alvarez of Cornell, 3-1. Harless was eliminated from the tournament when he lost a 3-2 tiebreaker to Shawn Amistade (Pittsburg) in consolaton round one.

Junior Brian Watson, who finished second at the Pac-10 Championships for the third season, faced third-seeded Sean Gray of Virginia Tech and was unable to notch the upset. Watson did hold Gray scoreless in the first period, but Gray went ahead 3-0 in the second period and extended his lead to 5-0 with a takedown in the final period.

Once bumped to consolation bracket, Watson kept himself alive by defeating Brad Metzler of Stanford, 5-2. Watson had defeated Metzler, 7-2 to advance to the championship match at the Pac-10 Championships. Watson will face ninth-seeded Shane Cunanan of West Virginia, who was upset by Chad Caros of Erikson, 8-5 in the opening round.

Eric Webb suffered a 3-2 loss to fifth-seeded John Lockhart (Illinois) in the opening round and followed that match with another tough 3-2 loss to Steven Kovach of the Navy Thursday evening to be eliminated.

At 149, junior Casey Hunt was Oregon's other wrestler eliminated on the first day, falling to Ty Morgan of Central Michigan, 14-4. Hunt dropped to the consolation bracket after being pinned at 1:02 by No. 8 Jake Percival of Ohio in the first round.

Day I Results

125 Championship Round 1(8)Shaun Williams (UO) DEC Marlon Felton (N. Illinois), 11-4(8)Shaun Williams (UO) DEC (9)Jason Powell (Nebraska), 6-3

133 Championship Round 1Chris Spealler (Lock Haven) DEC Jason Harless (UO), 8-4

133 Consolation Opening RoundJason Harless (UO) DEC Alejandro Alvarez (Cornell), 3-1

133 Consolation Round 1Alejandro Alvarez (Cornell) DEC Jason Harless (UO), 3-2 TB

141 Championship Round 1(3)Sean Gray (Virginia Tech). DEC Brian Watson (UO), 5-0

141 Consolation Round 1Brian Watson (UO) DEC Brad Metzler (STAN), 5-2

149 Championship Round 1(8)Jake Percival (Ohio) FALL Casey Hunt (UO), 1:02

149 Consolation Round 1Ty Morgan (Central Michigan)MAJ DEC Casey Hunt (UO), 14-4

157 Championship Round 1Tony Overstake (UO) TECH FALL Frank DeFillippis (E. Illinois), 17-1, 4:59

157 Championship Round 2Bryan Snyder (Nebraska) TECH FALL Tony Overstake (UO), 25-10

165 Championship Round 1(7)Eugene Harris DEC Bill Boeh (Duquesne), 8-4

165 Championship Round 2(7)Eugene Harris INJ DEF (10)Matt King (Edinboro)

174 Pigtail RoundRalph Everett (Hofstra) DEC Shane Webster (UO), 3-3

174 Consolation Opening RoundShane Webster (UO) DEC Tony Gansen (Central Michigan), 18-15

174 Consolation Round 1Lance Nixon (Cambell) DEC Shane Webster (UO), 18-15

Heavyweight Championship Round 1(5)John Lockhart (Illinois) DEC Eric Webb (UO), 3-2

Heavyweight Consolation Round 1Steven Kovach (Navy) DEC Eric Webb (UO), 3-2

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