Oregon Wrestling Starts Season in New York

Nov. 20, 2002

EUGENE, Ore. - The Oregon wrestling team, ranked No. 23 in the nation, begins its season Saturday at the Body Bar Invitational hosted by Cornell, competing against nine other teams. The Ducks return 18 wrestlers to a team that finished second in the Pac-10 and 24th in the nation a year ago.

'Our student-athletes are excited to get started, to get wrestling,' head coach Chuck Kearney said. 'I wouldn't say they're tired of wrestling each other, but the competition is what it's all about. They're really excited about it.'

Seniors Casey Hunt, Tony Overstake and Eric Webb lead the Ducks into the nine-team competition. All three seniors qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2002, along with junior Jason Harless and sophomore Shane Webster.

Two of the other teams at the Invitational are ranked ahead of the Ducks, including the host school Cornell, No. 16 in the country. Edinboro is ranked ahead of both teams at No. 14. All of the rankings are according to The WrestlingMall.com.

The early season tournament should provide Kearney with ample material to work on in practice.

'We look at every competition as an opportunity to learn something about our team,' Kearney said. 'You learn so much at the first meet, where we're at and where we need to make the adjustments.'

The tournament will begin at 9 a.m. EST, with the finals tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. The Ducks will wrestle the next Saturday at the Mat Town Classic in Pennsylvania.

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