Oregon Wrestling Takes Third at Body Bar Invitational

Nov. 23, 2002

Ithaca, N.Y. - The No. 23-ranked Oregon wrestling team placed third at the Body Bar Invitational, hosted by Cornell University, trailing only the No. 16-ranked host school and No. 14-ranked Edinboro. Third-place finishes from Jason Harless at 133 and Luke Larwin at 165 paced the Ducks, who got points from a total of nine wrestlers.

'We wrestled real hard,' head coach Chuk Kearney said. 'The effort level was outstanding and we did a lot of positive things that we can build on.'

Oregon took advantage of strong performances from three wrestlers at the 133 weight class. Joining Harless in the weight class were sophomore Martin Mitchell and redshirt freshman Skyler Woods. Woods and Mitchell placed fourth and fifth, respectively, stockpiling valuable points for the Ducks. Woods knocked off the tournament's No. 2 seed, Drexel's Joe Cristaldi, in the first round, 5-1.

With the Ducks competing in their first action of the season, Kearney noticed typical first-competition mistakes. Kearney is confident more tournament experience will clear up similar lapses.

'It was our first competition,' Kearney said. 'All these teams competing had at least one, and sometimes two, competitions coming in. We did some good things.'

Another weight class with more than one Duck wrestler scoring came at heavyweight, with senior Eric Webb and redshirt freshman Neil Phillips each scoring for Oregon. Phillips nearly advanced to the third-place match, but lost 2-1 to Drexel's Mike Carroll, the No. 17-ranked heavyweight in the country.

'Neil showed us some signs of things we hadn't seen before,' Kearney said. 'He wrestled really well.'

Larwin, who redshirted last season behind All-American Eugene Harris, won five matches in all to take third place at 165.

Sophomore Shane Webster cruised along at 174, winning two matches in convincing fashion, before pulling out to rest a sore muscle. The setback is not considered serious and the coaching staff decided to rest Webster and have him at full strength at the Ducks' next tournament.

The Ducks will compete for the second time this season Saturday, Nov. 30, in the Mat Town Classic in Lock Haven, Pa. Oregon's first dual of the season will come against Oregon State at McArthur Court Dec. 13.

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