Beavers To Try Their Luck In Vegas

Dec. 3, 2002

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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6 - SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7

Oregon State at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational; Las Vegas, Nev.; all day

Oregon State (0-0 overall duals, 0-0 Pacific-10 duals) takes a big step into counting competition this weekend when the Beavers travel to the two-day Las Vegas Invitational at the Las Vegas Convention Center. OSU competed in the non-scoring Southern Oregon Open on Nov. 23, crowning five champions, but this will be the first meet of the season in which team scores are kept.

The Las Vegas Invitational annually draws around 50 teams; this year's field includes 11 teams in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association top 25: No. 1 Minnesota, No. 5 Michigan, No. 6 Ohio State, No. 9 Illinois, No. 10 West Virginia, No. 11 Missouri, No. 12 Arizona State, No. 13 Nebraska, No. 18 Boise State, No. 23 Purdue and No. 25 Wisconsin.

'It's going to be great tournament,' OSU head coach Joe Wells said. 'There will be a number of nationally-ranked kids at every weight, so we'll get chance to see how we stack up against some of the best guys in the country. It's important to get those matches in at this point in the season.'

The Beavers will also get an early look at most of their Pacific-10 competition. Along with Arizona State and Boise State, other Pacific-10 teams at the tournament will be Portland State, California-Davis, Cal Poly, Cal State-Bakersfield and Cal State-Fullerton.

The Beavers will be without two potential starters this weekend, as 125-pounder Michael Delaney and 149/157-pounder Jordan Barich continue to heal minor injuries. Both were in Oregon State's starting lineup last season.

OSU brings back two wrestlers who placed in the Las Vegas Invitational last season, and both were part-time starters for Oregon State a year ago who have moved into the starting lineup full-time this winter. At heavyweight, Andy Bowlby placed fifth last year as he filled in for the injured Jason Cooley; at 174 pounds, Jake Huffman placed eighth while taking the lineup spot of Nathan Coy, who missed the tournament for personal reasons.

Casey Horn placed fourth at 141 pounds a year ago, but he is recovering from injuries and will not wrestle this season.

OREGON STATE STARTING LINEUP:

National rankings are current Amateur Wrestling News, InterMat, Pac-10

125 - Bobby Pfennigs, fr. (Billings, Mont./C.M. Russell HS); 2-0 with 0 pins

or - Brett Phillips, fr. (Turner, Ore./Cascade HS); 1-1 with 0 pins

133 - Tim Norman, so. (Newberg, Ore./Newberg HS); 1-0 with 0 pins

141 - Mike Unger, fr. (Turner, Ore./Cascade HS); 0-0 with 0 pins

149 - Tony Hook, fr. (Sandpoint, Idaho/Sandpoint HS); 2-0 with 0 pins

or - Orlando Perez, fr. (Hermiston, Ore./Hermiston HS); 0-1 with 0 pins

157 - Jeremy Larson, fr. (Hermiston, Ore./Hermiston HS); 2-0 with 0 pins

165 - Matt Ellis, so. (Prosser, Wash./Prosser HS, Oklahoma St. U.); 0-0 with 0 pins

174 - Jake Huffman, sr. (Scio, Ore./Scio HS); 4-1 with 1 pin;

in Pac-10, ranked 5th

184 - Dan Pitsch, fr. (Tacoma, Wash./Spanaway Lake HS); 3-1 with 0 pins;

in Pac-10, ranked 5th

197 - Jason Lovell, jr. (Turner, Ore./Cascade HS); 2-0 with 0 pins;

in Pac-10, ranked 2nd

HWT - Andy Bowlby, sr. (Newberg, Ore./Newberg HS); 2-1 with 0 pins;

In nation, ranked 11th AWN, 11th IM; in Pac-10, ranked 4th

OREGON STATE AT THE LAS VEGAS INVITATIONAL IN PAST YEARS: Last season, the Beavers placed ninth in the 53-team field. Placing fourth for OSU was Casey Horn at 141 pounds; placing fifth were Isaac Weber at 184 pounds and Andy Bowlby at heavyweight; and placing eighth was Jake Huffman at 174 pounds.

Oregon State is going to the Las Vegas Invitational for the fifth consecutive season and the 10th time overall; OSU's first trip to the tournament was in the 1991-92 season. The Beavers' best finish in Las Vegas was second in both 1993-94 and 1998-99; OSU also placed fourth in 1992-93 and 1994-95 and was fifth in 2000-01.

LAST MEET: Oregon State had five champions Nov. 23 at the Southern Oregon Open wrestling tournament. Placing first for the Beavers were 125-pounder Eric Stevenson, 133-pounder Tim Norman, 149-pounder Tony Hook, 174-pounder Jake Huffman and 197-pounder Jason Lovell.

Taking second in their weight class for OSU were 157-pounder Jeremy Larson and heavyweight Andy Bowlby, while Dan Pitsch was third at 184 pounds. Placing fourth for the Beavers were Jed Pennell at 165 pounds, Brandon Hern at 197 pounds and Ty Watterson at heavyweight.

'We got a lot of pins,' OSU head coach Joe Wells said. 'I thought we were aggressive and our conditioning was a lot better than in the past - we really put pressure on guys. We wrestled some good matches and we wrestled against some tough kids.

'Our young guys competed really well, and so did our older guys. (Seniors) Jake Huffman, Jason Lovell and Andy Bowlby looked great all day.'

OREGON STATE HEAD COACH JOE WELLS: Joe Wells, now in his 11th season as Oregon State's head coach, has led the Beavers to a Pacific-10 title and 4 top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships.

The Beavers' 25-10 win over then-No. 11 Boise State in 2001 was Wells' 100th dual meet win at OSU. Since taking over the Beaver program prior to the 1992-93 season, Wells is 115-69-1 for a winning percentage of .624.

The Beavers were Pacific-10 Conference champions under Wells in 1994 and he has twice been named the conference's Coach of the Year. OSU has finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships 4 times in Wells' tenure, placing second in 1995, fourth in 1994, eighth in 1996 and tying for ninth in 1998.

Under Wells, OSU has had 2 national champions, 17 All-Americans and 21 conference champions.

Wells was named the ASICS Oregon Wrestling Classic's Man of the Year for 1998 for his contributions to wrestling in the state.

Wells, who has coached numerous World Teams for the United States, is a 1972 Iowa graduate. He was a 2-time placer at the Big Ten meet and the 1976 U.S. Wrestling Federation freestyle champ. He spent 17 seasons as an assistant coach at Iowa and Michigan before coming to Oregon State.

OREGON STATE SECOND IN ALL-TIME DUAL MEET WINS: OSU rates as one of the best dual meet teams in collegiate wrestling history. The Beavers were second in all-time dual meet wins among Division I schools and fourth in all-time dual meet winning percentage going into the 2002-03 season. Going into the 2003 season, OSU has an all-time dual meet record of 849-261-24 and a .759 winning percentage.

OREGON STATE'S DUAL MEET SCHEDULE: OSU will face one of the nation's toughest dual meet schedules. The Beavers meet 6 teams ranked in the current National Wrestling Coaches Association poll: No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 12 Arizona State, No. 13 Nebraska, No. 18 Boise State and No. 19 Central Michigan.

OREGON STATE IN GILL COLISEUM: Oregon State has one of the finest homes in college wrestling, 10,400-seat Gill Coliseum. Now in their 47th season in Gill Coliseum, the Beavers have a home dual meet record of 352-65-5 in the arena for a winning percentage of .839. Last season, OSU was 6-3 at home and averaged 836 fans per home date.

OSU moved its home wrestling meets into Gill Coliseum in 1956-57, when Dale Thomas became head coach. Since then, the arena has hosted conference championship meets 14 times, including 2002, and it was the site of the NCAA Championships in 1961 and 1980.

BEAVERS IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS: Here's where Oregon State wrestlers have been in this season's national rankings:

TEAMAm.Wr.News	InterMatPre	NR	Pre	NRNational Wrestling Coaches AssociationNov. 6	NRCASEY HORN, 141Am.Wr.News	InterMatPre	NR	Pre	14thNov. 1	NR	Nov. 9	NRNov. 19	NR	Nov. 26	NRJED PENNELL, 165Am.Wr.News	InterMatPre	NR	Pre	19thNov. 1	NR	Nov. 9	NRNov. 19	NR	Nov. 26	NRANDY BOWLBY, HWTAm.Wr.News	InterMatPre	11th	Pre	12thNov. 1	11th	Nov. 9	11thNov. 19	11th	Nov. 26	11th

BEAVERS IN THE CONFERENCE RANKINGS: Here's where Oregon State wrestlers have been in this season's Pacific-10 rankings:

MICHAEL DELANEY, 125Pre	5thCASEY HORN, 141Pre	2ndJORDAN BARICH, 149Pre	5thJED PENNELL, 165Pre	4thJAKE HUFFMAN, 174Pre	5thDAN PITSCH, 184Pre	5thJASON LOVELL, 197Pre	2ndANDY BOWLBY, HWTPre	4th

OREGON STATE WRESTLING ADMISSION: Admission to all Oregon State wrestling meets at Gill Coliseum is free, and all seating is general admission (no reserved seats).

BOBBY PFENNIGS, 125/133 POUNDS: Freshman Bobby Pfennigs (Great Falls, Mont./C.M. Russell HS) is in his first season in the OSU lineup ... career and this season, 2-0 with 0 pins, team bonus points in 0 percent of matches (0 of 2) ... season summary, at Southern Oregon Open, did not place at 133 pounds, went 2-0 with 0 pins vs. wrestlers from 4-year schools; dec. over Brandon Young, Southern Oregon, 5-1 in preliminary round; dec. by Justin Pearch, North Idaho JC, 4-3 in first round; dec. over (8 NAIA, 125) Isaac Pummarejo, Menlo, 8-5 in wrestleback first round; dec. by Willie Hilton, Lassen CC, 5-2 in wrestleback second round.

BRETT PHILLIPS, 125 POUNDS: Freshman Brett Phillips (Turner, Ore./Cascade HS) is in his first season in the OSU lineup ... career and this season, 1-1 with 0 pins, team bonus points in 0 percent of matches (0 of 2) ... season summary, at Southern Oregon Open, did not place, went 1-1 with 0 pins vs. wrestlers from 4-year schools; dec. over Cody Staton, Lassen CC, 10-8 in preliminary round; dec. over Brian Watange, San Francisco State, 6-3 in first round; dec. by Joey Bareng, San Francisco State, 6-3 in quarterfinals; dec. by Damon Rowe, North Idaho JC, 7-1 in wrestleback third round.

TIM NORMAN, 133 POUNDS: Sophomore Tim Norman (Newberg, Ore./Newberg HS) is in his first season in the OSU lineup ... career, 5-3 with 0 pins, team bonus points in 38 percent of matches (3 of 8) ... this season, 1-0 with 0 pins, team bonus points in 0 percent of matches (0 of 1) ... season summary, at Southern Oregon Open, placed first, went 1-0 with 0 pins vs. wrestlers from 4-year schools; major dec. over John Murry, Highline CC, 12-4 in first round; dec. over Doniad Lockett, San Francisco State, 12-5 in quarterfinals; dec. over Justin Pearch, North Idaho JC, 2-1 (OT) in semifinals; dec. over Marlo Galankis, Ellsworth CC, 10-6 in championship final.

MIKE UNGER JR., 141 POUNDS: Freshman Mike Unger Jr. (Turner, Ore./Cascade HS) is in his first season in the OSU lineup ... career and this season, 0-0 with 0 pins, team bonus points in 0 percent of matches (0 of 0) ... season summary, has not wrestled.

TONY HOOK, 149 POUNDS: Freshman Tony Hook (Sandpoint, Idaho/Sandpoint HS) is in his first season in the OSU lineup ... career and this season, 2-0 with 0 pins, team bonus points in 0 percent of matches (0 of 2) ... season summary, at Southern Oregon Open, placed first, went 2-0 with 0 pins vs. wrestlers from 4-year schools; pinned Shawn Walsh, Highline CC, 2:52 in first round; dec. over Kenny Salvini, Central Washington, 8-2 in second round; dec. over Zach Haynes, Lassen CC, 11-5 in quarterfinals; dec. over (3 NAIA) Joseph Calavitta, Embry-Riddle, 8-4 in semifinals; dec. over Ken Stanley, North Idaho JC, 6-4 (OT) in championship final.

ORLANDO PEREZ, 149 POUNDS: Freshman Orlando Perez (Hermiston, Ore./Hermiston HS) is in his first season in the OSU lineup ... career and this season, 0-1 with 0 pins, team bonus points in 0 percent of matches (0 of 1) ... season summary, at Southern Oregon Open, did not place, went 0-1 with 0 pins vs. wrestlers from 4-year schools; dec. by Randy Mayes, Southwestern Oregon CC, 14-7 in first round; pinned Pete Puchlo, Highline CC, 2:39 in wrestleback first round; pinned Glen Shaw, Lassen CC, 0:38 in wrestleback second round; dec. Shawn Bolen, Clackamas CC, 5-3 in wrestleback third round; dec. by Luke Santos, San Francisco State, 9-3 in wrestleback quarterfinals.

JEREMY LARSON, 157 POUNDS: Freshman Jeremy Larson (Hermiston, Ore./Hermiston HS) is in his first season in the OSU lineup ... career and this season, 2-0 with 0 pins, team bonus points in 50 percent of matches (1 of 2) ... season summary, at Southern Oregon Open, placed sescond, went 2-0 with 0 pins vs. wrestlers from 4-year schools; dec. over Rich Vigorito, Pacific Lutheran, 8-5 in first round; dec. over Mike Bovia, Lassen CC, 3-1 in quarterfinals; major dec. over Jimmy Growchosky, Southern Oregon, 10-0 in semifinals; dec. by Strider Davis, North Idaho JC, 8-2 in championship final.

MATT ELLIS, 165 POUNDS: Sophomore Matt Ellis (Prosser, Wash./Prosser HS, Oklahoma State U.) is in his first season in the OSU lineup ... career and this season, 0-0 with 0 pins, team bonus points in 0 percent of matches (0 of 0) ... season summary, has not wrestled.

JAKE HUFFMAN, 174 POUNDS: Senior Jake Huffman (Scio, Ore./Scio HS) is in his second season in the OSU lineup ... career, 29-25 with 4 pins, team bonus points in 19 percent of matches (10 of 54) ... this season, 4-0 with 1 pin, team bonus points in 50 percent of matches (2 of 4) ... in current rankings, in Pac-10, No. 5 ... season summary, at Southern Oregon Open, placed first, went 4-0 with 1 pin vs. wrestlers from 4-year schools; major dec. over Josh Rhoden, Pacific Lutheran, 11-3 in first round; dec. over Michael Corduan, San Francisco State, (na) in quarterfinals; pinned James Mannenbach, Southern Oregon, 1:50 in semifinals; dec. over Ty Roberts, Central Washington, 9-2 in championship final.

DAN PITSCH, 184 POUNDS: Freshman Dan Pitsch (Tacoma, Wash./Spanaway Lake HS) is in his first season in the OSU lineup ... career and this season, 3-1 with 0 pins, team bonus points in 0 percent of matches (0 of 4) ... in current rankings, in Pac-10, No. 5 ... season summary, at Southern Oregon Open, placed third, went 3-1 with 0 pins vs. wrestlers from 4-year schools; dec. over Matt Lee, Southern Oregon, 10-7 in first round; dec. over David O'Brien, Southern Oregon, 6-1 in quarterfinals; dec. by (1 DII) Mauricio Wright, San Francisco State, 8-1 in semifinals; dec. over Jaime Hernandez, Embry-Riddle, 5-3 in wrestleback semifinals; dec. over Blair Alderman, North Idaho JC, 7-3 in third-place final.

JASON LOVELL, 197 POUNDS: Senior Jason Lovell (Turner, Ore./Cascade HS) is in his fourth season in the OSU lineup ... career, 44-34 with 2 pins, team bonus points in 19 percent of matches (15 of 78) ... this season, 2-0 with 0 pins, team bonus points in 50 percent of matches (1 of 2) ... in current rankings, in Pac-10, No. 2 ... season summary, at Southern Oregon Open, placed first, went 2-0 with 0 pins vs. wrestlers from 4-year schools; dec. over D.C. Hazen, Central Washington, 3-1 in first round; major dec. over Bob Charlton, Embry-Riddle, 12-0 in quarterfinals; pinned Tucker Downey, North Idaho JC, 5:47 in semifinals; dec. over Josh Birt, North Idaho JC, 6-0 in championship final.

ANDY BOWLBY, HEAVYWEIGHT: Senior Andy Bowlby (Newberg, Ore./Newberg HS) is in his first season in the OSU lineup ... career, 31-10 with 8 pins, team bonus points in 41 percent of matches (17 of 41) ... this season, 2-1 with 0 pins, team bonus points in 0 percent of matches (0 of 3) ... in current rankings, nationally, No. 11 AWN, No. 11 IM; in Pac-10, No. 2 ... season summary, at Southern Oregon Open, placed second, went 2-1 with 0 pins vs. wrestlers from 4-year schools; pinned Kevin Lukes, Southwestern Oregon CC, 1:09 in first round; major dec. over Nick Weaver, unattached, 9-1 in semifinals; dec. over John Winters, Oregon State, 11-5 in quarterfinals; dec. over (6 NAIA) Wes Balensifer, Southern Oregon, 11-6 in semifinals; dec. by (1 NAIA) Mike Whitehead, Southern Oregon, 2-1 (OT) in championship final.

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