Two Beavers Still In NCAA Wrestling

March 20, 2003

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Oregon State 149-pounder Tony Hook and 184-pounder Jed Pennell remain in the competition after the first day of the NCAA Wrestling Championships at Kemper Arena. OSU 125-pounder Michael Delaney, 165-pounder Matt Ellis, 174-pounder Jake Huffman and heavyweight Andy Bowlby all lost their first two matches and were eliminated on Thursday.

The Beavers are tied for 62nd place. Oklahoma State leads the team race, followed by Lehigh and Oklahoma.

'We just didn't wrestle well,' OSU head coach Joe Wells said. 'We didn't have enough fight all day long. We had a couple real good wins early in the season, but this is the most important part of the season. We felt like we prepared well, we had a lot of rest. I accept all the responsibility - we just didn't perform.'

Bowlby, a senior, was the Beavers' only seeded wrestler at No. 11. He lost to Carmelo Marrero of Rider 16-12 in the first round as Marrero jumped out to a 7-4 lead after one period and Bowlby never caught up.

Bowlby was then beaten by Wisconsin's Justin Staebler 3-0 in the wrestleback preliminary round; Bowlby had beaten Staebler 8-3 in a January dual meet. Bowlby, ranked 11th nationally by Amateur Wrestling News, and Staebler, ranked 18th by AWN, were scoreless after one period but Staebler rode Bowlby for the entire second period, then reversed Bowlby in the third.

Bowlby finished the season 26-9 with 13 pins; that ties him for 23rd on OSU's list of all-time single-season pin leaders. For his career, he was 55-18 with 21 pins, tying him for 25th on the Beavers' career pins list.

Pennell, a junior, was beaten by the tournament's No. 1-seeded 184-pounder, Jessman Smith of Iowa, in a 14-4 major decision in the first round. Pennell came back to defeat Rowdy Lundegreen of Cal State-Fullerton 7-4 in the wrestleback first round.

Pennell will meet unseeded Peter Friedl of Illinois in the wrestleback second round on Friday morning. Friedl upset 11th-seeded Travis Frick of Lehigh in the first round before losing to sixth-seeded Josh Lambrecht of Oklahoma in the second round.

Hook was beaten by 10th-seeded Dustin Manotti of Cornell 15-3 in the first round. Due to the small size of the bracket at 149 pounds, the first full round of wrestlebacks will not take place until Friday morning. Hook, a freshman, will face unseeded Jake Giamoni of North Carolina State.

Huffman, a senior, was leading his first-round match against Matt Herrington of Penn 8-4 in the second period when he got caught in a dangerous position and Herrington pinned him with nine seconds left in the period. Huffman then fell to Andrew Roy of Rutgers 9-4 in the wrestleback first round. Huffman finished the season 24-13 with three pins and he was 49-38 with six pins in his career.

Delaney, another senior, lost to Tommy Hoang of Duke 12-4 in the first round; Hoang is a transfer from Oklahoma State. Delaney then had to go against Matt Valenti of Penn, ranked 11th nationally by AWN, and was pinned in 4:23. Delaney was 11-16 this season and wrapped up his OSU career 35-45 with five pins.

Ellis fell to 10th-seeded Levi Prevost of Wyoming 12-6 in the first round. That matched him up with seventh-seeded Nick Passolano of Iowa State in the wrestleback first round; Passolano had been upset by Columbia's Matt Palmer in the first round and he knocked Ellis from the competition with a 7-3 decision. Ellis and Passolano were scoreless after one period, and Ellis was still within 3-2 after scoring a third-period takedown. But Passolano used an escape and a late takedown to clinch the win.

NCAA WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS - DAY ONE

TEAM SCORES (top 10 of 75) - 1. Oklahoma State 35; 2. Lehigh 26.5; 3. Oklahoma 25.5; 4. Minnesota 23; 5. (tie) Illinois and Iowa 19.5; 7. Cornell 19; 8. (tie) Arizona State and Northern Iowa 18); 10. West Virginia 17.5; 62. (tie) Oregon State 1.

OREGON STATE RESULTS (Amateur Wrestling News national rankings in parentheses)

125 POUNDS, MICHAEL DELANEY - Major dec. by Tommy Hoang, Duke, 12-4 in first round; pinned by (11) Matt Valenti, Penn, 4:23 in wrestleback first round.

149 POUNDS, TONY HOOK - Major dec. by No. 10 seed (10) Dustin Manotti, Cornell, 15-3 in preliminary round.

165 POUNDS, MATT ELLIS - Dec. by No. 10 seed (10) Levi Prevost, Wyoming, 12-6 in first round; dec. by No. 7 seed (13) Nick Passolano, Iowa State, 7-3 in wrestleback first round.

174 POUNDS, JAKE HUFFMAN - Pinned by Matt Herrington, Penn, 4:51 in first round; dec. by Andrew Roy, Rutgers, 9-4 in wrestleback first round.

184 POUNDS, JED PENNELL - Major dec. by No. 1 seed (1) Jessman Smith, Iowa, 14-4 in first round; dec. over Rowdy Lundegreen, Cal State-Fullerton, 7-4 in wrestleback first round.

HEAVYWEIGHT, NO. 11 SEED (11) ANDY BOWLBY - Dec. by Carmelo Marrero, Rider, 16-12 in preliminary round; dec. by (18) Justin Staebler, Wisconsin, 3-0 in wrestleback preliminary round.

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