Nine Top Seeds Reach Pac-10 Conference Finals

Feb. 27, 2005

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-- Pacific-10 Conference Wrestling Championships --

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Nine of the 10 top seeds have qualified for the championship finals of the 2005 Pacific-10 Conference Wrestling Championships, which opened a two-day run Sunday in Cal Poly¹s Mott Gym.

The lone top seed to fall in Sunday night¹s semifinals was UC Davis 174-pounder Ron Silva as fourth-seeded Jeremy Larson of Oregon State earned an 11-7 decision. Larson will face No. 2 seed Leonel Sanchez of Cal State Fullerton in Monday¹s finals at 6 p.m. Sanchez posted a 2-1 overtime win over Imad Kharbush of Stanford in the other 174-pound semifinal.

Two top seeds earned their way to the finals via fall. Matt Sanchez of Cal State Bakersfield pinned Cal Poly¹s Chad Mendes in 2:54 while Arizona State 285-pounder Cain Velasquez pinned Cody Parker of Oregon in 6:15.

Sanchez meets Scott Jorgensen of Boise State -- a 13-7 winner over Derek Moore of UC Davis -- in the 133-pound final while Velasquez will face unseeded Allen Kennett of Portland State -- a 5-3 winner over No. 4 seed Eric Smith of Boise State -- in the 285-pound final.

Kennett is one of two unseeded wrestlers to reach the finals. The other is Eddie Dahlen of Portland State in the 149-pound weight class as he upset third-seeded Jeff Owens of Cal Poly 5-2 in the semifinals. Dahlen faces Ben Cherrington of Boise State -- a 2-0 winer over Cal State Bakersfield¹s Anthony Baza -- in the 149-pound final.

Arizona State, with four finalists, overtook Cal Poly in the team standings with 88 points. Oregon is second with 68 points, followed by defending team champion Boise State with 66.5 points. Cal Poly slipped to fourth place with61.5 points.

Oregon has three finalists while Cal Poly, Cal State Bakersfield, Boise State, Cal State Fullerton and Portland State each has two finalists. All 10 schools competing in the championship have at least one finalist.

The Mustangs had seven wrestlers in the semifinals, but only two earned victories to advance to the finals -- 125-pounder Vic Moreno and 141-pounder Steve Esparza.

Moreno was a 4-2 winner over Jeremy Mendoza of Arizona State and will face Efren Ceballos of Cal State Bakersfield -- a 12-8 winner over Andrew Hochstrasser of Boise State -- in the 125-pound final.

Esparza earned a 3-2 win over Tim Norman of Oregon State in the 141-pound semifinals and will take on Cal State Fullerton¹s Juan Mora -- a 3-1 winner over Roberto Vargas -- in the finals. Mora scored a takedown at the buzzer to win his match.

Five Mustangs are still alive in the consolation bracket -- Chad Mendes at 133, Jeff Owens at 149, Brody Barrios at 165, Ryan Halsey at 184 and Ralph Garcia at 197. Halsey was seeded third at 184 but lost to Arizona State¹s C.B. Dollaway for the third time in four matches this season, 4-1.

Consolation semifinals are scheduled for Monday at 11 a.m., with the matches to decide third, fourth, fifth and sixth places to follow at about 12:30 p.m. The championship finals will start at 6 p.m.m

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