Ellis, Larson Place Second In Pac-10

Feb. 28, 2005

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Oregon State 165-pounder Matt Ellis and 174-pounder Jeremy Larson were beaten in the championship finals at the Pacific-10 Wrestling Championships Friday night at Mott Gymnasium. Ellis lost a 6-5 decision to Joey Bracamonte of Oregon and Larson lost a 4-2 decision to Leonel Sanchez of Cal State-Fullerton.

The Beavers finished in sixth place in the team standings. Arizona State won the championship with 106 points, followed by Boise State with 93.Ellis, Larson and OSU 157-pounder Tony Hook earned automatic berths to the NCAA Championships, which will be held March 17-19 in St. Louis, Mo.

OSU heavyweight Ty Watterson could be selected as a wild card entry for the national meet; the Pac-10 coaches were still deciding the conference's wild card entrants on Monday night.

The top three finishers at each weight class, plus 10 wild-card entries selected by the conference's coaches, will go to the NCAA meet.

Hook placed third while 133-pounder Tim Norman, 184-pounder Dan Pitsch and Watterson all placed fourth in the Pac-10 meet. OSU 125-pounder Eric Stevenson placed sixth.

Ellis, the defending Pac-10 champ at 165, was ranked No. 16 in the nation this week by Amateur Wrestling News and Bracamonte, the No. 1 seed, was ranked No. 15. Ellis scored a takedown as time expired to tie the score, but Bracamonte had earned a point for riding time and that gave him the victory.

Bracamonte took Ellis down twice in the first period for a 4-2 lead. Ellis escaped to start the second period and make it 4-3, then Bracamonte escaped to start the third for his 5-3 advantage.

Larson had been seeded fourth entering the tournament while Sanchez was the No. 2 seed, but Larson had defeated No. 1 seed Ronnie Silva of California-Davis in the semifinals.

After a scoreless first period, Larson escaped to start the second period. Sanchez came back to score a pair of takedowns in the third period, sandwiched around a Larson escape, to earn the championship.Hook, who was seeded third, took a 16-5 major decision over Cal State-Bakersfield's Brian Busby in the third-place final.

Norman, seeded third, was beaten 3-2 by Jeff Bristol of California-Davis in the third-place final; Pitsch, seeded fifth, was beaten 10-4 by Brandon Bear of California-Davis in the third-place final; and Watterson, seeded second, was beaten 6-5 by Eric Smith of Boise State in the third-place final.

In matches to determine a 'true fourth' finish - contested if the wrestlers who placed fourth and fifth had not wrestled during the tournament - Norman was pinned by Roberto Vargas of Cal State-Bakersfield in 0:56 and Pitsch was pinned by Ryan Halsey of Cal Poly in 0:29. Results of those matches are taken into consideration when coaches determine the NCAA wild-card entrants.

Stevenson, who was not seeded, was beaten 9-3 by Nathan Peterson of Stanford in the fifth-place final.

PACIFIC-10 WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS

TEAM SCORES: 1. Arizona State 106; 2. Boise State 93; 3. Oregon 88; 4. California-Davis 82; 5. Cal Poly 81; 6. Oregon State 74; 7. Cal State-Bakersfield 67; 8. Cal State-Fullerton 52.5; 9. Stanford 48.5; 10. Portland State 26.

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