Beavers Beaten By Hawkeyes

Jan. 6, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. - No. 14 Oregon State split the first four matches with third-ranked Iowa, but then the defending national champion Hawkeyes pulled away to hand OSU a 31-6 loss in non-league wrestling on Saturday night in Gill Coliseum. A crowd of 2,862 saw Beaver 197-pounder Jason Lovell and heavyweight Jason Cooley win their matches to even the team score at 6-6 before Iowa won the night's final six matches.

OSU (5-3 overall, 2-1 Pacific-10) was up against an Iowa lineup that includes eight wrestlers ranked in the nation's top 10 in their weight class. The Hawkeyes (8-1, 0-0 Big Ten) have won six straight national team titles and nine of the last 10.

'Our conditioning can get better and our technique can get better,' OSU head coach Joe Wells said. 'But we competed all the way through, and I'm proud of our guys for that. Iowa has a heck of a team. They've got some studs, some guys who will fight for national championships.

'We had a great crowd and we got after it. If we get a couple of little turnarounds, it's not quite as large a score.'

OSU's largest home crowd in over a decade saw two of the top dual meet teams in collegiate wrestling history. Oregon State is second in all-time dual meet wins among Division I schools and Iowa is fifth, Iowa is third in all-time winning percentage and OSU is fourth.

The evening started with a matchup of top-10 wrestlers at 174 pounds, as Iowa's fourth-ranked Gabe McMahan edged OSU's sixth-ranked Nathan Coy 6-5. The Hawkeyes' 10th-ranked Jessman Smith then beat the Beavers' 20th-ranked Isaac Weber 6-1 at 184 pounds to make it 6-0 in the team score.

Jason Lovell got the Beavers on the board, earning a strong 11-6 decision and nearly pinning Iowa's Ryan Fuslaas at 197 pounds.. OSU's fifth-ranked heavyweight, Jason Cooley, then beat Iowa's Josh Liddle 6-2 to even the teams at 6-6.

Iowa earned team bonus points for major decisions, technical falls or pins in the next four matches, though, to put away the dual victory.

The closest OSU came to a win in the final six weights was at 157 pounds, where the Hawkeyes' top-ranked T.J. Williams hung on for a 5-4 win over the Beavers' seventh-ranked Eric Jorgensen as Jorgensen was nearly in position for the winning takedown as time expired. Beaver freshman Jed Pennell finished the night with an upset bid, falling to Iowa's eighth-ranked Ben Shirk 7-4 at 165 pounds.

The Beavers now go to the Oregon Wrestling Classic duals on Friday in Portland's Memorial Coliseum, as Oregon State will wrestle Southern Oregon at 4 p.m. and Portland State at 8 p.m. OSU returns home to face No. 12 Boise State and Cal Poly on Jan. 20 at noon, then meets No. 10 Arizona State at home on Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m.

'We've got some great home duals coming up, and I hope a lot of these great Beaver fans who were here tonight come back and support us,' Wells said.


(Current Amateur Wrestling News national rankings in parentheses)

174 - (4) Gabe McMahan, UI, dec. (6) Nathan Coy, OSU, 6-5. 184 - (10) Jessman Smith, UI, dec. (20) Isaac Weber, OSU, 6-1. 197 - Jason Lovell, OSU, dec. Ryan Fuslaas, UI, 11-6. HWT - (5) Jason Cooley, OSU, dec. Josh Liddle, UI, 6-2. 125 - (2) Jody Strittmatter, UI, major dec. (8) Nathan Navarro, OSU, 13-2. 133 - (1) Eric Juergens, UI, pinned (20) Ben Richards, OSU, 4:32. 141 - (1) Doug Schwab, UI, tech. fall (19) Shane Cunanan, OSU, 7:00 (26-8). 149 - (6) Mike Zadick, UI, major dec. Casey Horn, OSU, 19-10. 157 - (1) T.J. Williams, UI, dec. (7) Eric Jorgensen, OSU, 5-4. 165 - (8) Ben Shirk, UI, dec. Jed Pennell, OSU, 7-4.

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