Oregon Wrestling Ready for Mat-Town USA Invitational
EUGENE, Ore. -- Coming off a third-place finish at the Body Bar Invitational in New York, the Oregon wrestling team will stay in the East to battle nine more teams in the Mat-Town USA Invitational Saturday in Lock Haven, Pa. The tournament field features three ranked teams, four more teams that received votes in the polls and twelve wrestlers who are ranked in the top-10 in their respective weight classes.
One of those top-10 wrestlers is Oregon senior heavyweight Eric Webb, who is currently No. 8 in the latest Intermat polls. Webb, after suffering an injury at the Body Bar Invitational, will not wrestle this weekend. His place will be taken by redshirt freshman Neil Phillips.
Fellow senior Tony Overstake is the only other Oregon wrestler to be ranked by Intermat, placing at No. 12 at 149. Overstake has yet to wrestle at that weight class this season, but the 2002 Pac-10 champ at 157 has the ability to compete with the nation's best. Overstake will be strongly tested in this field, which includes All-American sophomore Jake Percival of Ohio, the fourth-place finisher at nationals a year ago.
Three other Oregon wrestlers will enter Saturday's competition with accolades from Intermat. Jason Harless (133), Luke Larwin (165) and Shane Webster (174) all were recognized in this week's poll as wrestlers to watch. Harless and Larwin are each coming off third-place finishes at their weight classes at the Body Bar Invitational at Cornell.
The meet will give Oregon the chance to see future opponent Nebraska in action. The 15th-ranked Cornhuskers will compete against the Ducks at McArthur Court Dec. 14 in a rematch of last season's tight match. Last year, Oregon defeated Nebraska in Lincoln on a tiebreaker, which should provide plenty of incentive for both teams to come out strong this season.
The ten schools competing in the tournament include: Buffalo, Franklin & Marshall, Lock Haven, No. 15 Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, No. 19 Penn State, Pittsburgh, No. 23 Purdue and Slippery Rock.
Results for this weekend's tournament can be accessed at www.lhup.edu/sports. The matches begin at 9 a.m. EST, with the finals tentatively scheduled for 8 p.m.