Bowlby Pins Down Fifth Place
Dec. 7, 2002
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Oregon State heavyweight Andy Bowlby pinned three nationally-ranked opponents en route to fifth place Saturday in the Las Vegas Invitational wrestling tournament. The Beavers finished 18th in the 50-team field.
No. 1-ranked Minnesota was the team champion, followed by ninth-ranked Illinois, sixth-ranked Ohio State, 12th-ranked Arizona State and 10th-ranked West Virginia.
OSU had just three wrestlers win matches in the championship bracket on Friday, quickly putting most of the Beavers in loser-out matches in the wrestleback bracket. But Oregon State came back to have four of its wrestlers (Bowlby, 149-pounder Tony Hook, 174-pounder Jake Huffman and 184-pounder Dan Pitsch) finish the tournament with winning records and two more (133-pounder Tim Norman and 165-pounder Matt Ellis) finish at .500 for the tournament.
'As we wrestled in the tournament, we started to loosen up and get better,' OSU head coach Joe Wells said.
Bowlby, ranked 11th nationally by Amateur Wrestling News, had advanced to the championship quarterfinals before losing on Friday. He came back to pin 15th-ranked Greg Wagner of Michigan in 1 minute, 30 seconds and 20th-ranked Brad Steele of Wyoming in 1:58 in his first two wrestleback matches.
Bowlby was then edged by defending NCAA champion and No. 1-ranked Tommy Rowlands of Ohio State 3-2; Rowlands had been beaten 2-2 in a tiebreaker by Arizona State's Kellan Fluckiger in the semifinals. Bowlby rebounded to pin 20th-ranked Brent Miller of West Virginia in 29 seconds in the fifth-place final.
OSU hadn't fared as well against ranked wrestlers at the upper weights on Friday, with that partially leading to the Beavers' presence in the wrestlebacks. Ellis, Pitsch and Lovell were all bounced in their first matches by wrestlers ranked sixth or higher at their weight and Huffman's opening-round loss was also to a nationally-ranked opponent.
'We've got some new names in our lineup, and they've got to verify what they can do,' Wells said. 'They got some tough draws, but that's part of the sport. You've just got to come back and wrestle hard and go for third place (by winning the wrestleback bracket).'
The Beavers were wrestling for just the second time this season, having taken a week off from competition after the Southern Oregon Open on Nov. 23; OSU usually wrestles at least one dual meet between that tournament and the Las Vegas Invitational.
'We haven't wrestled many matches this year,' Wells said. 'But that's not an excuse. It's just early in the season and we've got to get after it and work on a few things we recognized throughout the tournament.
'It boils down to going out and competing and figuring out how to win a match. It just comes back to the execution of the basics.'
Oregon State wrestles its first dual meets of the season next weekend. The Beavers will travel to Oregon on Friday at 7 p.m. for the season's first Civil War, presented by Northwest Dodge Dealers; OSU then opens its home schedule against 13th-ranked Nebraska on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Gill Coliseum.
LAS VEGAS INVITATIONAL
TEAM SCORES (top 10 of 50): 1. Minnesota 131; 2. Illinois 123.5; 3. Ohio State 118.5; 4. Arizona State 112; 5. West Virginia 96.5; 6. Nebraska 89; 7. Michigan 87; 8. Wisconsin 77.5; 9. Boise State 75.5; 10. Missouri 73.5. 18. Oregon State 36.
OREGON STATE RESULTS (Amateur Wrestling News national rankings in parentheses):
125, BRETT PHILLIPS - dec. by Chad Meyer, Missouri Valley, 5-3 in first round; dec. by Mark Bader, Missouri, 11-4 in wrestleback second round.
133, TIM NORMAN - dec. by Adam Mars, Adams State, 11-6 in first round; inj. def. over Kyle Swenson, Northern Colorado, in wrestleback first round; dec. over Andy Kim, Cal Poly, 4-3 in wrestleback second round; dec. by (2 NAIA) Caleb Schaeffer, Montana State-Northern, 6-4 in wrestleback third round.
141, MIKE UNGER - dec. by Anthony Haukenberry, Montana State-Northern, 8-6 in preliminary round; dec. by Eric Sabot, Northwest JC, 8-1 in wrestleback first round.
149, TONY HOOK - dec. over Jon Sharpe, Cal State-Bakersfield, 6-1 in preliminary round; dec. over Keri Stanley, North Idaho JC, 5-2 in first round; tech. fall by (2) Jesse Jantzen, Harvard, 16-1 (time n/a) in second round; dc. over Brett Gordon, Cal State-Fullerton, 3-1 in wrestleback third round; dec. over (4 NAIA) Dustyn Azure, Montana State-Northern, 12-5 in wrestleback fourth round; dec. by (8) Collin Robertson, Boise State, 13-1 in wrestleback fifth round.
157, JEREMY LARSON - dec. over Nick Hopping, Cal Poly, 7-6 in first round; pinned by (10) Adam Britt, Virginia Military, 3:53 in second round; major dec. by (4 NAIA) Joey Martinez, Menlo, 9-1 in wrestleback third round.
165, MATT ELLIS - major dec. by (3) Jacob Volkmann, Minnesota, 11-3 in preliminary round; pinned Curtis Scott, Northwest JC, 5:42 in wrestleback first round; dec. over Eric Arbogast, Portland State, 4-3 in wrestleback second round; dec. by Kevin Gabrielson, North Carolina State, 7-1 in wrestleback third round.
174, JAKE HUFFMAN - pinned by (17) Dustin Kawa, North Carolina State, 0:59 in preliminary round; tech. fall over Don Schon, California-Davis, 16-1 (time n/a) in wrestleback first round; dec. over Joe Woods, Northwest JC, 10-4 in wrestleback second round; tech. fall over Ty Roberts, Central Washington, 19-3 (time n/a) in wrestleback third round; dec. by (12, 184) Eddie Gifford, Fresno State, 9-5 in wrestleback fourth round.
184, DAN PITSCH - dec. by (6) Jason Potter, Illinois, 6-3 in first round; dec. over Sam Wendland, Wyoming, 10-4 in wrestleback first round; dec. over Jeff Dahl, Menlo, 11-4 in wrestleback second round; dec. over Jason Cox, Virginia Military, 9-2 in wrestleback third round; dec. by Jatinder Singh, Fresno State, 9-7 in wrestleback fourth round.
197, JASON LOVELL - pinned by (4) Kyle Smith, Michigan, 1:02 in first round; dec. over Bryan Kapp, Purdue, 4-0 in wrestleback first round; dec. by Ryan Bader, Arizona State, 8-1 in wrestleback second round.
HWT, (11) ANDY BOWLBY (FIFTH PLACE) - tech. fall over Dustin Sullivan, Adams State, 17-2 (time n/a) in first round; dec. over Joe Bryce, North Dakota State, 3-2 in second round; pinned by (5) Kevin Hoy, Air Force, 4:56 in quarterfinals; pinned (15) Greg Wagner, Michigan, 1:30 in wrestleback fifth round; pinned (20) Brad Steele, Wyoming, 1:58 in wrestleback sixth round; dec. by (1) Tommy Rowlands, Ohio State, 3-2 in wrestleback seventh round; pinned (19) Brent Miller, West Virginia, 0:29 in fifth-place final.