Beavers Wrestle To All-America Honors In Spring

May 29, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Eric Stevenson, Ty Watterson and Jamie Rakevich led the way as several Oregon State wrestlers earned All-America honors at the University Nationals in both the Freestyle and Greco-Roman competitions held this spring. Stevenson, Watterson and Rakevich earned All-America placings in both styles while competing for the Orange Crush Mat Club; all three redshirted last winter for OSU and will begin collegiate competition in 2003-04.

Also earning All-America honors in Greco-Roman were Brett Phillips, Orlando Perez, Anthony Weber and Dan Pitsch. The University Nationals are for all college-age wrestlers in the United States; the tournament was held April 24-26 in Palatine, Ill.

OSU alums Glenn Nieradka and Oscar Wood placed in the Greco-Roman competition at the United States Senior National Championships in Las Vegas on May 8-10. Both were competing for the U.S. Army.

Watterson (Enumclaw, Wash./Enumclaw HS) competed at 120 kilograms (approximately 264 pounds) at the University Nationals, placing second in Freestyle and sixth in Greco-Roman. In the Freestyle meet, he was beaten by John Lockhart of Illinois 7-2 in the final; Lockhart won the NCAA Championship in 2001. En route to the Freestyle final, Watterson defeated 2003 Pac-10 champion Kellan Fluckiger 3-2 in the semifinals. In the Greco-Roman fifth-place final, Watterson was pinned by Max Lossan of Michigan State in 5 minutes, 18 seconds.

Rakevich (Elma, Wash./Elma HS), also competing at 120 kilograms, placed third in Greco-Roman and fourth in Freestyle. In the Greco-Roman third-place final, he beat Russ Davie of Cleveland Wrestling Club 3-2 in overtime; in the Freestyle third-place final, he lost to Cole Konrad of the Minnesota Storm by a 13-1 technical fall.

Stevenson (Newberg, Ore./Newberg HS) placed sixth in both Freestyle and Greco-Roman at 55 kilograms (approximately 121 pounds). In the Freestyle fifth-place final, Stevenson lost to Austin DeVoe of Missouri Elite 4-2; in the Greco-Roman, fifth-place final, he was beaten by Luke Smith of the Gator Wrestling Club in a 10-0 technical fall.

Weber (Newberg, Ore./Newberg HS) placed second in Greco-Roman at 74 kilograms (approximately 163 pounds). In the final, he lost to Kenneth Cook of Cyclone Wrestling Club in a 12-0 technical fall.

Pitsch (Tacoma, Wash./Spanaway Lake HS) placed sixth in Greco-Roman at 84 kilograms (approximately 185 pounds). In the fifth-place final, he lost to Jake Plamann of the United States Olympic Education Center in an 11-0 technical fall.

Perez (Hermiston, Ore./Hermiston HS) placed seventh in Greco-Roman at 66 kilograms (approximately 145 pounds). In the seventh-place final, he beat Phil Riedman of Bison Olympic Development in a 13-3 technical fall.

Phillips (Turner, Ore./Cascade HS) placed eighth in Greco-Roman at 55 kilograms. In the seventh-place final, he lost to Jose Ayala of Puerto Rico 8-3.

Nieradka placed second in the Greco-Roman competition at the United States Senior National Championships, which is open to the nation's top wrestlers of all ages. Nieradka, a Pacific-10 champion and All-American for the Beavers in 1995, was beaten in the 60-kilogram (approximately 132-pound) final by Jim Gruenwald of the Sunkist Kids 6-0.

In that same meet, Wood placed fourth in the 66-kilogram (approximately 145-pound) weight class. He was beaten in the third-place final by another Army wrestler, Glenn Garrison, 9-0. Wood was a two-time Pac-10 champion and two-time All-American at OSU who completed his career in 1999.

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