OSU Off To Best In The West

Nov. 17, 2004

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Most of Oregon State's wrestlers will get their first taste of outside competition for the 2004-05 season Saturday when they go to the second annual Best of the West tournament. The event, which is expected to draw around 800 wrestlers, begins at 9 a.m. at Compton Arena at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Medford.

'It's an open tournament, so all those wrestlers we have who are healthy and ready to compete will be attending,' said OSU head coach Joe Wells, whose team will be represented by approximately 30 wrestlers. 'It's going to be a good early-season kickoff for us.'

Wrestlers from OSU, Oregon, Southern Oregon, Portland State, California-Davis, Pacific (Ore.), Oregon Tech, Simon Fraser, San Francisco State and Menlo are expected to attend, along with community college entrants from Clackamas, Southwestern Oregon, Highline, Lassen and North Idaho. No team scores will be kept, and the finals are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

After the open competition on Saturday, the Beavers jump into their scoring competition at the Las Vegas Collegiate on Dec. 3-4, then open their home season against Oregon on Dec. 10 and Nebraska on Dec. 11 at Gill Coliseum.

'Going to Las Vegas, we'll see some of the best from the Big Ten and Big 12 and some eastern teams - some people we won't normally see the rest of the season,' Wells said. 'We're real excited about getting started and wrestling somebody besides our teammates.'

OSU decided much of its lineup during last Saturday's Intrasquad Meet. Winning the best of three match ups to secure starting spots entering the new season were sophomore 125-pounder Eric Stevenson, sophomore 133-pounder Bobby Pfennigs, junior 141-pounder Emery McReynolds, junior 157-pounder Tony Hook, junior 165-pounder Anthony Weber, sophomore 174-pounder Jeremy Larson, junior 184-pounder Dan Pitsch, freshman 197-pounder Travis Gardener, and sophomore heavyweight Ty Watterson. Senior 165-pounder Matt Ellis is still recovering from an injury and could be available by the holidays.

That same day, several newcomers to the OSU program went to Pacific's Mike Clock Open. Jake Gonzales won the 125-pound title, Talon Hoffman was the 149-pound champion, Jason Gage won the 197-pound title, Kyle Bressler placed third at 184 pounds, Ryan Enoch placed fourth at 133, and Andy Hall placed fourth at 157.

'We were pleased to be able to have our Intrasquad Meet and we appreciated having Jim Phillips, Trent Flack and the other officials come over for the afternoon,' Wells said. 'And our guys who went up to Pacific got in three or four matches. It was a chance for us to get used to wrestling matches and competing, and going through that process.'