Gardner, Loescher and Blake Advance to Semifinals at 2006 Pac-10 Wrestling Championships

Feb. 26, 2006

Stanford, Calif. - Tanner Gardner, Scott Loescher and Ray Blake advanced to tonight's semifinals at the 2006 Pac-10 Wrestling Championships at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal is in sixth place after the first session, despite having only nine wrestlers competing in the tournament.

Fourth-seeded Gardner had a bye into the quarterfinals at 125 pounds, where he faced fifth-seeded Beau Malia of Oregon. Gardner, who defeated Malia 6-0 in the dual match on Feb. 3, scored a 13-0 major decision today to earn a spot in the semifinals. Gardner is slated to take on top-seeded and sixth-ranked Jeremy Mendoza of Arizona State. The pair met in December at the Las Vegas Invitational, with Mendoza scoring a 6-2 decision in the semifinals.

Loescher, seeded fourth at 157 pounds, took a bye in the first round and faced fifth-seeded Shawn Reilly in the quarterfinals. Loescher jumped out to a quick lead, earning back point in the opening minute and held on to his lead for a 12-7 decision. Loescher will face Boise State's Ben Cherrington, the top seed and 10th-ranked wrestler in the nation in tonight's semifinal.

Second-seeded Ray Blake extended his win streak to nine-straight matches and improved to 39-10 on the year this morning. The 165-pounder won a major decision his pigtail match with a 9-0 win over Oregon State's Anthony Weber and then posted a 6-0 decision over Portland State's Chris Feist in the quarterfinals. Blake will take on Arizona State's Patrick Pitsch in the semifinals tonight. The two wrestled in Tempe on Feb. 12, with Blake scoring a 4-3 win.

Eric Minnick, Juston Johnson, Luke Feist, Ryan Hagen, Larry Ozowara and Jared Boyer will continue to seek a spot at Nationals, as all six will compete in the consolation bracket tonight.a

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