Wrestling Goes Back to the Midwest for Midlands Championships

Dec. 26, 2008

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LOOKING AHEAD -- The Oregon State Beavers (3-4, 0-1 Pac-10) head back to the Midwest to the Midlands Championships, hosted by Northwestern. The two-day tournament begins on Monday, Dec. 29, in the Welsh-Ryan Arena.


TRACKING THE BEAVS -- Full results from Thursday's tournament can be found through the newly redesigned osubeavers.com. The finals will be aired on the Big Ten Network with the semifinals being shown via tape delay.


midlands championships -- Monday-Tuesday, Dec. 29-30 (All Day): Oregon State heads to the 31-team tournament for the first time. Also competing will be Pac-10 opponent, Arizona State, which the Beavers faced in a few matches in last week's Reno Tournament of Champions.


This year marks the 46th year of the Midlands Championships, which will showcase over 350 of the nation's best wrestlers held at Northwestern University. Nine of the 31 teams are ranked in the top 25 with the Beavers joining Purdue and Maryland in the receiving votes category. Oregon State will face off against wrestlers that it has already seen in duals with Wisconsin and Missouri participating. Senior Heinrich Barnes is pre-ranked seventh at 149 pounds, while senior Kyle Bressler is pre-ranked sixth at 184 pounds.


looking back at last week -- Senior Heinrich Barnes posted the best finish at the Reno Tournament of Champions on Thursday, Dec. 18.


Barnes finished third at 149 pounds. Wrestling unattached, junior Keegan Davis finished fourth at 165 pounds, while junior Dan Brascetta finished sixth.


Also finishing sixth was senior Jake Gonzales at 125 pounds.


Overall as a team, the Beavers finished eighth of the 30 teams.


looking back at last season -- Many new faces appeared in the Oregon State lineup for 2007-08. In head coach Jim Zalesky's second season, the team finished third in the Pac-10 and sent three wrestlers to the NCAA Championships in St. Louis, Mo.


Junior transfer Heinrich Barnes made an immediate impact at 141 pounds, emerging as one of the most exciting Oregon State wrestlers to watch with his explosiveness and quickness.


Redshirt freshman Chris Platt offered the program stability at 174 pounds, making his debut on Jan. 18 against Cal State Bakersfield.


Redshirt freshman Tim Patrick stepped into the Pac-10 Championships, wrestling at 157 pounds, and marking his first varsity matches after overcoming a season-ending injury in 2007.


Redshirt freshman Jon Brascetta started the season at 165 pounds before an ankle injury ended his season in December at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.


Senior Neal Beaudry and redshirt junior Ben Harris split time at 174 pounds early in the season before sharing time at 184 pounds after Platt took over 174.

Redshirt freshman Brice Arand wrestled at 197 pounds throughout most of the season.


ODDS & ENDS -- Oregon State has won its season opener for the last four seasons with two of those wins being on the road.


Senior Kyle Bressler is the first wrestler to break into the national top 10 since Ty Watterson did during the 2006-07 season at heavyweight.


Oregon State has had two different wrestlers earn Most Outstanding Wrestler honors at the Best of the West Tournament each year it has competed. Last year it was senior Heinrich Barnes at 141 pounds and this year it was redshirt freshman Clayton Jack at heavyweight.


Although it's not the 100th season of wrestling at Oregon State, the first year of varsity wrestling was 100 years ago in 1908.


Barnes moved into the top 20 for 149 pounds starting at No. 20 in the Dec. 9 poll before moving to No. 17 in the Dec. 16 poll. He is 1-1 against opponents ranked higher than him this season.


intermat top 25 -- Senior Kyle Bressler stayed at No. 7 at 184 pounds in the Dec. 23 USA Today/NWCA/Intermat rankings of the season. Senior Heinrich Barnes joined him in the Dec. 9 poll in the top 20 with a 20th place ranking, but he is still ranked No. 17 in the Dec. 23 poll. Although the Beavers as a team didn't quite make the top 25 cutoff, the team received votes in the first couple of polls and in the Dec. 23 poll.


bressler and barnes some of the best -- Senior Kyle Bressler returns as the only Oregon State wrestler with NCAA Championships experience having qualified in 2007 at 184 pounds and in 2008 at 197 pounds. He is currently ranked No. 7 in the nation at 184 pounds. Senior Heinrich Barnes has Olympic experience after qualifying for South Africa for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. Barnes is currently ranked No. 17 in the nation at 149 pounds with an 16-2 overall record, 6-1 in dual meets.


young wrestlers making their marks -- The three redshirt freshmen in the lineup -- Kelly Kubec at 133 pounds, Chad Hanke at 197 pounds and Clayton Jack at heavyweight ­-- are making their marks boasting solid records. Kubec is 10-4 with a 6-1 dual meet record. Hanke is 8-6, and Jack is 11-5 after winning the Best of the West Tournament and taking home Most Outstanding Wrestler honors after pinning his way to the title.


wrestlers in the media -- The Oregon State wrestling team will be featured in a special Beavers All Access as it continues its 2008-09 season to air on FSN. No other Pac-10 school has produced a show entirely focused on its wrestling squad. The show's debut will be Tuesday, Dec. 9 at 5:00 p.m.


GET YOUR TICKETS -- Season tickets are available for the 2008-09 wrestling season. The adult season ticket price is $42 and the youth/senior price is $26; all seating is general admission.


Season tickets can be purchased online at osubeavers.com or by calling the OSU Ticket Office located in Gill Coliseum Monday-Friday at 1-800-GO BEAVS.


Single-meet tickets are also on sale now through the Oregon State Ticket Office at $7 for adults and $5 for youth/seniors.


OREGON STATE VS. RANKED OPPONENTS -- The Beavers will face six preseason top 25 opponents this season in No. 2 Iowa State, No. 5 Missouri, No. 6 Nebraska, No. 10 Michigan, No. 13 Wisconsin and No. 14 Boise State. Oregon State will tackle some of its top opponents early at the end of November in back-to-back matches against Nebraska and Wisconsin.


2007-08 ATTENDANCE AVERAGE -- Oregon State showed that wrestling is still a top sport, averaging 1,138 in attendance per home meet. That number ranked as the 14th best in the nation, and the Beavers posted a season-high 1,852 fans in the last Dodge Civil War meeting ever in Corvallis. Oregon State edged out all other west coast opponents on the list.


LEGENDARY GILL COLISEUM -- Legendary Gill Coliseum is the home to Oregon State's volleyball, men's and women's basketball, gymnastics and wrestling teams. The arena seats 10,400 for competitions on Ralph Miller Court. The building which opened in the winter of 1949-50 has seen several refurbishment projects in recent years and is on the docket for a major renovation. Gill has seen over 3,000 victories, 150+ All-Americans and more than 25 individual and team titles.


what's next for the beavers -- Oregon State heads to Montana to face No. 15 Michigan in the Battle in the Big Sky on Friday, Jan. 2 at 6:00 p.m. PT.

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