Oregon State makes it a four-peat with win at 2015 Pac-12 Wrestling Championships
CORVALLIS, Ore. - OREGON STATE leapt out to an early lead and never looked back en route to winning its fourth-consecutive Pac-12 title Sunday night at the 2015 Pac-12 Wrestling Championships. The Beavers finished with 139.5 points and had five individual champions along with their team title, placing eight wrestlers in championship bouts.
ARIZONA STATE was runner-up with 107.0 points, while STANFORD came in third with an even 100.0. BOISE STATE weighed in at fourth with 85.5 points, followed by CSU BAKERSFIELD at fifth with 81.0 and CAL POLY at sixth with 77.0.
Oregon State’s Joe Latham was named the Outstanding Wrestler of the Meet, knocking off the top-seeded wrestler in his weight class to reach the championship bout before upsetting the third-seeded wrestler to win the individual title. ASU’s Chace Eskam was named 2015 Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
No. 13 Ronnie Bresser of Oregon State had the first win of the night with a 6-3 win over Evan Silver of Stanford at 125 pounds. The duo grappled through a scoreless first period and most of the second period, until Silver scored a quick point on a takedown before Bresser reversed and took the 2-1 lead. Silver had a one-point escape to tie the bout at the end of the second round. Bresser, a freshman for OSU, had an escape of his own early in the third then extended his lead with a takedown. Silver escaped once more late in the third but it wasn’t enough as Bresser tacked on 2:02 riding time for a 6-3 victory.
The Beavers and Cardinal matched up again at 133 pounds, as top-seeded Jack Hathaway of OSU defeated Stanford’s Connor Schram. The first and second periods remained scoreless before Hathaway had a one-point escape early in the third. Hathaway added a takedown with seconds left in the third and added the extra point from riding time for the 4-0 win.
Freshman Geordan Martinez of Boise State, the No. 6-ranked wrestler at 141, topped ASU’s Matt Kraus with a 6-3 decision for the first individual title of the night for the Broncos. Martinez hopped out to an early lead with a takedown in the first, before Kraus tied it at 2-2 with two escapes in the second. Martinez then jumped out to a 5-2 lead halfway through the third, and Kraus was able to escape once more to score another point. Martinez had control through most of the bout, with over two minutes of riding time for a 6-3 score.
Top-seeded Christian Pagdilao of Arizona State had a back-and-forth battle at 149 pounds with OSU’s Abraham Rodriguez but took home the individual title for the Sun Devils. It marked ASU’s first individual title in 149 since 2003 and first overall individual title since 2008. Rodriguez had a takedown just inside the circle at 1:47 in the first to take the early lead, but Pagdilao countered with a takedown and an escape early in the second. Rodriguez tied it up with an escape, but Pagdilao picked up another two points late in the second to jump out to a 5-3 lead. A quick escape early in the third for Rodriguez narrowed the lead by a point, but Pagdilao gained control with 10 seconds remaining to add on two points for the 7-4 victory.
It was a scoreless first period in the 157 bout between Boise State’s Steven Hernandez and OSU’s Alex Elder. Elder broke the tie with an escape halfway through the second, then had a breakout late in the third, tacking on two on a takedown. Hernandez escaped with seconds remaining, but Elder held it neutral to bring home another individual title for the Beavers.
Stanford’s Jim Wilson picked up the first individual title of the night for the Cardinal, winning the 165 pound class on medical forfeit. Wilson, a redshirt sophomore who was most recently ranked 14th nationally in his weight class, earned an automatic berth to the NCAAs for the second-straight year with the title.
At 174 pounds, Oregon State’s Joe Latham picked up a 9-4 decision over Cal Poly’s Dominic Kastl. Latham, who knocked off the top seed in the weight class to reach the championship bout, grabbed the first points in a takedown. Kastl tallied three escapes before Latham retook the lead and never gave it up in the third. The third-place bout at 174 saw a huge upset as Holden Packard of Boise State upset the No. 1 seed in Ray Waters of Arizona State in an 11-10 decision.
The marquee matchup of the night came at 184 pounds between No. 1-seeded Blake Stauffer of ASU and No. 2-seeded Taylor Meeks of OSU. Ranked fifth and sixth nationally in their weight class, respectively, the bout remained scoreless and entirely neutral through the first period, with no side gaining any advantage. Meeks immediately took control at the start of the second for 20 seconds before Stauffer escaped along the boundary for the first point of the bout. The third saw added aggression as Stauffer took control at the outset for 15 seconds and Meeks escaped to tie up the match at 1-1. Stauffer evaded a Meeks attempt to gain control with 10 seconds remaining in the match and took down the Beaver for two points to earn the individual title, 3-1.
In the 197-pound class, OSU’s Cody Crawford had the lone fall of the championship bouts, pinning CSU Bakersfield’s Matt Williams at 1:26 in the third period. Crawford had the first points with a takedown just inside the circle late in the first, countered by Williams with a locked-hands escape shortly after. Williams took advantage of the momentum shift to gain control in the second, which Crawford escaped for another point. Crawford took control early in the third and forced Williams into the pin.
Heavyweights rounded out the night with the championship between 2015 Pac-12 Wrestling Scholar-Athlete of the Year Chace Eskam from Arizona State and No. 1-seeded Nathan Butler of Stanford. The duo held neutral through the first period with no score, then Butler took the lead on a one-point escape in the second. Eskam evened it out with an escape of his own, but Butler had a takedown and then widened the lead with an escape for the 4-1 finish.