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Four SOU wrestlers make nationals

TACOMA, Wash. -- Southern Oregon Univerity won two individual titles, qualified four wrestlers for the NAIA national tournament and finished second at the 1998 PLU Collegiate Wrestling Open on Saturday.

The Raiders were edged out by Montana State-Northern for the team title in the 13-school event. Montana State scored 63 points to 51 for Southern Oregon.

We were looking to get guys qualified for the NAIA nationals, Southern Oregon coach Mike Ritchey said. It wasn't too bad.

The Raiders' top performances came from senior Tyson Escobar (126) and junior Matt Armstrong (158), a transfer from Northern Idaho. Tyson Escobar and Armstrong, who won both titles, qualified for nationals along with runnerups Matt Paulson (134) and Victor Perry (167).

Tyson Escobar cruised through his bracket without losing a point. He pinned Tyler Bransford of Clackamas Community College at — minutes, 15 seconds in the finals.

Armstrong won his division with a 6-3 decision over Mitch Stevens of Brigham Young in the finals.

He was probably the most intense of any our our wrestlers, Ritchey said. He was moving well and had a good aggressive attack and came out on top in most situations.

SOU junior Jamie Haddon advanced to the semifinals where he lost a 7-6 decision to Brandon Ruiz of BYU. Haddon injured his shoulder in the semifinal loss and had to default in the consolation semifinals..