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SOU advances wrestling trio into semifinals

PRIMM, Nev. _ Three Southern Oregon University wrestlers advanced into the semifinals, while four others are still alive in the consolation bracket after Friday's opening day at the NAIA Wrestling National Championships.

The seven remaining Raiders helped their team into sixth place in the team standings with 45 points, 25 points behind leader Montana State Northern.

Matt Paulson (134 pounds), Ryan Escobar (118) and Matt Armstrong (158) will resume their runs for national titles today, while Brian Samhammer (158), Bill Wathen (177), Jamie Haddon (190) and Jamie Dixson (190) are battling for placing spots.

I'm pleased for the guys who are still in, but there were some disappointments today, said Southern Oregon coach Mike Ritchey. We went out on a high note, winning our last four matches of the day.

Escobar, a freshman, won three matches on Friday and will meet top-seeded Beau Vest of Missouri Valley.

It was an outstanding performance by him, said Ritchey. He may be our first freshman ever to make it into the semis. We kind of expected him to do this, but he has a good challenge tomorrow.

Armstrong, who won both his matches on Friday, will face No. — seed Ryan Henry of Montana State Northern, but the most intriguing of SOU's three semifinal matches involves Paulson. The Raiders' lone No. — seed will meet Chad Edgar of Montana State Northern.

Edgar and Paulson were teammates in junior college at Northern Idaho.

I think he's on form at this point, said Ritchey of Paulson, who had two convincing victories on Friday. His match will be a tough one because the two of them know each other so well.

Even though his squad's chances of winning the national team title are slim, Ritchey remains pleased with their effort.

We could be higher if we would have gotten some more breaks, said Ritchey. We'll keep plugging along. I'm not jumping up and down, but I'm not crying myself to sleep tonight.

TEAM SCORES -- Montana St. Northern 70, Findlay 58, Central Washington 55, Missouri Valley 55, Simon Fraser 49, Mary 45, Southern Oregon 45, Embry-Riddle 44, Cumberland 27, Pacific Lutheran 27, Wisc-Parkside 23, Dickinson State 18, Anderson College 17, Huron 16, Dana 14, Northwestern 14, Pacific 13, Jamestown 12, Valley City 12, Mt. St. Joseph 9, Briar

Cliff 6, Mt. St. Clare 5, Dakota Wesleyan 4, Lindenwood 1.

118 pounds Ryan Escobar, SOU, d. Brian Goetz, Cumberland, 12-6; Escobar p. Gordon Jarman, Dickinson, 5:00; Escobar d. Chad Henderly, Findlay, 6-2.

126 Lukie Christian, Missouri Valley, p. Tyson Escobar, SOU, 2:35.

Consolation Escobar p. Chad Merkel, Jamestown, 2:51; Shawn May, Wisc-Parkside, d. Escobar, 12-3.

134 Chad Paulson, SOU, d. Jamie Depee, Jamestown, 21-5; Paulson d. Phill Kirsch, Wisc.-Parkside, 11-5.

142 Chris Burns, Cumberland, d. Jesse Mindlin, SOU, 8-4.

Consolation Morgan Chapman, Cumberland d. Mindlin, 8-7.

150 Daniel Sturgell, SOU, p. Mike Lane, Montana St., 6:01; Marcus Mainz, Missouri Valley, d. Sturgell, 11-5.

Consolation Ben Orth, Central Washington, d. Sturgell, 5-1

158 Troy Worden, Briar Cliff, d. Brian Sawhammer, SOU, 8-3; Matt Armstrong, SOU, d. Boone Smith, Wisc-Parkside, 10-5; Armstrong d. Matt Deck, Embry-Riddle, 8-0.

Consolation Samhammer d. Juan Bell, Cumberland, 18-11; Samhammer d. Matt Warner, Huron, 9-2; Samhammer p. Anthony Vasquez, Valley City, 3:07

167 Justin Hoover, Missouri Valley, d. Victor Perry, SOU, 6-5.

Consolation Perry d. Ira Strickland, Anderson College, 13-1; Justin Kraft, Jamestown, d. Perry, 9-7, sudden death.

177 Bobby Lashley, Missouri Valley, p. Bill Wathen, SOU, 1:18.

Consolation Wathen d. Roderique McClain, Cumberland, 12-3; Wathen d. Dane Jacobson, Montana State Northern, 6-5.

190 Jamie Dixson, SOU, d. Tim Byrd, Mary, 9-7 sudden death; Jamie Haddon, SOU, d. Tony Buchek, Missouri Valley, 7-0; Luigi Bianco, Simon Fraser, d. Haddon, 9-7 sudden death; Johnni Hanson, Pacific Lutheran, d. Dixson, 11-4.

Consolation Dixon d. Tony Buchek, Missouri Valley, 7-2; Haddon d. Jervon Walton, Missouri Valley, 5-1.

275 Chris Moore, SOU, d. John Stoddard, Mt. St. Joseph, 3-2; Shaun Meeks, Anderson College, d. Moore, 5-1.

Consolation Levi Markwardt, Northwestern, d. Moore, 1-0.