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Raiders just miss upset of Beavers

Photos by Drew Fleming

ASHLAND

-- Southern Oregon University's wrestling team extended Oregon State to the final match before the Raiders' six-match home dual winning streak was snapped Saturday night at McNeal Pavilion.

The Beavers, ranked 20th in the nation at the NCAA Division I level, used a match termination by Nathan Navarro at 125 pounds to score five points over SOU's Nolan Harris in the final bout for a 20-18 victory over the Raiders.

SOU, ranked No. 4 in the nation at the NAIA level, hasn't beaten OSU since 1988.

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Southern Oregon's Justin Thurman is — caught in bind against Ben Richards in the 133-pound match.

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In collegiate dual matches, the order of matches is determined by a random draw prior to the match.

Southern Oregon got a major break in the 285-pound match when OSU's Jason Cooley was hit with a default for an illegal move against SOU's Devin Cole.

The default took SOU from a 15-12 deficit to an 18-15 lead with only the 125-pound match left.

Cole suffered a strained ligament in his elbow due to the move by Cooley. He'll have a chance to heal over the Christmas break, said coach Mike Ritchey.

I didn't like the call, but there's nothing I could do, said Oregon State coach Joe Wells. He wasn't trying to hurt him.

Cooley was charged with excessively bending Cole's arm. Ritchey said the call was proper.

It's probably a good lesson for the kid (Cooley) to learn, said Ritchey. `When he got the arm back that far, he needed to be careful not to go farther. As a wrestler, he has a responsibility not to put his opponent in danger of a major injury.

Suddenly trailing 18-15, the pressure fell on OSU's Navarro at 125. And he went right to the task of securing a technical fall -- the match ended when he built a 15-point lead with 24 seconds remaining -- giving the Beavers five team points and the win.

He (Navarro) knew what he had to do, said Wells. He went out and did it. He was going against a freshman, and that gave him an advantage. We were just hoping he would take advantage of it with his experience.

Dan Sturgell, Southern Oregon's top-rated 184-pounder at the NAIA level, secured the biggest win of the match for the Raiders. He avenged a loss to OSU's Isaac Weber in last year's dual between the two teams in Corvallis with a 10-7 decision.

It feels good to get this one, said Sturgell. It was a much different match than the one we had last year. He wrestled a slow-paced match last year. He came out this time and got it moving. That worked right into my plan because I like the fast pace because I'm a scrambler.

Sturgell built an 8-4 lead, had it cut to 8-7, and then got a point for an escape and one for riding time advantage to win, 10-7.

I was sort of hanging on at the end, said Sturgell. My legs were feeling rubbery, and I learned something.

What did he learn?

I learned I need to get in better shape, he said. But I'm still very happy to get this win.

SOU took a 6-4 lead when Luke Heuberger defeated Andy Frey of the Beavers, 4-1, at 149 pounds.

OSU led 4-0 when Ben Richards of the Beavers scored a major decision over Justin Thurman, 16-2, at 133. Jeremy Wynia of the Raiders cut the lead to 4-3 with a 14-10 win over Shane Cunanan.

Zachary Mock of Southern Oregon defeated Donny Kersey, 4-2, at 165.

We won the matches we needed to, but we could have wrestled better in several others, said Wells. The 285-pound match was a major swing of points. It looked like we were going to get four or five points with a win and we lose six on the default.

They gave us a chance, but we couldn't quite take advantage, said Ritchey. We learned a lot of things tonight, which is why we're here.

There's a long way to go, and this match will help us down the line.

TEAM SCORE-- Oregon State 20, Southern Oregon 18.

INdivIDUAL RESULTS-- 133 -- Ben Richards, OSU, dec. Justin Thurman, 16-2; 141 -- Jeremy Wynia, SO, dec. Shane Cunanan, 14-10; 149 -- Luke Heuberger, SO, dec. Andy Frey, 4-1; 157 -- Eric Jorgensen, OSU, dec. Chris Huntley, 14-0; 165 -- Zachary Mock, SO, dec. Donny Kersey, 4-2.

174 -- Nathan Coy, OSU, dec, Ryan Schmmann, 19-8; 184 -- Dan Sturgell, SO, dec. Isac Weber, 10-7; 197 -- Clint Wilson, OSU, dec. Brad Gray, 4-0; 285 -- Devin Cole, SO, injury default Jason Cooley; 125 -- Nathan Navarro, OSU, match termination Nolan Harris, 17-2.

Dan Sturgell (top) of Southern Oregon University defeats Oregon State's Isaac Webber at 184 pounds, 10-7, in one of the marquee matches.