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Raider men fall to No. 7 in poll

Staff and wire reports

Oregon Tech&

s overtime win over Southern Oregon caused a shake-up in the NAIA Division II men&

s basketball poll, released Wednesday.

Southern Oregon, which lost the back-and-forth game 74-71, fell five spots from No. 2 to No. 7 in the weekly poll, while Oregon Tech climbed from No. 12 all the way up to No. 4. The two teams are tied atop the Cascade Conference with identical 5-2 league records. Both are 16-3 overall as well.

Fellow Cascade Conference powerhouse Warner Pacific fell from No. 5 to No. 15 after an 0-2 road trip.

The Raiders, who have been ranked in the top 10 all season, try to put the breaks on a two-game losing streak Friday night against visiting Albertson. SOU hosts Eastern Oregon on Saturday night. Tip-off for both games is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Wrestling

The official NAIA team champion won&

t be crowned until March, but the country&

s most talented and balanced squads will be identified this weekend at the Cliff Keen/National Wrestling Coaches Association National Duals in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

The first-ever wrestling extravaganza, which takes place at the cavernous UNI Dome on the campus of Northern Iowa, will attract 72 of the nation&

s top teams from all classifications.

Southern Oregon University serves as the No. 6 draw in the 16-team NAIA field, and the seventh-ranked Raiders (5-2) tangle with unseeded King College of Bristol, Tenn. in the opening round Saturday morning. SOU will then face either No. — Dana, Neb. or Montana State-Northern in the second round.

The champion is crowned Sunday afternoon upon conclusion of third-, fifth- and seventh-place duals.

Top-ranked Lindenwood, Mo. is the NAIA&

s top draw, while No. 2 Dickinson State, N.D. is the favorite on SOU&

s side of the bracket.

Fans can follow the Raiders live by logging on to www.intermatwrestle.com. Complete brackets are posted on Northern Iowa&

s athletics Web page (www.uni.edu).

Southern Oregon ended a three-week hiatus with a busy, productive two-day trip to Portland last weekend.

The Raiders missed chances to top or tie NCAA Div. II fourth-ranked Nebraska-Kearney at the PSU Duals on Saturday in a 25-19 setback that snapped a three-dual win streak, but Southern bounced back by slamming West Region rival Simon Fraser, 29-6.

On Sunday, six Raiders placed at the 14-team Portland State Open, including championship efforts from freshman Trevor Lofstedt (125), sophomore Joey Jannsen (149) and senior All-American Jimmy Grochowsky (165), who went a combined 13-0.

Sophomore Junior Valladolid went 3-2 for a fourth-place finish at 125 in his first intercollegiate action in over a year, which qualified the Alaskan for the national meet.

Senior Grant Thompson (4th at 197) also qualified for nationals, and senior James Mannenbach placed third at 165.

Southern Oregon has formed a murderer&

s row of seniors at the upper weight classes that will be formidable come dual time this weekend.

Grochowsky (a team-best 21-4 at 165), All-American David O&

Brien (18-3 at 174) and Rick Story (17-4 at 184) are a combined 56-11 this year, including 19-2 in duals.

A seven-bout win streak has propelled Grochowsky to No. 9 on the school&

s career victory list (89-42) and is six wins shy of taking over the No. — spot.

O&

Brien, who is 83-22 as a Raider, extended his dual-meet win streak to 28 since February 2003 with a 2-0 effort last weekend.

Meanwhile, Lofstedt leads the team with nine pins among his 15 wins &

a total that already ranks 10th on the single-season list.

SOU and King College meet for the first time in intercollegiate competition Saturday.

The Tornado defeated NCAA Div. III schools Maryville (39-16) and Belmont-Abbey (25-19) to start the year prior to a setback to Spartanburg Methodist (28-16).

King is led by a pair of freshman who have already qualified for nationals: Shayne Funk (149) and David Johnson (157).

SOU&

s possible quarterfinal foe, Dana, Neb., features six nationally ranked wrestlers, including top-ranked Willie Parks (184), No. — Ben Henderson (157) and No. — Kyle Frawley (174).

The Vikings are 6-1-1 in duals with a 19-19 tie against Embry-Riddle.

NAIA Individual Rankings (Jan 4):

&

149; Jimmy Grochowsky (2nd at 165)

&

149; David O&

Brien (2nd at 174)

&

149; Jimmy Ulrey (5th at 149)

&

149; Rick Story (6th at 184)

&

149; Barry Johnson (8th at 133)

&

149; Joey Jannsen (8th at 149)

&

149; Josh Fitzgerald (8th at 174)

NAIA Team Rankings (Jan. 4):

1. Lindenwood (Mo.)

2. Great Falls (Mont.)

3. Dickinson State (N.D.)

4. Dana (Neb.)

5. Embry-Riddle (Ariz.)

6. Cumberlands (Ky.)

7. Southern Oregon

8. Menlo (Calif.)

Possible Dual Lineup for Jan. 14-15:

125-Trevor Lofstedt (Fr., Roseburg, 15-7)

or Junior Valladolid (So., Kodiak, Alaska, 3-2)

133-Barry Johnson (Fr., Dayton, 16-6, NAIA

8)

141-Matt Holt (Sr. Sumner, Wash., 16-6)

149-Jimmy Ulrey (So., Medford, 8-8, NAIA

5)

or Joey Jannsen (So., Portland, 9-3, NAIA

8)

157-Kyle Temple (So., Sweet Home, 7-8)

165-Jimmy Grochowsky (Sr., Estacada, 21-4, NAIA

2)

174-David O&

Brien (Sr., Kodiak, Alaska, 18-3, NAIA

2)

184-Rick Story (Sr., Spanaway, Wash., 17-4, NAIA

6)

197-Abe Ewing (Jr., Banks, 10-10)

or Grant Thompson (Sr., Crane, 6-3)

285-Taylor Wilkerson (So., White City, 9-13)