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Raiders fall just short at regional

GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Southern Oregon University came up with a big effort at the NAIA Western Regional wrestling championships Saturday but were edged out by 31/2 points for the title by host University of Great Falls.

The champion Argos totaled 120 points to 1161/2 for Southern Oregon.

The Raiders came into the tournament the fifth-seeded team in the six-school field.

"It came down to a couple of matches near the end and we came up short," said SOU coach Mike Ritchey. "We should of controlled our own destiny better than we did. We were close, but didn't get the job done."

The Raiders placed five competitors in the finals. Junior Trevor Lofstedt of Roseburg came away with the Raiders lone title. All 12 Southern Oregon wrestlers in the regional finished in the top six.

Lofstedt defeated Carlos Alaniz of Montana-State Northern 2-0 in the championship match at 133 pounds to complete a 3-0 record in the tournament.

"(Lofstedt) looked tough," said Ritchey, who was selected as the Western Regional Coach of the Year. "He was pretty dominate all tournament. Even though he only won 2-0 in the finals, it wasn't real close."

For the second time in a week, redshirt freshman Jimmy Ulrey of Medford was decisioned by third-ranked Robert Davis of Menlo. Davis defeated Ulrey in a dual meet at Ashland Feb. 16.

Ulrey, ranked No. 4 nationally, was leading 6-5 in the championship match. Ulrey was assessed a penalty point for stalling, then Davis got a takedown with about 20 seconds remaining in the match to seal the 8-6 victory.

"It just slipped through our fingers," said Ritchey. "It was an intense match."

Other Southern Oregon wrestlers that finished second were: Barry Johnson (141), who lost 6-4 to Tyler Chang of Emry Riddle; junior Chase Locke (197), who lost 8-2 to Alex Calvi of Great Falls; and Marcus Moore (285), who lost 10-3 to Jesse Ruiz of Menlo,

The Raiders received third-place finishes from Seth Roy (149) and Jason Appleton (174), while Skyler Massey (285) took fourth.

Southern Oregon will send 12 wrestlers to the NAIA national championships in Sioux City, Iowa, Mar. 7-8. The Raider wrestlers who placed in the top four will get a seed at nationals.

"Our goal was to win this thing," said Ritchey. "To push Great Falls as close as we did is a good effort. It's tough to wrestle up here in their environment."