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Beavers shoot for 1,000th dual victory

CORVALLIS — History can be made on several levels today when the Oregon State wrestling team opens its dual-meet season against Southern Oregon at Gill Coliseum.

The 24th-ranked Beavers can reach the 1,000-win plateau by defeating the Raiders. It would also be win No. 100 at OSU for head coach Jim Zalesky. The meet starts at 7 p.m. It will be televised by Pac-12 Networks.

The Beavers would be just the third NCAA Division I program with 1,000 dual wins, joining Iowa State (1,043) and Oklahoma State (1,026).

“It means you’re having success,” Zalesky said of the 1,000- and 100-win milestones. “I don’t look at my record; I look at the 1,000 wins. The significance of that is, only two other programs have done that.

“There is a great wrestling history for Oregon State. Look at the teams who haven’t reached that yet. I wrestled at Iowa and they haven’t reached this milestone yet. Penn State, Minnesota, some of the teams that are up there in the nationals, they haven’t reached 1,000 yet.”

The Raiders will be a tough nut to crack. They are ranked No. 2 in this week’s InterMat NAIA poll, and have eight projected starters ranked in the Top 20 in their respective weight classes.

Foremost among the ranked Raiders is 174-pounder Brock Gutches, a cousin of former OSU All-American/two-time NCAA champion Les Gutches. The redshirt senior, who started his career at Boise State, was 22-3 and captured his third NAIA national title last season.

“It will be a good challenge for us,” Zalesky said. “We’re going to start six freshmen. For this dual, we’ll be a pretty young team.”

The Beavers opened the season last Sunday by winning nine of 10 weight classes at the Mike Clock Open at Pacific University. Champions were Ronnie Bresser (125); Joey Palmer (133); Devin Reynolds (141); Abraham Rodriguez (149); Joey Delgado (157); Seth Thomas (165); Joe Latham (174); Taylor Meeks (184) and Cody Crawford (197).

Bresser is a true freshman; Reynolds, Rodriguez and Crawford are redshirt freshmen. They and redshirt freshmen Jack Hathaway (133) and Nate Keeve (heavyweight) are projected to start today.

Several Beavers were ranked by InterMat and The Open Mat this week. A senior, Meeks (184) was ranked 7th by InterMat and 9th by The Open Mat; sophomore Amarveer Dhesi (heavyweight) was ranked 8th and 7th. A senior, Latham (174) was ranked 18th and 19th, respectively. Redshirt sophomore Joey Delgado (157) was ranked 19th by The Open Mat.