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SOU wrestling team ascends to No. 1 in final poll

In a season that saw the Southern Oregon wrestling team keep winning yet slide up and down the NAIA Top 20 poll, the Raiders finally landed at No. 1 in the final poll, released late Tuesday.

The Raiders (18-1) received 81 points to replace defending National Champion Lindenwood at the top spot. Lindenwood is second, followed by Dickinson State, Missouri Valley and McKendree.

SOU claimed the team title at last weekend's NAIA West National Tournament Qualifying event and will take part in the NAIA National Tournament March 5-7.

The Raiders have eight wrestlers ranked in the final rankings.

Barry Johnson jumped from second to first this week at 141 pounds. Heavyweight John Bates slipped from No. 1 to No. 2.

Other ranked Raiders include Mitchell Lofstedt (2nd, 125), Seth Roy (3rd, 149), Trevor Lofstedt (4th, 133), Tommie Hooper (4th, 157), Chris Platt (5th, 184) and Chase Locke (7th, 197).

College Softball

The Southern Oregon softball team will host the 2009 SOU Invitational Feb. 26-28 at U.S. Cellular Fields in Medford.

The Invitational will include Southern Oregon, Concordia (Calif.), Concordia (Ore.), Puget Sound, Azusa Pacific and Oregon Tech.

Following the tournament on March 1, the Raiders will host a doubleheader against Simpson University starting at 1 p.m.

Depending on the weather, it will either be held at SOU or, if the weather is bad, at U.S. Cellular Fields.

Prep Snowboarding

Mimi Charter took first for the girls and Dashiel Moyers placed second for the boys as Ashland fared well in the second Southern League slopestyle competition of the season Saturday at Mount Ashland.

The Grizzlies continued their big weekend by dominating the halfpipe competition Sunday at Mount Shasta, earning the top two individual medals (Chance Conner and Noa Yates, respectively) and placing 14 snowboarders in the top 22.

Charter won the slopestyle event with a final score of 46.5, besting second-place Lauren Angei of St. Mary's and Alyssa Linckens of South Medford (40 for both).

Jonathan Williamson of Cascade Christian won the boys slopestyle with 63 points, followed closely by Moyers (60.5) and fellow Grizzlies Dylan Hartsell (60) and Rodney McDaniel (58.5).

Nordic Skiing

Ashland's Hannah Ewing placed 12th and teammate Alex Kiesling was 18th in the girls individual 5K freestyle at the OISRA Nordic State Championships, Friday at Hoodoo Ski Area in Sisters.

Ewing finished the race in 22 minutes, 44 seconds and Kiesling crossed the finish line in 23:23. Julie Hackbarth of Mountain View won the state championship in 19:33.

The AHS boys were led in the 5K freestyle by Coco Amarotico (20th, 22:15) and Alex Buktenica (24th, 22:45). The duo helped Ashland finish third out of seven teams in the final freestyle team standings.