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Oregon State brings home second straight Pac-12 Title, with three champs

Oregon State reels off 158 team points en route to three individual weight class titles in Tempe

TEMPE, Ariz. – The No. 8/9/11 ranked Oregon State wrestling team took home its second straight Pac-12 Championship and third in the last four years with 158 total points, Saturday in Tempe. OSU added three individual championships into the mix plus an additional three who finished as runners up in their weight class.

The Beavers who claimed the second-to-last Pac-10 Championship in 2010 and the first Pac-12 title in 2012, finished 11.5 points ahead of second place Boise State (136.5) and saw Mike Mangrum (141 lbs.), Taylor Meeks (197 lbs.), Chad Hanke (HWT), win individual weight class crowns. For Mangrum it was his second straight Pac-12 Championship, while Meeks and Hanke each walked away with their first.

As a unit OSU did not have a wrestler place lower than third, as Scott Sakaguchi (149 lbs)., RJ Pena (157 lbs.), and Seth Thomas (165 lbs.) were runners up in their weight classes, while Joey Palmer (125 lbs.), Drew Van Anrooy (133 lbs.) and Ty Vinson (184 lbs.) all finished third.

Mangrum (3-0), Meeks (3-0) and Hanke (2-0) were perfect on the day going a combined 8-0, while Palmer, Van Anrooy, and Weishoff went 3-1 in competition. Pena also earned a 3-1 mark including his wrestle off with CSU Bakersfield’s Adam Fierro following the awards ceremony.

Mangrum, competing in his final Pac-12 Championships received the award for the most pins as he earned two falls out of the three matches he wrestled in, including one over CSU Bakersfield’s Timmy Box (3:33), in the 141 lb. title bout.

As a team, Oregon State went 26-7, in its 33 total matches during Pac-12’s and eclipsed its 2012 point total of 138.0 by 20. The 158 points put up on the board by Jim Zalesky’s squad was the most by a conference school since Boise State scored 172.5 in 2009.

Looking ahead toward the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Oregon State will send at least seven members, including Mangrum, Sakaguchi, Pena, Weishoff, Vinson, Meeks and Hanke. First timers Weishoff and Hanke will join Meeks and Vinson who are making their second straight appearance. Sakaguchi and Pena will be making their third, while Mangrum will make his fourth straight trip to Nationals.

The 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships will take place from March 21-23 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.

OSU Pac-12 Championship gear is available for purchase by going here:


OSU Head Coach Jim Zalesky
On his team’s second straight Pac-12 Championship…
“We scored points and everybody won a lot of matches. Everybody placed in the top three so that’s good because we haven’t done that before. In a tournament you win some tough matches and you lose some tough matches so it’s hard to feel really great about it because there is still work to do before the NCAA Tournament.”

On his trio of conference champions…
“They did what they had to do in the finals. (Mike) Mangrum got the fall, (Taylor) Meeks had to beat a guy (ASU’s Jake Meredith) that beat him before 7-0 and then (Chad) Hanke found a way to win. Sometimes we talk about having to ride a guy for two minutes to win and he (Hanke) did.”

141 lb. Pac-12 Champion Mike Mangrum
On his conference championship…
“I kind of didn’t really wake up until halfway through the first round. (Tommy) Box is good, he took me down twice in a row but my style is kind of described as a freight train. The more I can go, the more I score and I just keep building. I pulled off a pretty cool move, I pinned him and I feel good about it.”

--Mike Mangrum sits just one win away from tying legendary OSU wrestler Les Gutches (1993-96), for fifth on the all-time OSU program list, Gutches has 134, Mangrum has 133.
--Mangrum’s two pins gives him 31 for his career and sole possession of 12th place on the OSU all-time list, he passes Dan Hicks (1976-79; 142/150) and Jason Buce (1995-98; 118/126), who both have 29.
--With his pin of CSUB’s Adam Fierro in the wrestle off, RJ Pena now has 44 career pins and passes Greg Strobel (1971-74) 190 lbs. for seventh on the all-time list, Strobel has 43.
--Chad Hanke and Mike Mangrum each now have a team high 18 match winning streak.
--Oregon State has scored an average of 148 points in its back-to-back Pac-12 Championships.
--The Beavers have now won nine Pac-10/12 Championships (1979, 1983-84, 1992, 1994, 2007, 2010, 2011-12)

OTHER EVENT NOTES, from Jeremy Hawkes of Arizona State

* Boise State’s George Ivanov was awarded the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler for his conference-title winning effort at 157 pounds while Oregon State scored 158.0 points en rout to a 21.5 point victory over the Broncos. It was the highest winning point tally by a Pac-12 tournament team in the last 20 years and OSU's fourth team title in the last seven years.

* Oregon State and Boise State each earned three individual conference championships while OSU also had a tournament-best six student-athletes in individual championship finals. The Beavers really made their mark with bonus points however, paced by Mike Mangrum who earned the tournaments award for the Most Falls with his two in just under six-and-a-half minutes.

* CSU Bakersfield’s Tyler Iwamura opened the night with an exciting victory in the 125-pound final, taking down Stanford’s Evan Silver with about thirty seconds remaining in the final frame to break a 1-1 tie and earn his first career Pac-12 Championship after finishing in third at this competition last season.

* Tied at one through seven minutes, the two standouts required an extra period to decide things and Chamberlain took advantage in the first sudden victory session, scoring a takedown that went to video review and was upheld to give the senior his third Pac-12 title of his career.

* The 157-pound contest featured a rematch of last season’s final as Oregon State’s RJ Pena squared off against Ivanov with the latter looking for a little payback after dropping a tough decision last season that helped seal the deal for the Beavers. Ivanov had no intentions of going quietly into the night on Saturday after falling behind 2-1 heading into the third period. With Pena choosing down, Ivanov turned him for a two-point near fall to take a 3-2 lead that he wouldn’t relinquish on his way to the first conference title for the senior and Most Outstanding Wrestler honor for the competition.

* The next upset came in the very next round with Stanford’s Bret Baumbach, who entered as the tournament’s three-seed, knocked off top-seeding Seth Thomas in a dominating 7-1 affair.

* In a battle of promising redshirt freshman, two-seed Bryce Hammond of CSU Bakersfield got the upper hand on ASU’s Blake Stauffer in a decisive 10-4 effort that paved the way for a hard-fought 3-1 victory for Jake Swartz of Boise State over Kevin Radford.

* Twenty-one automatic bids to the NCAA Championship were awarded at the Pac-12 Championships on Saturday with the qualifiers as follows: (125) Tyler Iwamura (CSUB); (133) Devon Lotito (Cal Poly), Brian Owen (BSU); (141) Mike Mangrum (OSU); (149) Jason Chamberlain (BSU), Scott Sakaguchi (OSU); (157) George Ivanov (BSU), RJ Pena (OSU); (165) Bret Baumbach (Stanford); (174) Bryce Hammond (CSUB), Blake Stauffer (ASU), Cody Weishoff (OSU); (184) Jake Swartz (BSU), Kevin Radford (ASU), Ty Vinson (OSU); (197) Taylor Meeks (OSU), Jake Meredith (ASU); (HWT) Chad Hanke (OSU), JT Felix (BSU), Levi Cooper (ASU), Dan Scherer (Stanford).

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