OSU wrestling claims fifth conference title on Saturday
Oregon State edged out Arizona State 118-113 on Saturday to win their fifth consecutive Pac-12 title. Cal-State Bakersfield finished third, followed by Stanford, Boise State and Cal Poly.
The No. 22 Beavers were led by No. 10 heavyweight redshirt sophomore Amarveer Dhesi who won his first ever Pac-12 title and was the Beavers lone champion. Dhesi defeated Stanford’s redshirt sophomore Nathan Butler—who was the Pac-12 champion a year ago—19-5 in the finals. Dhesi was also named Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.
No. 7 sophomore 125-pounder Ronnie Bresser, redshirt junior 133-pounder Joey Palmer and redshirt freshman 184-pounder Corey Griego all finished second in their respective weight classes. Bresser and Palmer both lost in overtime in their finals match, 3-2 and 4-2 respectively. Griego lost 7-2 to returning Pac-12 champion and All-American, Arizona State’s redshirt senior Blake Stauffer.
Along with Dhesi, Bresser and Griego, redshirt junior 149-pounder Joey Delgado and senior 165-pounder Seth Thomas punched an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament in two weeks. This will be the second NCAA tournament appearance for Dhesi, Bresser, Delgado and Thomas, whereas it will be Griego’s first.
In the 133-pound bracket, there was only one automatic berth so in order for Palmer to qualify for the NCAA tournament; he has to earn one of the five at-large bids in that weight class.
Redshirt sophomore 157-pounder Abraham Rodriguez and redshirt sophomore 197-pounder Cody Crawford placed third. They both have an outside chance of earning an at-large bid.
After all the other conference tournaments conclude, the NCAA wrestling committee will meet to decide who will receive the at-large bids and will make the announcement on March 9th.
Redshirt sophomore 141-pounder Jack Hathaway finished fifth and redshirt sophomore 174-pounder Tyler Chay placed sixth.
Head coach Jim Zalesky was proud of his team’s performance.
“It was a total team effort in every sense,” Zalesky said. “It is not easy winning five straight. This one really was a dogfight. We needed every win and point we could earn.”
The Beavers now prepare for the NCAA tournament, which starts on March 17th and will be held at Madison Square Garden in New York.
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