Oregon State Wrestling started with fireworks, and ended with a boom, as the Beavers sealed a come-from-behind victory over the Stanford Cardinal Monday night at Gill Coliseum.
From the start, Oregon State came out ready to go. Redshirt Sophomore Kegan Calkins started off the night with a decision victory to put OSU up 3-0.
“Me and that kid wrestled since we were about 4th grade, so a bit of a history,” said the 125-pound Calkins. “I was ready to go, ready to get the team going.”
Senior Joey Palmer then followed Calkins’ lead, gathering up a decision win of his own.
“For me it was mostly just about honing myself down and wrestling my positions and just going out there and having fun.” said Palmer. “Not overthinking it and just going out there and wrestling. That was just my mindset going into the match.”
Head Coach Jim Zalesky also was impressed by the hot start.
“Calkins was big. Palmer’s wrestling the right guy, we did what we had to do to win,” said Zalesky. “Really a lot of hustle, and a lot of shots got us to win those matches.”
After a loss in the 141 weight class, Redshirt Senior Joey Delgado defeated Stanford’s Tommy Pawelski, and just like that the Beavers were up 9-3. However, the Cardinal stole the last match before the intermission to cut the lead to 9-6.
Momentum appeared to swing in the Stanford direction, as they took a 3 point lead on a fall by Keaton Subjeck over OSU’s Weston Dobler. Another decision victory pushed the lead to 15-9 Cardinal, but the Beavers were far from finished.
At 184 pounds, Redshirt Freshman Seth McLeod had a near fall for the Beavs in the second period, followed by a quick reversal at the start of the third period to seal the victory by decision. This match was important in keeping the overall score within reach.
Leading Oregon State 15-12, Stanford’s Josh Marchok had a chance to put it away for the Cardinal, but he had to get through OSU’s Corey Griego.
Griego, a redshirt sophomore, came out with tremendous amount of energy and had two key takedowns in the third period to seal the decision at 8-5. This was a big win for both Griego personally, and the team as it tied the score at an even 15.
“I needed to get back on track after the loss to Rutgers,” said the 197-pounder. “I just needed to go out there and win, and that the rest would take care of itself.”
The last match of the night will be one to remember for Cody Crawford. The Redshirt Junior Heavyweight faced off against ninth ranked Nathan Butler.
The first period was a draw, ending at 0-0. Butler chose to start down at the beginning of the second period, and managed to get a one-point escape. This was the only scoring of the second period.
Going into the third, Crawford started down on the mat, and after a minute-long battle, he made the one-point escape to both tie the game and send the crowd into a frenzy.
However, there was no more scoring the rest of the way, and overtime ensued.
“He’s a big heavyweight,” said Coach Zalesky. “So one takedown wins it.”
As the minute-long overtime played out, Crawford started to gain the advantage, and then with 13 seconds to go on the clock, Crawford scored a takedown on Butler for a 3-1 sudden victory, and the game winner.
After the match, there was no shortage of praise going around between teammates.
“Crawford wrestled a big match,” said Corey Griego. “We got guys like Joey and Kegan starting the floor off right so big props to them. That was big of them… getting that momentum and just vibing off the energy in the crowd.”
After the win, Oregon State looks to keep it going, as they have two more dual meets coming up this week.
“That’s a big win for us,” said Kegan Calkins. “Everyone wrestled really well for the first time all season as a team, so I think that we’ll take this, carry on, and keep rolling.”
The Beavers go back on the road to face Boise State Friday, and then return to Gill on Sunday for a matchup with Arizona State.