Oregon State Wrestlers Still in Chase for National Championships

Four Beavers kept their national championship dreams alive on Thursday. (Pac-12.com)

Four members of Oregon State’s wrestling team are still looking to contend for both an individual and team national championship after finishing day one of the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships with four wrestlers still perfect.

141-pound Mike Mangrum, 149-pound Scott Sakaguchi, 197-pound Taylor Meeks, and heavyweight Chad Hanke all went 2-0 in their matches during the first day of competition in Des Moines, Iowa to keep their eyes on a national title.

And while all four wrestlers were equally impressive on Thursday, Mangrum deserves all the praise as he tied, and then passed, Les Gutches for fifth on the all-time Oregon State wrestling wins list. Gutches, who had wrestled at the university from 1993-1996, is one of the most heralded wrestlers in program history, winning two national championships over his four-year career.

Four Beavers kept their national championship dreams alive on Thursday. (Pac-12.com)
Four Beavers kept their national championship dreams alive on Thursday. (Pac-12.com)

Mangrum used an impressive effort in his first match against Nicholas Hucke of Missouri to come out with a 6-4 sudden victory decision that tied Gutches on the all-time wins list. He would then pass the heralded wrestler in his next match, downing Trevor Melde of Rutgers with a 4-2 decision. Mangrum’s record now stands at 39-4 on the season, with his streak of 20 straight victories still alive. If he wins one more match at the championships, Mangrum will become just the 18th Oregon State wrestler to reach the 40-win mark in a season.

Also helping to contribute for the Beavers in Des Moines was Sakaguchi, who was also perfect on the day. After taking down Blake Roulo of Buffalo with a 12-5 decision in his favor, Sakaguchi would then go on to defeat Ivan Lopouchanski of Purdue by way of a 4-1 decision.

Meeks also forwarded the Beavers’ cause on Thursday, defeating Maxwell Huntley of Michigan by way of a pin 1:49 into the match and Jackson Hein of Wisconsin through a 4-3 decision.

Hanke was the final Oregon State wrestler to finish the first day off on a perfect note, defeating Kevin Innis of Boston with a 41-second pin and Ernest James of Edinboro with a 4-0 decision. Like his teammate Mangrum, Hanke now holds a 20-game win streak and will look to keep extending it en route to a national championship.

Overall the Beavers sit in 5th place in the championship with 16 total points. They are currently behind Penn State, Oklahoma State, Minnesota, and Iowa in the standings. Penn State currently leads all teams with 32.5 total points.

Oregon State will now send what wrestlers they have left to day two of the event, which can be seen on ESPN3.




Chris is a graduate of the University of Oregon who is lucky enough to be pursuing his passion for writing with Eugene Daily News. Trying to help document the unique and interesting stories behind the lives of everybody. Follow him on twitter at @anderso3

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