Grapplers start season in Ashland

The Portland State Wrestling team gets its season underway this Saturday at the Southern Oregon Tournament in Ashland, Ore. The first matches are scheduled to start at 9 a.m.

This year’s team is described as young and experienced. Several wrestlers already have the PAC-10 experience from last year. The team is not as young as last year’s. As opposed to last year’s squad with 12 freshmen, this year eight sophomores and five juniors fill 13 of the Vikings’ weight classes.

“We will be more solid this year, there’s no question about that,” coach Grahn stated in a press release. “The quality of our depth is the biggest improvement.”

Last year’s runner-up at PAC-10 Championship, Jeremy Wilson is ranked at number one this year at 184-pounds. Wilson is the team’s lone returning senior. Wilson will lead the team into the 2001-02 season trying to break into Portland State’s top 10 wins list. Amateur Wrestling News ranks Wilson 10th and Intermat Wrestling ranks the senior 11th starting the season.

Two of the sophomores faced off at the 125-pound spot Monday for the starting spot. Zac Enoch defeated Casey Kotter for the start.

Stuart Eggertson defeated freshman Tommy Quesenberry by fall in both matches to earn the starting spot. Eggertson, a senior, hasn’t wrestled since high school.

“Both wrestlers have been working hard and should see a lot of starting time,” Grahn said.

Ben Arbogast, a prevailing freshman at 141-pounds, defeated sophomore Casey Banks.

Junior Eric Arbogast, who was a qualifier for the NCAA Championships in 1999, was unseated by freshman Danny Harless for the 149-pound weight class. Harless was a two-time State Champion at Bonaza high school.

Moving up to the 157-pound class is sophomore Ryan Thomas. Thomas missed the final month of the previous season due to an injury. Thomas will have to face off against junior transfer Shawn Keinoen for the dual meets this year. The transfer is coming off a great season at Clackamas Community College where he was an All-American.

“This is another good match-up that could go either way,” Grahn said.

Finishing out the roster is Quinn Collett, ranked fourth in the PAC-10 at 174-pounds, Randy Davidson and Matthew O’Conner at 197-pounds and Joe Johnson and Eric Mustoe as the two sophomore heavyweights. Johnson was a surprise finisher at last year’s PAC-10 Championships, placing sixth.