Rough season, happy ending

The 2003-2004 home season ended on a positive note for Portland State’s wrestling team on Wednesday. Despite falling to University of Oregon 34-13, the Vikings created momentum going forward into the Pac-10 conference meet in two weeks.

The post-match mood at the Stott Center was celebratory despite the tough year (1-15 overall, 0-9 conference), with all eyes looking forward to the coming contest.

Senior Zach Enoch left his home gym in style, winning his bout against Oregon’s Joey Lucas at 125 lbs by a score of 4-3. Enoch evened his record at 8-8 for the season, in the process gaining some insight into how to approach the coming conference meet. According to Enoch, the match gave him an accurate depiction of what he needs to do to prepare for the Pac-10 championships, adding that the whole season is prep for the championships.

In another highlight for the Vikings, sophomore 141-pounder Ben Barch earned his first conference win in convincing fashion, pinning Johnny Lugo of the Ducks in a blistering 44 seconds. Barch commented that the win felt pretty good, “It was nice to get a win, and hopefully our team can take some momentum into the Pac-10.”

Barch is nothing if not exciting. Head Coach Marlin Grahn characterized him as a pinner, “He is going to pin a lot of people. Ben is dangerous.”

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At 149 lbs, junior Eddie Dahlen continued his climb up the ranks as one of the best wrestlers in the west, earning his fourth conference win by a convincing 15-6 margin over Duck Cyle Hartzell. Dahlen leads PSU with 16 wins on the season. In this match he went for broke. “With nothing to lose in the last home dual meet, I let it all go,” he commented. When asked about his plans for the upcoming championships at Arizona State University, Dahlen said, “Winning the Pac-10 is all I have in mind.”

With early season injuries and nagging weight issues behind him, look for Dahlen to leave a mark in Tempe.

PSU sophomore Allen Kennett fell in the opener 4-3, losing another in a string of close matches at 197 lbs. Kennett remains winless in conference action. Junior heavyweight Eric Mustoe, who has also lost his share of close matches this season, fell to Cody Parke of the Ducks, 10-8.