Wrestlers finish classic at even 2-2

Portland State wrestling (5-8, 2-3 Pac-10) traveled to Redmond last Friday for the Oregon Classic. The Vikings came away with two wins, one of which was against Pac-10 opponent CalState Fullerton. The Vikings were unable to reach the championship finals after falling to the Air Force 29-14. The Air Force Falcons advanced to the finals and PSU wrestled off against Brown University.

The Vikings destroyed Simon Fraser 44-4 in their first match of the tournament. However, several of Simon Fraser’s top wrestlers were wrestling at a National Tournament.

“Their best kids were away,” head coach Marlin Grahn said. “This week’s match should be a lot closer.”

Next on the mat for Portland State was CalState Fullerton, who the Vikings had already put away, 26-15, last Wednesday. The Vikings made some line-up changes this time against the Titans to get other guys some experience. PSU beat CalState 23-18, giving the Viks a second straight win over the Titans in the same week. At 125 pounds, Casey Kotter got a second straight pin over CalState Fullerton. Kotter also won his match against Simon Fraser by fall.

According to Grahn, even though the scores against the Titans from Wednesday and Friday were close, the match up was better.

The tough Air Force Falcons kept the Vikings out of the championship round by taking advantage of their two early pins. Kotter lost his match to the Falcon opponent, but just as easily could have won; giving up crucial points that could gone either way. Kotter ended the Classic 3-1.

“This match (Air Force) was up and down. We didn’t respond well to their aggressiveness,” Grahn said.

Portland State hit the mats again against Brown University in a bonus dual meet. The dual was equally matched with each team winning five matches. Unfortunately Brown’s Bears had one more win by fall, giving them the advantage. The Vikings almost won the close match, but 149-pound Ryan Thomas was reversed for two points with five seconds to go, falling 4-3. The Bears won the dual 21-18.

“Overall the guys wrestled great,” Grahn concluded.

Fortifying a strong team performance at the tournament, individual performances by junior Randy Davidson and senior Jeremy Wilson showed strength and agility. Davidson was undefeated at the Classic going 4-0; three at 197 pounds and one at 285 (a huge jump in weight class). Wilson added three more wins to his all-time Viking win list going 3-0 and 23-3 overall this season. Wilson moves up to third in all-time career wins at PSU with 106.

Portland State will face Simon Fraser for the third time this Friday at the Peter Stott Center at 7 p.m.