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The Southern Oregon wrestling team got a good look at a wide range of competition and found out a lot about itself Saturday when the Raiders hosted the Best of the West Open.
One Raider newcomer, junior Sierra College transfer Marcus Moore, took home the championship in the heavyweight division while SOU sophomore Ricky Farrell placed second in the 174-pound tournament and junior Clackamas Community College transfer Seth Roy took second at 149 pounds.
The open tournament pitted the NAIA No.8-ranked Raiders against numerous grapplers ranging from unattached amateurs to NCAA Division I foes. SOU head coach Mike Ritchey was pleased that his team rose to the occasion.
"I thought we had a really good showing," Ritchey said. "Assuming Trevor (Lofstedt) would've been in the mix at 125, we would've been in the finals in four weights. So as tough as the tournament was, I think it was a good solid showing."
Lofstedt didn't participate so he could wrestle in an all-star event in Eugene today
Ritchey went on to say that this sort of event indicates who is ready for battle and who should perhaps wear a redshirt for the year.
"Oregon State is our next dual meet, so that's kind of where we're gauging things and gearing for," Ritchey said. "That's pretty crucial for us. We wanted to gauge ourselves against them. We beat them head-to-head at heavyweight. That was good."
It was Travis Gardner of OSU who Moore defeated 3-1 in the semifinals before beating Boise State's Nick Smith 8-3 for the heavyweight championship.
On Roy's road to his runner-up placing at 149 pounds, he defeated SOU's Tommie Hooper by a point in the quarterfinal, North Idaho College's Tim McGoldrick 4-2 in the semifinal and was outlasted by Adam Hall of Boise State, 9-8, in the championship match.
After a first-round bye and an overtime victory in the second round, Farrell faced a gauntlet of three OSU Beavers. He made easy work of OSU's Brandon Perkins, 11-1, in the quarters, Neil Beaudry, 4-2, in the semis, and was pinned by Chris Platt in the championship.
Farrell feels that the high level of competition at the event will only make him better.
"It prepares me a lot because some of the toughest competition we're going to get on the west coast, a lot of the best D-I teams &
Oregon St., Boise St., University of Oregon &
they're all here," Farrell said. "So it really helps competition-wise for me anyway because later on guys I face aren't quite as tough as these D-I guys."
SOU junior Chase Locke finished fourth in the 184-pound tournament. Locke wasn't really challenged until he lost 6-5 in the semifinals to BSU's Matt Casperson. He fell into the consolation bracket and defeated unattached Noah Berman, 4-1, and lost the third-place match to North Idaho College's Stevie Vasquez, 11-5.
Locke said tournaments like this are all practice for regionals and nationals and that he enjoys the non-stop action of a tournament.
"I have more fun wrestling in a tournament because I get more focused," Locke said. "A duel is kind of hard to prepare for. But I just go out and just think about wrestling and doing things that I want to do. That's what I do every match, just think about wrestling."
Ritchey was pleased with what he saw and is excited looking ahead to more tough competition.
"As far as what our team looks like, we're pretty optimistic," he said. "Some of our freshmen got some good experience. I think we're in good shape for conditioning as far as where we want to be with that. Technically we're pretty solid. We've got some adjustments to make, but that's part of the deal. We're looking forward to getting back in the practice room after the Thanksgiving break and get ready for Oregon State."
Redshirt junior heavyweight Skyler Massey, who shutout his opponents in his two victories and was outscored by a combined four points in his two losses, believes in the team's regimen and chances for success in the future.
"Hard work in the practice room pays off in the long term," Massey said. "We just need to win. That's what we're all about here at Southern."
Sports editor Joe Zavala can be reached at 482-3456 x 224 or joe.
Raiders shine in Best of West Open
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