Although as a team the Vikings had a rough season in 2003, individually they had great success. Last week, Portland State placed last in the Pac-10 Championships with 31.5 team points but had three high individual placers: Eric Arbogast (2nd), Quinn Collett (5th) and Randy Davidson (6th).
Arbogast, wrestling at 165 pounds, automatically qualifies for his second NCAA Championship appearance in Kansas City, Mo., due to his second-place finish. The 165-pound senior dominated his first two matches of the tournament but suffered a tough loss in the finals.
Arbogast beat Keith Kroeger of Cal Poly 6-1 in the first match and then upset the number-two seed from Oregon State, Matt Ellis, 9-4. Unfortunately, for the Vikings grappler, the number-one seed for Arizona State, Nick Frost, was too much to overcome. Frost defeated Arbogast 13-4 in the finals.
Although Arbogast didn’t win the Pac-10 title, he still got one step closer to his final goal, winning the title of national champion.
“My goal is to win the national championship, definitely,” Arbogast said. “I will really have to be on top of my game, no mistakes and wrestle my perfect match.”
Collett crushed his first opponent, 8-0, at 174 pounds, but dropped his second match to the number one-seed, also from Arizona State, Curtis Owens. He tried to battle his way back through the consolation bracket, pinning his next opponent from Cal State Bakersfield. Collett then dropped his match in the consolation semifinal, but won a technical fall over Harold Penson of Stanford, 17-1, and took fifth place. By placing fifth, Collett is the third alternate to the NCAA Championships. His status in the tournament will not be known until several days before the competition starts.
At 197 pounds, Randy Davidson, went 1-3 at the championships. He lost his first match to the top seed for Oregon State, and then won his first consolation match over Larry Ozowara of Stanford, 11-3. Davidson dropped both of his final matches, including a second rematch with Jason Lovell, the top seed from OSU, to place sixth.
Arizona State’s team won the Pac-10 Championship with 134 points, followed by defending 2002 Champions Boise State with 127 points.
Arbogast will represent Portland State and battle for a national title March 20 in Missouri.