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Dual season closes, wrestlers prepare for championship

The Portland State wrestling squad wrapped up its 2002 regular season with a final dual match against Boise State. The Vikings suffered a 7-32 loss to the Broncos earlier in the season and looked to head into the Pac-10 Championships with a win. Unfortunately for Portland State, injuries and forfeits helped Boise State roll up a 33-9 win.

The Vikings have generally been successful in the upper weights and struggled in the lower classes. This time the Broncos ran through the first seven Vikings. PSU was behind 33-0 until junior Quinn Collett, put PSU on the board with an 11-7 decision at 174 pounds. Collett, who has the second best record on the team at 23-8, lost in his prior meetings with his Bronco opponent. Collett was also wrestling with an injured knee that sidelined him in the Oregon meet.

“This was a good win for Quinn Collett,” head coach Marlin Grahn said.

Following up his teammate’s performance, senior Jeremy Wilson gave the Viks three more points with a decision at 184 pounds. Winning his final home match as a Viking also put Wilson ahead of PSU great Rick Sanders for fourth on the all-time wins list. He is 31-5 overall this season. Wilson’s back injury has plagued his last several matches, but a week of rest before the championships will help.

“Something happened this week,” Wilson said of his injury, “but it feels a lot better now.”

Closing out the third and final win for Portland State was junior Randy Davidson. Davidson earned a 12-5 decision over his Bronco opponent at 197 pounds to let the Vikings close out their regular season on three straight wins.

“I’ve been wrestling a lot better than last year, wrestling better and tougher,” Davidson said. “I just need to get rid of this cold.”

Davidson has the third best record on the team at 23-11 and hopes to use the momentum of his win over Bronco Jacob McGinnis to take care of business in the Pac-10 Championships.

“Randy wrestled a great kid,” Grahn added.

The Vikings go into the Pac-10 Championships with a record of 9-14, 3-7 in the conference. The championships will bring tough matches for the Vikings, with the defending champions from Arizona State, Oregon, Boise State and host Oregon State. The Vikings will be returning to the championship for the fourth time since reentering the Division I and have finished eighth the past two seasons.

The Pac-10 Championships are do or die for the Viking wrestlers. Only the top four finishers in each weight class will automatically qualify for the 2002 NCAA Wrestling Championships, which are held in Albany, N.Y.

Wilson, who is ranked 19th nationally at 184 pounds, and first in the Pac-10, is favored to take the conference title. This season marks his third straight appearance at the NCAA’s. Wilson is 10-0 against Pac-10 opponents in 2002.

Along with Wilson, Davidson and Collett also have strong records against conference opponents and have a good chance to advance to nationals. Davidson is 7-3 in the conference and Collett is 6-3.

In the speedier weights at 125 pounds, Zac Enoch defeated Casey Kotter for the starting spot in the Pac-10 Championships. Kotter lost to Enoch 2-0 and will sit out the tournament despite having the fourth most wins on the team (15) and a team-leading wins by pin (6).

“We just have to get some guys healed up,” Grahn said as the team gets rested for this weekend. “They just need to take it one match at a time.”