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Wrestling continues through winter break

Portland State students may have the month of December off, but the Viking wrestlers have a packed schedule. With five meets written into their schedule, the grapplers look for a busy month.

This year’s team has had a strong start, knocking off Central Washington University and Simon Fraiser in decisive wins. The Vikings will face two PAC-10 opponents in December who the Viks lost to last year. UC Davis’ Aggies pulled out a one point win, 21-20, over the Vikings last season. The Cal Poly Mustangs beat the Vikings 28-16 last year and ended up finishing fifth in the PAC-10.

Senior Jeremy Wilson had success against both of the conference teams last year, with a win by fall against UC’s Jeremy Black and a major decision against Cal Poly’s Chuck Sandlin. This season the 184-pound senior is 8-0.

Not just Wilson, but several of the Vikings, have produced good numbers. Head coach Marlin Grahn is pleased with the early efforts of his wrestlers, like junior Shawn Keinonen. Keinonen wrestled well at the Southern Oregon Tournament, placing fourth, which included two wins by major decision. The junior transfer also put points up for PSU against CWU’s Kyle Smith, in a 9-3 decision.

The Vikings will attend the Reno Tournament of Champions this break. At last year’s Tournament of Champions, Wilson took third at 184 pounds and Quinn Collett placed sixth at 174 pounds. Both will look to reach the finals this year.

PSU will also face Southern Oregon on Jan. 4 here at the Peter W. Stott Center at 7 p.m. The Vikings lost to the non-conference Raiders last season 22-18. Most of the Vikings losses last season can be attributed to a young team with little depth in the weight classes. This year’s team is off to a strong start and looks to add a few more wins before the winter term starts.