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OSU wrestling: Beavers cruise to win No. 1,000

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Oregon State’s wrestling team made quick work of Southern Oregon and some history at the same time on Thursday night in Gill Coliseum.

The Beavers’ 43-6 victory was the 1,000th dual meet win in program history, joining only Iowa State (1,043) and Oklahoma State (1,026) to reach that mark.

It was also the 100th victory for coach Jim Zalesky while with the Beavers.

“It means a lot,” Zalesky said of the team accomplishment. “There’s two other programs and we’re the third program. To be a part of it is special.”

Senior 184-pounder Taylor Meeks, who won his match against Ryan McWatters by technical fall, said he chose Oregon State because of its wrestling history.

“I’m just glad I could be part of that 1,000th win. It’s why I came here because of all the history, to make my mark,” he said.

Meeks was also attracted to the Beavers by Zalesky’s winning attitude, noting his coach’s three national titles while at Iowa.

“He knows what he’s doing,” Meeks said.

Teammate Joey Delgado, a sophomore, came to OSU to continue a string of wrestlers to Corvallis from Hermiston High. He was a four-time high school champion and also chose OSU for its continued success in the sport.

“It means a lot, especially coming from Oregon,” he said. “There’s a lot of background, a lot of hard work that’s been put into the 1,000 wins.”

Delgado had one of the more entertaining matches of the evening, holding off Lebanon High grad Dalton Urrutia for a 7-5 decision at 157.

Delgado trailed 2-0 early but later went back ahead 3-2 on a first-round takedown. He took the lead for good at 4-3 on an escape early in the second.

“It was a good match, but it just shows me what I need to work on,” Delgado said. “It’s a long season, so I have time to work on those things.”

At 174, Southern Oregon’s Brock Gutches pinned Oregon State’s Joe Latham midway through the third round with Latham ahead 4-2.

Gutches, a three-time NAIA national champion, is a cousin of Les Gutches, a two-time NCAA champion while at OSU.

Zalesky said he wasn’t disappointed with Latham’s effort but that he got himself in a poor position while on bottom.

“Just out of position, you know. We’ve got the match won. We’re wrestling great and we’re doing everything right,” Zalesky said. “All of a sudden we come up to a position we shouldn’t be in. That’s where we got pinned in the national tournament, something like that. Just got headlocked. We’ve just got to learn.”

OSU got off to a fast start against Southern Oregon, the top-ranked team in NAIA that finished fourth at its national tournament last season.

The Beavers got a technical fall from Ronnie Bresser (125) early in the second round, pins from Jack Hathaway (133) and Devin Reynolds (141) and another tech fall by Abraham Rodriguez at 149 to lead 22-0.

In OSU’s first dual of the season, Zalesky liked that his team “went out and wrestled” and set the pace in the match from the start.

OSU later got a win from Cody Crawford at 197. Crawford was leading Taylor Johnson, ranked second in NAIA, 5-0 when Crawford was given the victory by injury default.

“I think last year he probably would have got beat by a guy like that,” Zalesky said. “But this year he’s kind of learned to turn it around, wrestled a smart match.”

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