ITHACA, N.Y. -- The No. 10 ranked Oregon State wrestling team capped off its upset win over No. 7 Cornell Sunday afternoon in thrilling fashion as heavyweight Chad Hanke pinned Cornell's Jace Bennett at the 6:27 mark to give the Beavers the 23-20 victory. The pin came late in the third period and started a frenzy of celebratory high fives and hugs from Hanke's teammates to the senior heavyweight, while stunning the more than 3,000 fans on hand in the process.
Hanke's pin was especially dramatic because OSU trailed the Big Red 20-17 heading into the final match, needing at least a decision to knot things up at 20-20. Entering Sunday's competition, the No. 4 ranked heavyweight had never earned a pin in dual competition while wrestling in his new weight class, but that all changed Sunday, as Hanke gave Oregon State it's fifth win in-a-row and his 11th, dating back to the Midlands Championships in December.
With the win, the Beavers moved to 7-3 on the season and remain 2-1 in Pac-12 competition, while Cornell fell to 9-3 and remained 4-0 in the ECWA.
While the meet ended in dramatic fashion, the beginning lacked the same flair, as the Orange and Black fell behind 5-0 after the first match, but then surged back with five consecutive wins from the 133 lb. weight class to the 157th. During that stretch Drew Van Anrooy (133 lbs.) picked up a 6-1 decision, which made it 5-3 Cornell. He was followed by 141-pounder Mike Mangrum who gave OSU a 6-5 lead with a 5-0 decision over CU's No. 6 ranked Mike Nevinger. Scott Sakaguchi extended that lead to 10-5 with an 11-3 major decision and RJ Pena boosted the Beavers confidence with a major decision of his own (16-5), in the 157 lb. bout to make it 14-5, heading into the intermission.
Coming out of the break, Seth Thomas went up against the top ranked 165 lb. wrestler in the country, Kyle Dake, who won via tech fall (19-3). It was only Thomas' second ever collegiate dual meet, following his debut a day before and the redshirt freshman hung tough, denying Dake of extending his five pin win streak to six. Following the tech fall, Cornell pulled off victories in the 174 lb. and 184 lb. matches, making it three-in-a row for the Big Red and giving them 16 crucial points to make it 20-14 CU heading into the 197 lb. match.
That's when the stage was set for OSU's dramatic comeback, put in motion by sophomore Taylor Meeks, who edged CU's Billy George by a 3-1 decision. The victory followed George's bizarre pre-match routine in which he sprinted full speed around the perimeter of the mat before the whistle blew. Meeks was not fazed by the showmanship, and neither was Hanke who dealt with a surprise opponent heading into the final bout.
Taking the spot of Cornell's normal heavyweights (Jacob Aiken-Phillips & Stryker Lane) was 197-pounder Jace Bennett, who moved up a weight class for this non-conference dual. Bennett fell behind 4-3 to Hanke after the first period, and then 7-3 after the second. Faced with the probability of 20-20 final score, the OSU heavyweight took matters into his own hands and pinned Bennett with just 33 seconds remaining in the third period, which erased the tie scenario and gave head coach Jim Zalesky and the Beavers the unquestionable upset win, their second victory in as many days.
Sunday's victory further supplants the ‘Beavs as road warriors, boasting a 5-1 record outside of Gill Coliseum this season and a 5-3 mark against nationally ranked opponents. OSU has taken four straight dual meets against teams in the top 25.
Oregon State will now take the momentum created by knocking off two of the wrestling world's most storied east coast programs into their home dual next weekend. That's when the Beavers take on Cal State Bakersfield inside Gill at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 2.
Tickets to home Beaver wrestling events can be purchased online by going to beavertickets.com or by calling 1-800-GO-BEAVS. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Oregon State ticket office inside Gill Coliseum, which is open from 9a.m. - 5p.m., Monday through Friday.
125 - Nashon Garrett (Cornell) def. Joey Palmer Tech Fall (21-3) (6:26) Cornell 5, OSU 0
133 - Drew Van Anrooy def. Bricker Dixon (Cornell) Dec. (6-1) Cornell 5, OSU 3
141 - Mike Mangrum def. Mike Nevinger (Cornell) Dec. (5-0) OSU 6, Cornell 5
149 – Scott Sakaguchi def. Chris Villalonga (Cornell) Maj. Dec. (11-3) OSU 10, Cornell 5
157 - RJ Pena def. Jesse Shanaman (Cornell) Maj. Dec. (16-5) OSU 14, Cornell 5
165 - Kyle Dake def. Seth Thomas Tech Fall (19-3) (6:21) OSU 14, Cornell 10
174 - Duke Pickett (Cornell) def. Austin Morehead Maj. Dec. (16-4) OSU 14, Cornell 14
184 - Steve Bosak def. Brian Engdahl Fall (2:24) Cornell 20, OSU 14
197 - Taylor Meeks def. Billy George Dec. (3-1) Cornell 20, OSU 17
HWT - Chad Hanke def. Jace Bennett (Cornell) Fall (6:27) OSU 23, Cornell 20
FINAL SCORE: OSU 23, Cornell 20
RECORDS: OSU (7-3) (2-1) / Cornell (9-3) (4-0)
POST MEET QUOTES
Head Coach Jim Zalesky
On the victory…
"We knew if we won the (heavyweight) match we were going to win anyway since we won six matches which is the tie breaker. We were looking to get the major which would make it 21 not 20. Then Chad got into position where he could get the fall, he got the fall and iced the victory for us that way. It is always better to end with a fall than the other way."
On Chad Hanke's performance…
"They (Cornell) didn't have their regular heavyweight, but when they don't, you have to go out there and get those bonus points. It is good practice because we've been talking about going out and scoring more points and in that match he (Hanke) did."
On how tough of an opponent Cornell was…
"We knew this was going to be a fight. We knew the way Cornell matched up with us, we thought maybe on paper it might be five-five. The thing that kept them in the match was scoring a lot of bonus points. They have some guys who can score bonus points like (Kyle) Dake and (Steve) Bosak and we gave up some bonus points at 125 and 174 that maybe we weren't expecting, so bonus points are big in a dual meet."
On defeating Lehigh and Cornell on consecutive days…
"I think it's just good to go out and wrestle two of the traditional top teams in Lehigh and Cornell. It is good to get out of our conference, come back here and wrestle the two programs in the east that are well known for wrestling. It is also good to get different styles of wrestling this time of year, so it was good to come out here for those reasons."
Senior Heavyweight Chad Hanke
On his walk-off pin…
"That's everybody's dream when they get into college wrestling, to have a situation like that where it comes down to you, winning a big match in a big way. I just happened to be the last guy wrestling and it was a whole team effort. Everybody had to do their part to get me in that situation and I am just grateful that I got the pin and we got the win."
On being the last to wrestle…
"Everybody loves heavyweights because in duals it usually comes down to the big boys, so for me to be the last guy and to get a win like that for the team, it is really cool. I am really honored."
On the momentum this win creates for the team…
"It shows us that we are not the same team we were when we wrestled Michigan (Nov. 16). We are getting ready for the National Duals now and win like this against a big school shows people that we are contenders. We have a good team, it is time for us to show it."
POST MEET NOTES
--The Beavers have now won five dual meets in-a-row for the first time since the five straight they claimed last season against Northern Colorado, North Dakota State, Boise, Stanford and finally Iowa State in the National Duals (Jan. 20 – Feb. 12, 2012).
--OSU has won two-dual meets in two days for the first time since Dec. 10-11, 2011, when they defeated Cal State Bakersfield (45-4) and Cal Poly (36-6) on the road in a 48-hour span.
--With his decision Sunday, 141 pounder Mike Mangrum moved into sole possession of seventh place on the all-time career wins list with 125, he passes Greg Strobel (1971-74, 190 lbs.), with 124.
--Senior heavyweight Chad Hanke's pin gave him 106 total victories for his career, placing him in a tie with Trent Flack (1989-90, 92-93) and Tom Phillip (1971-74) for 17th on the all-time program list.
--Hanke's 11 match winning streak is the second highest on the team this season, bested only by RJ Pena's 12 he reeled off from the Cliff Keen Las Vegas invite (Nov. 30) to the Midlands Championships (Dec. 29).
--The Orange and Black boast at least three wrestlers with six or more wins in-a-row including Hanke (11), Mangrum (10) and Pena (6).
--Oregon State is now 3-1 against Cornell all-time dating back to 1997, this was the two school's first meeting since 1999.
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