ATHERTON, Calif. – There is something about #9 Southern Oregon University taking on #6 Menlo College in Men's Wrestling that always makes the night special. These are two of the best programs in the nation, and have a long-standing rivalry that goes back into the early 2000s. Menlo entered the night not having beaten Southern Oregon twice in one season since 2003, which also happened to be the last time Menlo beat Southern Oregon at home. The Raiders made the trip down to Atherton and it proved to be a fruitful one, as they bested Menlo 27-18 in a tightly contested dual that came down to the wire.
The night began in favor of the Oaks after the first three decisions went to the Navy and White, wearing white on White Out Night. #5 Troy Lakin kicked off the festivities with a dominating win over Ian Rogers 19-6, handily taking care of the match by building a comfortable in the first round. #10 Blaysen Terukina was up next for Menlo, matched up against Casey Coulter. In one of the more defensive-minded matches of the night, Terukina rode an early takedown in the first round to a 2-1 victory. The third ranked wrestler in a row for Menlo was #3 Steele Escobedo, who defeated Justin Acuff 4-3 after an escape in the second round that broke a tie score. With a 10-0 team score, the momentum seemed to be rolling in Menlo's favor.
The next four matches felt the pendulum swing right back to Southern Oregon, and they took control of the dual from this point on. Three consecutive pins were earned, with two of them coming from ranked wrestlers. #2 Tyler Cowger pinned Rogelio Bravo at 2:47 to get the Raiders on the scoreboard, and he was followed up by Chandler Michael who pinned James Luscombe at 1:15. With Southern Oregon up 12-10, one more ranked wrestler was on tap to win via pin fall. #3 Hunter Hodges defeated Erik Stockwell in the 165 class with a pin at 1:39, and Southern Oregon was up 18-10. After an Andrew Orr win over Isaac Rangel 2-1, a 21-10 lead was almost insurmountable for Menlo.
They needed #9 Tyler Noon to come up with a pin to get back in the dual. Noon was up against Oscar Flores in the 184 weight class, and nearly had him square on his back several times in the first round. He accumulated 18 points and pitched the shutout, but earned a tech fall victory instead of a pin, so the Menlo deficit stood at 21-15. #9 Tanner Fischer made sure the night was won by the Raiders with a pin of Brady Rivera at 2:14, and this ended any hope of Menlo making a comeback. #9 Javier Gonzalez finished up the night in a positive way for Menlo, defeated Alejandro Sandoval 8-4, and ending the scoring at 27-18 in favor of the visiting Raiders.
Menlo College Men's Wrestling stays in the Bay Area to participate in the California Collegiate Open in San Francisco on Saturday, January 28. They will return home one final time on February 3 to host Simpson University for Senior Night.
SOUTHERN OREGON 27, Menlo 18
125 - #5 Troy Lakin, MC, maj. dec. Ian Rogers, 19-6 (0-4)
133 - #10 Blaysen Terukina, MC, dec. Casey Coulter, 2-1 (0-7)
141 - #3 Steele Escobedo, MC, dec. Justin Acuff, 4-3 (0-10)
149 - #2 Tyler Cowger, SOU, p. Rogelio Bravo, 2:47 (6-10)
157 - Chandler Michael, SOU, p. James Luscombe, 1:15 (12-10)
165 - #3 Hunter Hodges, SOU, p. Erik Stockwell, 1:39 (18-10)
174 - Andrew Orr, SOU, dec. Isaac Rangel, 2-1 (21-10)
184 - #9 Tyler Noon, MC, tech. fall Oscar Flores, 18-0, 3:00 (21-15)
197 - #9 Tanner Fischer, SOU, p. Brady Rivera, 2:14, (27-15)
285 - #9 Javier Gonzalez, MC, dec. Alejandro Sandoval, 8-4 (27-18)