No. 6 Oregon State returns 22 letter-winners after losing five from last year’s roster. Three of the 22 returning were 2012-13 All-Americans and NCAA participants: No. 2 Sakaguchi, No. 5 Pena, and No. 1 Meeks, as ranked earlier this year by InterMat.
As this is the first competition for the Beavers, the coaching staff is looking forward to seeing the potential of their squad.
“We’re looking at this as an opportunity to see these guys compete,” said Associate Head Coach Troy Steiner. “That’s the biggest thing for us right now.”
In addition, as the first go-around of the year, the Beavers are looking to start the season off right.
“It’s their first competition so I feel it’s important for them to set the tone of the season, set the tone for how they want to wrestle and how they want to be viewed as a wrestler.” Steiner said. “You only get one quick chance to make that first impression; you get that one chance to put fear into your opponent.”
Last year, in certain weight groups, Oregon State had two wrestlers going head to head.
“We kind of use this as our intra-squad because we know a lot of our guys are going to meet up,” Steiner said. “And at those weights that do meet up, it will decide the team for the first part of the year.”
When it comes to determining the lineup going into the rest of the season, competition is what they value the most.
“The stiffest competition may be within our own team; we always go by how they do in competition,” Steiner said. “We like to let these guys do the talking on the mat.”
The Mike Clock Open is set for Sunday at Pacific University. Be sure to check www.osubeavers.com for results.