The Oregon State wrestling team will try to carry the momentum it gained from an upset of Stanford on Monday into two more Pac-12 wins this weekend.
The Beavers (3-6, 1-0) face Boise State (1-7, 0-2) in the annual Border War at 6 p.m. Friday in Boise, Idaho, then hosts Arizona State (7-4, 0-1) at 1 p.m. Sunday in Gill Coliseum.
OSU unveiled a new wrestling mat and a revamped lineup in edging the 21st-ranked Cardinal 18-15. New 184-pounder Seth McLeod, a transfer from BSU, ignited a closing rally by winning his first varsity match.
“I think we are wrestling better,” coach Jim Zalesky said. “It helps that Joey Delgado (149) is back in the lineup” after missing three duals with a knee injury.
“He and (141-pounder Jack) Hathaway got hurt at the Midlands and now they are feeling better. They were wrestling without any workouts. Now they have some workouts under their belts and that will help them.
“We need sustained effort, with emotion, every time we step out onto the mat. We can’t have a letdown now, we have to ramp it up another notch.”
A redshirt freshman from Post Falls, Idaho, who was a two-time state champion and two-time state runner-up at Post Falls High, McLeod joined the team for winter term after spending his first year-and-a-half at Boise State. He decisioned Zach Nevills 9-2 on Monday in his debut.
His addition enabled freshman Bob Coleman to drop down to 174, his best weight, and let redshirt freshman Weston Dobler go at 165.
Boise State has no wrestlers in the InterMat rankings. ASU has four: No. 2 Zahid Valencia (174); No. 8 Tanner Hall (heavyweight); No. 8 Anthony Valencia (165); and No. 13 Josh Shields (157).
The Beavers snapped a three-match losing streak by defeating the Cardinal for their first win since Dec. 15.
“Winning cures a lot of things anytime you’re not doing well,” Zalesky said. “It helps you go back in the (practice) room and get to work; it helps you to believe what the coaches are telling you.”