Nothing was going to faze Michigan redshirt freshman Camryn Jackson. Not the hours of of cross-country travel he endured on little sleep. Not the fact that he was preparing to face Oregon State’s Michael Mangrum, the No. 2 wrestler in the 141-pound weight class in. And not that before the season Jackson never even expected to be in the starting lineup.

After turning off his blaring music which helped him focus on the task at hand rather than the odds stacked against him, Jackson stepped on to the mat and won a crucial 10-8 decision over Mangrum to propel the 16th-ranked Wolverines to a 21-18 dual-meet victory over the 10th-ranked Beavers in Corvallis, Ore.

“I didn’t really have much to lose,” Jackson said. “You go out there and give it your all. You’re wrestling the number two opponent, you wrestle him just like you’d wrestle anybody else.”

Jackson’s match against Mangrum was hard-fought from the start. The experienced Mangrum gained an initial upper hand, but Jackson refused to let up, scoring two takedowns in the final 30 seconds of the match to earn the decision.

“He just keeps fighting and working through positions and he does it the entire match and that’s why he’s winning,” said Michigan assistant coach Sean Bormet.

Jackson’s win was the culmination of a dominant start for Michigan. The Wolverines earned the first 10 points of the dual meet on a major decision by redshirt junior Sean Boyle in the 125-pound weight class followed by a decision favoring freshman Rosario Bruno and Jackson’s win. The fast start proved that Michigan was not weary from its rigorous travel schedule, which included a long flight into Oregon and a weary bus ride from the team hotel to the arena.

Before the season, few could have predicted Jackson’s early-season success. Originally in the lineup because of an injury to junior Steve Dutton, Jackson has impressed in his performances thus far, highlighted by his upset over Mangrum as he showed the poise of a seasoned veteran.

“This has all been an eye-opening experience,” Jackson said. “I’ve got the opportunity, so take advantage of it and go out there and work as hard as you can and win.”

Though Oregon State earned two-straight decisions after Jackson’s upset, Michigan remained in control. Especially after Michigan freshman Taylor Massa earned a technical fall in the 165-pound weight class, and redshirt junior Dan Yates pinning his opponent in the 174-pound weight class in 2:54 despite being bumped up a weight class. After these two victories netted Michigan 11 points, the Wolverines held a commanding 21-6 lead over the Beavers.

Though the last three Michigan wrestlers lost decisions in their matches, the Wolverines held on for a narrow victory that would have been reversed if not for Jackson’s upset.

“We’re a very young team, but we’re going to open a lot of eyes this year,” Jackson said.

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