Beavers' Jack nearing end to standout career

There isn't a whole lot that Clayton Jack hasn't accomplished in four-plus years with the Oregon State wrestling program.

That fact narrows his focus even more as he gets ready for his final weeks with the Beavers.

"I want to be a national champion. That's the only goal I have, and that's the only goal I want," the senior heavyweight said.

The Vacaville (Calif.) High School graduate made his final trip as a Beaver to northern California on Sunday when 17th-ranked Oregon State defeated Stanford, 22-14. Jack posted a 3-1 victory over Dan Scherer.

Jack and the team then returned to Corvallis to get ready for the Pac-12 championships, Feb. 26 at Boise State. A solid conference finish would give him a fourth straight berth in the NCAA championships, March 15-17 in St. Louis, Mo.

Jack has a 30-1 record following a 15-5 major decision over J.T. Felix of Boise State on Friday and his victory over Scherer.

On Jan. 22, he recorded an 8-4 win over Evan Knutson of North Dakota State in Jack's final match at Gill Coliseum.

"Just another match," he said simply.

Jack wasn't denying the significance of the Senior Day moment. He just continued a new approach he said has helped him to his fast start.

"In the past, I think I put too much thought into each match," he said. "This season I'm really going out and just having fun. This is my last chance. I figure I'd better have a good time and try to go out with a bang."

You can't argue with the results. Jack won his first 24 matches before a 2-0 loss to Anthony Nelson of Minnesota in the finals of the Southern Scuffle on Jan. 2 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

He's bounced back with six straight wins and seems poised to win a Pac-12 crown and make some noise at the NCAA meet.

Jack is used to getting up for big meets. He helped lead Vacaville to the California Interscholastic Federation state title as a senior in 2007, pinning all five of his opponents en route to the state heavyweight crown. He was named an All-American before heading to Oregon State.

After redshirting, he posted a 23-12 record as a freshman. He went 35-11 in 2010 and 25-11 last year.

He has a career mark of 111-35 and has plenty of chances to improve on that total.

"I think it's all between the ears," he said. "Anyone you wrestle is going to be tough, so you can't get caught up in who's ranked where, and what people's records are. You just have to go out and have fun."

Jack, 23, plans to graduate in the spring with a degree in human development-family science.

He plans to return to the mat next fall — as a graduate assistant with the team.

"I want to stick around and help out. They're going to be loaded next year, and I want to be a part of it," he said. "I want to get a national title this year, and then come back and help the team win a national title next year."

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