March 16, 2001 11:00 pm

IOWA CITY, Iowa Eric Jorgensen of La Grande is an All-American wrestler for Oregon State University.

Jorgensen dropped out of championship contention Friday at the NCAA Wrestling Championships at the University of Iowa, but he won his next two matches and can finish no worse than sixth at 157 pounds.

The top eight earn All-American honors.

It feels good, Jorgensen said of the All-America finish. It will feel better when I get going and place as high as I can.

Jorgensen, the Pac-10 champion seeded fourth at 157, opened the day with a 6-5 loss to 12th-seeded Shane Roller of Oklahoma in the quarterfinals.

Jorgensen had beaten Roller in double-overtime when the two met in early February. This time, Roller scored a takedown in the third period for the victory.

Hes a good scrambler, and he came out on top in one of our scrambles, Jorgensen said of the match that ended his 16-match win streak. Hes a tough kid.

Jorgensen earned Oregon State team bonus points with an 11-0 major decision over ninth-seeded Nathan Vasquez of Fresno State. That win guaranteed him eighth place and All-American status.

Jorgensen had beaten Vasquez 3-2 and 7-0 earlier this season.

Ive wrestled him quite a few times, Jorgensen said of the wrestler who stood between him and All-America honors. He wrestled really well at this tournament and hes wrestled really well since I went against him at Fresno State (on Feb. 9); I knew I had to wrestle well to beat him. I couldnt take anything for granted.

Your back is to the wall at that point. You want to come and accomplish what youve been aiming for forever; youve got to keep going and you cant remember the loss you had.

Jorgensen then defeated Gary Maynard of Michigan State 6-2 to set up todays opening match against sixth-seeded Luke Becker of Minnesota. The winner will wrestle today for third place, while the loser will wrestle for fifth.