Pac-12 Wrestling: Week 2 Round-Up
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Pac-12 Wrestling: Week 2 Round-Up

Multiple Pac-12 teams faced tough B1G opponents this week; young Sun Devils run into worthy-adversaries.

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Pac-12 Wrestling: Week 2 Round-Up
Nick Ellis/The Californian

The season is in full-swing now, and the fans were blessed with nearly non-stop wrestling this past week. Let’s catch-up with the Pac-12 and some California Wrestling!

Pac-12 Heavyweight Race Shake-up

After the news of Amarveer Dhesi’s injury, in combination with a great opening weekend, Arizona State’s Tanner Hall vaults from FloWrestling #11 to #4. Hall put up wins over Minnesota’s 2x All-American, #5 Michael Kroells and Appalachian State’s #6 Denzel Dejournette this weekend on his way to a Daktronics 285lbs title, assuming the #4 spot vacated by Dhesi.

The bump also vaults Hall over Stanford’s 2015 Pac-12 Champion, #10 Nathan Butler. If Dhesi is out for the season, Hall and Butler will likely scrap for the Pac-12 Championship at the conference tournament.

Arizona State takes out Northern Colorado, then takes on the Daktronics Open

The Sun Devils opened the season with a 24-19 dual victory over the UNC Bears, taking six matches to four. Ali Naser (133) picked up the first Sun Devils’ win in the dual before his teammates took five of the last six matches to season-opening victory. Josh Shields (157), Anthony Valencia (165), Jacen Petersen (174), and Zahid Valencia (184) all picked up wins as well as heavyweight Tanner Hall (285). ASU improves to (1-0, 0-0 Pac-12).

The Sun Devils then competed at the Daktronics Open, where Ali Naser finished 3rd. He wrestled four straight Minnesota opponents, including a wild semi-final against True Freshman Gopher Mitch McKee of Minnesota where (depending on who you ask) Naser made a mid-scramble mistake and got stuck on his back. He would beat Minnesota’s Steven Polakowski 7-5OT and Sam Brancale by fall on his road to 3rd-place.

(Oliver Pierce, right, in the 2016 Pac-12 Finals)

Teammates met in the 149lbs tournament finals, as 2x NCAA Qualifier Oliver Pierce faced off against redshirt freshman Josh Maruca. Pierce picked up a notable 4-1 victory over redshirt freshman Fredy Stroker of Minnesota in the semi-finals. Maruca won a shootout against South Dakota State’s Alex Kocer 12-10 in the semis, before beating his teammate (Pierce) 9-4 to take the tournament title.

157lber, redshirt freshman Josh Shields earned third-place after a solid tournament performance. In the quarters, Shields caught Minnesota redshirt freshman Larry Early III on his back and got the fall, before losing to Minnesota redshirt junior, returning NCAA Qualifier, Jake Short 8-6 in overtime, in the semi-finals. RS-Freshman Anthony Valencia and Junior Jacen Petersen shared the 165lbs title after they navigated their respective sides of the bracket. Petersen perhaps earned more notable wins, pinning Brandon Kingsley (Minnesota) and beating Luke Zilverberg (South Dakota State) over the day. Zahid Valencia four bonus point wins on his way to the tournament title at 174lbs. He notched a tech-fall over Nick Wanzek (Minnesota) and a major decision over David Kocer (South Dakota State).

The Sun Devils wrestled at the Journeymen Classic this weekend (word is #13 Zahid Valencia got into a firefight with All-American #8 Ethan Ramos of the University of North Carolina), and host the Ohio State Buckeyes in Tempe on 11/19. (See: Schedule)

Oregon State quietly beats Duke, slips against Appalachian State

The Oregon State Beavers starts its dual season with an even (1-1, 0-0 Pac-12) record, beating Duke in an 22-18 dual (that oddly doesn’t have results out yet). They then lost four of nine matches and forfeited another to lose to Appalachian State 25-15. SJS (California) prep, Beaver freshman Devan Turner (133) earned a decision win. 2x NCAA Qualifiers Joey Palmer (141) and Joey Delgado (149) also earned wins, the later a fall. 157lber Abraham Rodriguez earned the last win for OSU on the night.

Oregon State hosts #10 Michigan on 11/20. (See: Schedule)

CSU Bakersfield Triangular: Runners host #16 Rutgers and San Francisco State

The FloWrestling #16 team in the nation, Rutgers conquered its Veteran’s Day in the Golden State with two victories to start the season.

San Francisco State was blanked by Rutgers 45-0 after losing a 42-3 dual meet to host CSU Bakersfield. After four straight dual meets against D1 opponents, they sit at (0-4, 0-0 RMAC). The lone bright spot on the event was Redshirt Freshman Nathan Cervantes, who starts the dual-season 2-2 against his D1 opponents, picking up a major decision over Cal Poly’s Yoshi Funakoshi and a 3-2 win over CSU Bakersfield’s Carlos Herrera. Next up for the Gators is the Roadrunner Open on 11/20 and a 12/2 dual-meet against Oregon D2 power Souther Oregon.

CSU Bakersfield split its duals, beating SF State to start the day, but falling to its first D1 opponent on the season in Rutgers in a 26-15 dual. After losing by tech-fall against Cal Baptist’s Paul Head to start his year, Roadrunner heavyweight Alex Encarnacion-Strand improves to 2-1, picking up falls against SF State and Rutgers. 197lber Matt Williams is now 3-0 on the year, also earning a pair of falls after felling D2 #3 Jake Waste of Cal Baptist last week. Coleman Hammond, at 149, earned a tech-fall over SF State and a decision over Rutgers to improve to 3-0. Sean Nickell is 3-0 through the weekend as well. The Roadrunners sit at (2-0, 0-0 Pac-12) as they head into their tournament season this winter. They host the aforementioned Roadrunner Open (11/20) and compete in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite (12/2-12/3) and Reno TOC (12/18).

Cal-Poly splits duals in 2nd CP Triangular, hosts Rutgers

Cal-Poly topped Cal Baptist 30-13 to start the three-dual weekend for the Mustangs. The Mustangs took seven of ten matches, including an 8-6OT victory by true senior Travis Berridge over D2 All-American, #7 in Division 2 Nolan Kistler. Despite the poor start to the meet, Cal Baptist’s 184, 197, and 285 would close out the dual with three straight wins. Respectively, D2 #5 Nic Fiegener tech-falled Sohrab Movahedi, D2 #3 Jacob Waste tech-falled JT Goodwin, and D2 NCAA Qualifier Paul Head beat Spencer Empey. Cal Baptist sits at (0-2, 0-0 RMAC) on the year after starting its season against D1s CSU Bakersfield and Cal-Poly.

Cal-Poly then faced Northwestern, with the Wildcats beating the Mustangs 30-8. Colton Schilling (141) and Blake Kastl (165) picked up a tech-fall and decision, respectively. The next day, the Mustangs faced its third B1G opponent of the year in visiting Rutgers University.

It did not go well on Sunday afternoon for the Mustangs. Rutgers took the first nine matches of the dual (six of which were bonus points), to jump out to a 38-0 dual lead heading into heavyweight. Mustang heavyweight Spencer Empey earned a major decision to stave-off the shutout, final dual score 38-4 Rutgers.

(Spencer Empey of Cal-Poly, right)

The Mustangs (3-3, 0-1 Pac-12) host Army at West Point on 11/18. (See: Schedule)

#11 Stanford Cardinal (1-0, 1-0 Pac-12) visits NCAA Champs #5 Penn State (1-0, 0-0 B1G)

True Freshman, #12 Nick Suriano faced his first ranked-opponent and All-American thus far in his collegiate career in Stanford’s #4 Connor Schram. Schram fell 3-0 in the 125lbs match against the young Nittany Lion talent as Penn State took eight of ten matches en route to a 36-6 victory.

In a battle of All-Americans, Cardinal All-American #2 Joey McKenna faced Nittany Lion senior All-American #11 Jimmy Gulibon. McKenna beat Gulibon 6-2. NCAA Qualifier Keaton Subjeck would register the second win for Stanford on the day, when he beat talented PSU freshman Vincenzo Joseph, 18-12. Senior Cardinal All-American #10 Jim Wilson fell to Penn State’s RS-Senior NCAA Qualifier Geno Morelli 6-3. Senior Cardinal #20 Josh Marchok fell to 2x NCAA Qualifier #9 Matt McCutcheon, 3-2. In the heavyweight bout, 2x NCAA Qualifier #10 Nathan Butler (Stanford) was upset by California native, RS-Sophomore #15 Nick Nevills, 3-1. Nevills was a 3x CA State champ, but missed much of last season to injury.

Stanford (1-1, 1-0 Pac-12) hosts Purdue on 11/18. (See: Schedule)

Purdue will also wrestle Boise State in the Bronco’s dual-season opener in Palo Alto. (See: Schedule)

[Asics/FloWrestling Rankings compiled by Christian Pyles used for all D1 rankings. InterMat Rankings used for D2 rankings.]

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