2000-01 Wrestling Outlook
Oct. 26, 2000
This season, the Cardinal wrestling team has a young squad that is ready to make its mark in the Pac-10. While Stanford loses the heart of its lineup to graduation - Rudy Ruiz (125), Zach Zimmerer (133), Warren McPherson (157) and Clay Hackerman (165) - it looks to young faces to lead Stanford to a strong 2000-2001 campaign.
'This year we have only one returning Pac-10 placewinner in Andy Hunter (197),' said head coach Chris Horpel, now in his 22nd season as Stanford's head coach. 'When you lose strong leaders like we did after last season, you have to believe that new leaders will come forward and take the team in the right direction,' continued Horpel. He believes that this new leadership could come in many different forms, but will count on strong contributions from veterans Hunter (197), Ryan Jung (Jr, 125), Levi Weikel-Magden (Jr, 149), Justin Walker (So, 133), Shawn Harmon (Jr, 157), and Brad Selby (So, 285).
Andy Hunter comes into this season fresh off of a 5th place finish at last year's Pacific-10 Conference Championship. His experience should prove vital to both the team and to his own individual success this year. Levi-Weikel Magden (141) and Justin Walker (133) shared starting duties last year at 141 pounds, and both hope to surpass their achievements of last season. Ryan Jung (125) will be competing for a starting spot, but has been a leader both in and out of the wrestling room for three years. Shawn Harmon (157) looks to put his experience to the test, coming in behind two of Stanford's strongest 157-pounders in history (All-American Beau Weiner '99, and NCAA qualifier Warren McPherson '00). And, after choosing to stop playing football and concentrate solely on wrestling, Brad Selby looks to commit his talent to Cardinal wrestling after a very respectable showing in the second half of the 1999-2000 campaign.
Horpel is also elated about having former Stanford wrestler and assistant coach, Jay Jackson, back on the Cardinal staff. 'Having Jay back with us is a blessing. He is a multi-talented coach who will round out our staff, and bring an even greater enthusiasm to our program.' With three full-time coaches to share duties, Stanford wrestling will move up the ranks of the Pac-10.
The following is a breakdown of the Cardinal lineup by weight class:
Sophomore Mike Copperman and junior Ryan Jung will likely battle things out for the starting job here. Rudy Ruiz owned this starting spot for four straight years, but Copperman and Jung bring some strong performances into this year as they fight to earn a varsity spot. State champion Nathan Peterson of Indiana, an Asics Honorable-Mention All-American, will likely redshirt, but could very well push for a start as a true freshman. Also in the mix at this weight class are incoming freshmen, AJ Magnuson (3rd in MA), and state qualifier Bryan Johnson (CA). In addition, 112-pound junior Patricia Miranda, is number two on the USA Wrestling women's freestyle ladder and is eligible to compete here.
With the departure of four-time NCAA qualifier Zach Zimmerer, Stanford looks to new leadership at this weight class. Sophomore Justin Walker seems to be the early choice here. He has spent most of his career at 141 pounds, but is small enough to make this weight division. Walker placed 2nd and 3rd in Washington, and has seen valuable starting time thus far in his collegiate career. Looking to push Walker for this spot is fifth-year senior Stu White. White enters his final season as one of the team's inspirational leaders and most seasoned veterans. Also challenging for this spot will be reliable three-year veteran Kayvon Bina. Star recruit Brad Metzler (NE), who did not lose a match in his entire four years of high school, could challenge Walker, but will likely redshirt this year. Metzler is Nebraska's first-ever undefeated four-time state champion. Another likely redshirt candidate and future star is four-time state finalist Eric Schwartz (1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd in WA). Another likely redshirt is freshman Chris Hayworth (CA), although 141 lbs. may end up being more suitable for the young Hayworth.
This spot will be fought over by a strong group of talent. Clearly the Cardinal's deepest weight class, the starting spot will be fought over by a triumvirate of talent in Levi Weikel-Magden (Jr), Paul Gross (Fr), and Kenji Arai (So). The most experienced of the group is junior Levi Weikel-Magden who finished 11-9 at 141 pounds last season. In high school, Gross placed 2nd and 4th in the California state championships and was 6th in the Junior Nationals in Greco-Roman. Arai, fresh off a redshirt season, is also coming off of a broken leg suffered this summer, so may need some recuperation time. Incoming star Matt Gentry (1st, 1st, 2nd, 7th in OR) is coming off an amazing summer in which he garnered Greco-Roman All-American status. Gentry is a redshirt candidate, but will also push the starters here.
Last year's starter, sophomore Isaiah Camp is the logical choice here. Camp has gained size, but if he can remain at this weight, he should be a reliable starter again this season. Using a redshirt year last season, but ready for action is highly touted four-time state champion Brendon Fox (MO). He could also see some starting time in this weight division. The future of this weight class will have to factor in outstanding freshman Sam Lofland (1st, 1st, 3rd in OR).
Shawn Harmon brings years of collegiate experience into what he is hoping will be his first starting role on the Farm. Standout freshman Scott Polley (2nd, 2nd, 4th in KS) may try to make the 149-pound weight class, but could prove vital in a starting role here as a true freshman.
With the departure of team leader Clay Hackerman, redshirt freshman John Garfinkel could get the early nod here. Garfinkel, who holds California's career high school pin record, is a ferocious wrestler with unlimited potential. He should be very fun to watch this season. Also ready to challenge in this weight class is a highly heralded freshman from the Midwest, Garrett Johnston (1st, 3rd, 4th in OK). If Johnston is ready to step in, he could reap great results immediately.
Once considered a walk-on who hoped to win a varsity award, Harold Penson has developed into a reliable starter for the Cardinal. Penson puts a challenging freshman year behind him as he carries high expectations into the 2000-01 campaign. Pushing Penson will be incoming freshman Jesse Otero (2nd, 4th, 5th, 5th in NM). Otero was a three-sport standout in Albuquerque and is expected to do great things for Stanford in the near future.
With the loss of several integral teammates at this weight, redshirt freshman Bill Schneider will get the call here. Schneider, (2nd, 3rd in GA) a very strong and tenacious competitor, has earned the starting role through a year of hard work, and will be ready for the challenge. If sophomore and returning starter Harold Penson decides not to drop to 174, he will challenge at this weight as well.
Junior Pac-10 placewinner Andy Hunter will be the starter here. Hunter is a talented athlete from Sacramento, who has lofty goals coming into the season. Hunter registered some key victories last season for the Cardinal, including a fifth place finish at the Pac-10 championships. He will be pushed by much-improved sophomore Fred Luminoso (CA). Also figuring into this weight class will be true freshman Matt Twomey (5th in MI).
Unchallenged here will be sophomore Brad Selby. Selby began wrestling in January of last season, and made an amazingly speedy transition into Division I wrestling. Putting his football career behind him, Selby will anchor the squad this year, tipping the scales at a healthy 280 pounds.