2001-02 Wrestling Opens Season Against

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Oct. 26, 2001

Looking Ahead...The Cardinal open the season at home against the Midshipmen of Navy on Friday Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. Stanford then opens Pac-10 competition on Saturday Nov. 10 at noon against the Oregon Ducks.

The Buddie File...Steve Buddie, a former Stanford All-American and Pacific-10 Conference champion, begins his first year as Stanford's head coach after serving as Top Assistant for the past three seasons. As a student-athlete he was a three-time NCAA qualifier, the 1991 Pac-10 champion, and finished 4th and 9th at the NCAA Championships, all at 167 pounds. He was voted winner of the 1991 Biff Hoffman Award for being the most outstanding male senior athlete at Stanford. He was twice voted as California's collegiate wrestler of the year, as well as outstanding wrestler twice by his teammates. He still holds the Stanford record for all-time winningest wrestler, with 109 career victories. He had an overall dual meet record of 38-1-2, and never lost a home meet in his four years on The Farm.

2000-01 in Review...The 2000-01 season was a rebuilding year for the Cardinal, who went 4-9 overall in dual meets and finished 0-6 in Pac-10 meets. Stanford finished in ninth place at the Pac-10 Championships, where heavyweight Brad Selby continued to show improvement as he captured the top finish for the Cardinal as he took fifth place. Levi Weikel-Magden (141) and Harold Penson (184) both snagged sixth place finishes at the conference championships. Penson and teammate Justin Walker (133) look to make a impact after they posted 20-plus win seasons last year.

Offseason Changes...While the Stanford coaching staff remains intact, the titles have changed a bit. Top assistant Steve Buddie has been promoted to head coach, while assistant coach Jay Jackson steps into the top assistant role vacated by Coach Buddie. Longtime head coach Chris Horpel moves into a new role as Stanford's Director of Wrestling. Horpel will be now be primarily dedicated to the promotion and longevity of wrestling at Stanford University. Horpel's new position will also give him greater flexibility in his role as Head Coach of the nationally recognized Dave Schultz Wrestling Club.

The Upcoming Season...The Cardinal return all ten starters from last season and also await the debut of several freshman, including redshirts Brad Metzler (133), Scott Polley (157) and Matt Gentry (149). Sophomores Nathan Peterson (125), John Garfinkel (165), Garrett Johnston (174) and Matt Twomey (125) are all returning starters for Stanford and will be expected to make an immediate impact. Incoming freshmen Ray Blake (125), Ryan Hagen (165/174) and Nick Lukens (184/197) also have a chance at seeming action throughout the season. 'We are still a young team,' said Buddie, 'but I cannot say we are inexperienced. All our starters this year are ready to compete at the Division I level. We have a great mix of youth, experience, and talent which will certainly create some exciting moments for us this season. We are turning a very important corner in our program's history, and before long, Stanford will be a consistent Top 25 team.'

Weight-by-Weight...125 pounds: Returning sophomore Nathan Peterson is expected to retain his starting position after posting nine wins last year, five in Pac-10 competition. Behind Peterson is junior Mike Copperman, who is returning after ACL rehabilitation. Copperman should be a contender for the starting role. Redshirt freshman Bryan Johnson will also challenge at this weight. Incoming freshman Ray Blake is expected to redshirt the season.

133 pounds: Redshirt freshman Brad Metzler will claim the starting spot. Metzler brings with him a perfect high school career (120-0 record), an exceptional redshirt campaign (16-3), and a berth on the Greco-Roman Junior World Team last spring. Backing up Metzler will be redshirt freshman AJ Magnuson. Magnuson has shown steady improvement, and should see ample mat time this year.

141 pounds: In 2000-01, Justin Walker registered 25 victories to lead the Cardinal in wins. Walker is expected to improve on his rookie campaign with another starting position and an NCAA berth. Also competing for starting time will be Kenji Arai, Brendon Fox and Eric Schwartz. Arai tallied six wins last year, as did Fox.

149 pounds: Ready to storm the Pac-10 is Matt Gentry. Gentry earned two state titles in Oregon, and has already proven in both redshirt competition and in last spring's Freestyle/Greco season that he is All-American material. Likely moving up a weight class will be senior Levi Weikel-Magden. With a sixth place finish in the conference last season, Weikel-Magden looks to complete his career at Stanford with another strong season. Also pushing Gentry for the starting spot will be redshirt freshmen Sam Lofland and Chris Hayworth and incoming freshman Zack Hensley.

157 pounds: Redshirt freshman Scott Polley will likely grab the starting spot this season. A punishing takedown artist, Polley should make his mark in the Pac-10 right away. Also at 157 is incoming freshman Luis Vendrell who ended his high school career with a third place finish in the Oregon state tournament this past winter.

165 pounds: With a year as Stanford's starter under his belt, John Garfinkel is poised for a breakout year. A physical wrestler, who tends to be hard to score against, Garfinkel brings great experience to this weight class. Also experienced is sophomore Garrett Johnston who has lost some weight, and could challenge for a starting spot here. Also jockeying for a starting role will be incoming freshmen Imad Kharbush and Brennan Corbett. Both Kharbush and Corbett are former high school state champions who are expected to be significant contributors for the Cardinal over the next four years.

174 pounds: This weight class has no definite starter in the preseason. Jesse Otero comes into his Stanford career with four straight years of placing in the New Mexico state tournament. Another challenger for the starting job will be incoming freshman and high school standout Ryan Hagen. Hagen was a three-time state champion in Montana, and will have an immediate impact on the program. Also, any one of the three 165-pounders (Johnston, Kharbush, Corbett) could make the move to 174-pounds. Jimmy Overton, a two-time Canadian National Judo Champion, will also challenge at this weight class.

184 pounds: Team leader and one of the Cardinal's most athletic wrestlers, Harold Penson, will again be Stanford's 184-pounder. Penson comes off a career best 20-win season, and will look to head to his first NCAA tournament this year. He will be pushed by newcomers Mark Egesdal and Larry Ozowara. Egesdal had a perfect senior year that was capped off with a state title. Ozowara put together a great senior season, falling just one match short of placing in the California state tournament. Both will see ample mat time this season.

197 pounds: One of Stanford's thinner weight classes, returning sophomore Matt Twomey is expected to compete at 197-pounds. Twomey showed great poise and potential after being thrust into a starting role last year as a true freshman. Also looking to either redshirt or share starting time is former Ohio state champion Nick Lukens. Lukens should prove to be a major contributor in the upcoming years on The Farm.

285 pounds: Stanford's highest returning Pac-10 placewinner Brad Selby will again be Stanford's heavyweight. Selby has shown steady improvement since making the transition to wrestling from football and has lofty goals for this season. Selby will also look for his first NCAA championship appearance this year. Also at heavyweight is a likely redshirt candidate, Shawn Ritzenthaler. Ritzenthaler, a state placewinner and former Cadet Freestyle All-American, is an athletic heavyweight who will be very successful in the future.

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