Stanford Set to Host 2006 Pac-10 Championships

Feb. 22, 2006

Stanford, Calif. - Stanford wrapped up the regular season last week and is set to host the 2006 Pac-10 Conference Championships this Sunday and Monday, Feb. 26 & 27 in Maples Pavilion. The 10 Cardinal wrestlers competing this weekend will seek one of the 40 conference spots to the NCAA Championships, which will be held on March 16-18 at the Downtown Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Stanford finished the season under first-year head coach with an 8-7 record and a 4-4 mark in Pac-10 duals. The Cardinal will look to improve upon its ninth-place finish at the conference tournament last year.

Final seedings and brackets will be announced on Saturday, following the coaches' meeting. Updated brackets, team standings and all the information about the conference championships is available at GoStanford.com.

Tickets for the event are on sale through the Stanford ticket office. Single session tickets are $10 per adult and $6 for seniors, youths and students. All session passes are priced at $30 for adults and $20 for students, youths and seniors. For more information, contact the Stanford ticket office at (650) 723-1021 or 800-STANFORD, or online at http://gostanford.collegesports.com/tickets/tickets-body.html. Tickets will be available at the ticket window at Maples Pavilion at the start of each session.

Schedule of Events
Sunday, February 26
10:15 a.m. - Ticket window & doors open
11 a.m. - Session I (Pigtails & Quarterfinals)
5:15 p.m. - Ticket window & doors open
6 p.m. - Session II (Semifinals & Consolations)

Monday, February 27
10:30 a.m. - Ticket window & doors open
11 a.m. - Session III (Consolation Semifinals, Finals - Third and Fifth-Place matches)
5:00 p.m. - Ticket window & doors open
5:30 p.m. - Parade of Champions
6 p.m. - Session IV (Championship Finals)

Stanford through the weights...
125 pounds:
Co-captain Tanner Gardner (No. 11 in the nation), who qualified for the NCAA Tournament in his first season with a fifth-place finish in the conference tournament, redshirted last year and will seek his second bid to Nationals. The redshirt sophomore is second on the team in wins with 31 and is the team-leader in career wins with 54. Gardner is ranked fourth in the conference.

133 pounds: True freshman Eric Minnick has been a tough competitor during his rookie collegiate season. Minnick has four wins to his name this season, two in duals, but will look to build on that during his first conference championship.

141 pounds: Senior Juston Johnson recently took over the starting role and will compete in his first tournament of the season this weekend. Johnson posted a 4-6 record during the dual season

149 pounds: Sophomore Josh Zupancic had a strong campaign last season, winning 22 matches, including an opening-round victory at the Pac-10 Tournament. But Zupancic will look for his first trip to Nationals this year, as the second-ranked wrestler in the league brings a 22-4 record and a 12-1 dual mark into his second-straight Pac-10 Tournament appearance.

157 pounds: Scott Loescher, who is ranked fourth in the Pac-10, will look for his first trip to the NCAA Tournament. He posted 19 wins in this season, after finishing his redshirt freshman year with 21 victories last year. In 2005, Loescher competed at the Pac-10 Championships at 165 pounds, picking up one victory.

165 pounds: Fifth-year senior and co-captain Ray Blake (No. 13 in the nation), with 37 wins this season and the top ranking in the Pac-10, will seek his first trip to Nationals as he competes at the Pac-10 Championships for the first time in his collegiate career. Blake is just four wins shy of Matt Gentry's school-record 41 wins in a single sesason.

174 pounds: Redshirt freshman Luke Feist posted 17 wins during the regular season this year and enters the weekend ranked sixth in the conference.

184 pounds: Fifth-year senior and co-captain Ryan Hagen has three wins this year, but is a veteran of the team, leading the squad with 93 career matches. Last year, Hagen took sixth-place at the 2005 Pac-10 Championships. He is seeking his first trip to Nationals.

197 pounds: Fifth-year senior Larry Ozowara will look for his first bid to the NCAA Championships as he competes in his third Pac-10 Tournament. As a redshirt freshman in 2003, Ozowara won one match in the conference championships and also competed as a sophomore in 2004.

Heavyweight: Redshirt freshman Jared Boyer is ranked fifth in the conference heading into his Pac-10 Tournament. Boyer posted seven wins during his first collegiate season, including four dual victories.

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