Cardinal Hosts Menlo College in Non-Conference Action
Jan. 24, 2007
Stanford, Calif. - The Stanford wrestling team returns to the Farm this weekend for a non-conference dual meet against Menlo College. The Cardinal (4-5, 2-1 Pac-10) will look to pick up its third-straight victory and make final preparations for the heart of the Pac-10 season. Action begins Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Ford Center.
The Cardinal boasts a pair of nationally-ranked wrestlers in juniors Tanner Gardner and Josh Zupancic, and five members of the squad's starting line-up appear in the conference rankings. Gardner is 27-3 at 125 pounds, top-ranked in the Pac-10 and improved to No. 3 in the national polls this week. The Berryton, Kansas native has collected 47 dual points this season, nearly twice as many as any other member of the Cardinal squad.
Zupancic is ranked No. 17 nationally and boasts a 27-7 record at 157 pounds. The junior has met nine ranked wrestlers this season, and currently stands second in the Pac-10.
Freshman Zack Giesen registered his first collegiate pin on Sunday and has already racked up 21 wins during his successful rookie campaign. The Grants Pass, Ore. native jumped to No. 3 in the Pac-10 rankings this week, having won six straight matches at 184 pounds. On Jan. 7, Giesen took first place at the Menlo Invitational, topping Mariano Sanchez, one of Menlo's top wrestlers, 6-2.
Senior Brian Perry and sophomore Luke Feist round out the Cardinal wrestlers currently ranked in the Pac-10. Perry upset Cal State Bakersfield's Daniel Atondo last week and is ranked third in the conference with a 21-12 record. Feist topped his personal best season win mark of 17 on Sunday, and remains fourth-ranked in the conference.
Menlo, the 11th-ranked program in the NAIA, is led by Tyrell Blanche at 197 pounds and Sanchez at 184 pounds. The squad is 7-10 so far this season, and Cardinal wrestlers hold a 3-0 advantage against Menlo wrestlers in matches so far this season.
'It's good to be back home,' said Head Coach Kerry McCoy. 'Menlo's got a good team. They typically fight hard for the entire match and are pretty good technically, so we have to be careful not to overlook them. We're on a little high right now and we want to keep building that momentum toward the Pac-10s. This will be a good test for us.'