Three Cardinal Wrestlers Head to University Nationals

April 11, 2008

Stanford, Calif. - Three Stanford wrestlers are headed to Akron, Ohio this weekend to compete in the 2008 USA Wrestling University National Championships hosted by the University of Akron at the Athletics Field House.

The event, which is for athletes between 18 and 24 years old who are U.S. citizens and whose class has graduated from high school, is intended to showcase future stars of the sport. Stanford's three returning NCAA qualifiers, junior Luke Feist, sophomore Zack Giesen and freshman Lucas Espericueta, will all be among the freestyle competitors at the event. Freestyle competition begins tomorrow at 9 a.m. and continues through Sunday.

University Nationals offers up a total of 25 spots for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for wrestling in Greco-Roman, men's freestyle and women's freestyle. In men's freestyle, the champion of each of the seven Olympic weight classes qualifies for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. The event also is a qualifier for the University World Team Trials in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 23-24. The event in Colorado will determine the athletes in these styles who will compete in Greece at the World University Championships.

Last season, Stanford wrestler Tanner Gardner won the 55 kg freestyle title at University Nationals. He became the first Stanford wrestler to win a University National freestyle title, and the first wrestler to win at University Nationals since Dave Nowick won the Greco Roman title in 1992.

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