Stanford Wrestling Gets Head Start On 2008-09 Season

Oct. 21, 2008

THIS WEEK: The Stanford wrestling squad will get a head start on the 2008-09 season this week, with wrestle-offs and the Menlo Open on the weekend slate. The weekend will give fans an early preview of the Stanford season, which officially gets underway Nov. 8.

ABOUT WRESTLE-OFFS: Wrestle-offs, which will be held at Burnham Pavilion at 2 p.m. Saturday, feature showdowns between the top two wrestlers in each weight class. The results of each bout will determine the Cardinal's initial starting lineup. Fans are encouraged to come catch an early glimpse of the team, as wrestle-offs are free and open to the public.

ABOUT THE MENLO OPEN: A number of Cardinal wrestlers will compete in the Menlo Open on Sunday. The tournament, which is organized in a round-robin pool format, will held at Haynes-Prim Pavilion on the campus of Menlo College, beginning at 9 a.m. Last season, nine Cardinal wrestlers went undefeated in the season-opening tournament. Among those standouts were six members of the current roster: redshirt freshman Nick Amuchastegui, sophomore Max Rosefigura, redshirt freshman Matt Winterbourne, redshirt sophomore Justin Paulsen, redshirt sophomore Lucas Espericueta and junior Jake Johnson.

UP NEXT: Stanford officially begins the season on Nov. 8 with back-to-back duals at Cal State Bakersfield. The Cardinal will wrestle Navy in a neutral-site contest at 3 p.m. before taking on the host Roadrunners in a conference dual immediately following.

TOP NOTCH RETURNERS: Stanford's 17 returners are highlighted by a trio that qualified for last year's NCAA Tournament. Junior Zack Giesen and senior Luke Feist have both competed at the last two NCAA Championships, and have more than 50 career wins apiece. Lucas Espericueta had one of the best freshman seasons in school history last year, winning 25 matches and qualifying for the NCAA Championships at 149 pounds. All three were ranked in the top 20 in their weight class by Intermat last week, with Giesen coming in at No. 13, Feist coming in at No. 14 and Espericueta coming in at No. 20.

A NEW LOOK: Stanford is under the guidance of a new head coach this season - former Cardinal assistant Jason Borrelli. Borrelli, a 2006 graduate of Central Michigan, was an integral part of the staff that led Stanford to one of its most successful seasons in school history last year. Working with the lower weights, Borrelli helped the Cardinal win 13 duals, post its highest Pac-10 finish in school history, its second-highest national finish and send a program-best five wrestlers to the NCAA Championships.

FRESH FACES: Stanford has eight newcomers on its roster this year. Highlighting the rookies are two state champions in Idaho's Spence Patrick and Washington's Matt Sencenbaugh. Additionally, the new faces on the Cardinal roster include Timmy Boone (Poway, CA), Michael Kent (Vacaville, CA), Victor Haug (Emigrant, MT), Juan Jurado (Cambridge, MA), Kyler Hasson (San Diego, CA) and Jason Torres (Yonkers, NY).

LOOK OUT FOR A PIN: Stanford's only senior, Luke Feist, is just one pin short of joining the top-10 list for career wins by fall. Feist currently has 14 pins in his three-year career.

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