Four Duals In Michigan Up Next For Cardinal Wrestlers

Jan. 14, 2010

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THIS WEEK: The Cardinal will travel to East Lansing, Mich., for the Spartan Duals, Saturday, Jan. 16. Stanford will face host Michigan State, Northern Illinois and Eastern Michigan. The team will also compete in a dual at Central Michigan the following afternoon in Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

ABOUT MICHIGAN STATE: Michigan State is under the guidance of 19-year head coach Tom Minkel. The Spartans are 4-1 on the season and are led by a pair of ranked wrestlers. Senior Franklin Gomez is ranked No. 1 at 133 pounds, while sophomore David Cheza holds the No. 13 ranking at 149 pounds. Gomez has won 23 consecutive matches and is a perfect 9-0 on the season.

ABOUT NORTHERN ILLINOIS: Northern Illinois is coached by Dave Grant who is in his 14th season at the helm of the Huskies’ program. NIU is 6-3 this year heading into its duals this week. The Huskies competed at the “Flash” Flanagan Open in Dubuque, Iowa last week and placed 10 wrestlers including a trio of freshman champions. Rookies Zach Neibert (149 pounds), Vincent Fairbairn (174 pounds) and heaveyweight Curtis Blaydes took home titles for NIU.

ABOUT EASTERN MICHIGAN: The Eagles are 6-4-1 to start the season for fourth year head coach Derek DelPorto. Eastern Michigan is 3-1 in its last four duals and is led by senior Sean Clair (133 pounds) and freshman Aaron Sulzer at 157 pounds. Clair was 2-0 last weekend for the Eagles in Pennsylvania, while Sulzer was the only EMU wrestler to claim victories in all three of his matches.

ABOUT CENTRAL MICHIGAN: Central Michigan, the alma mater of Stanford head coach Jason Borrelli, is coached by his father, Tom Borrelli, who is in his 19th year at the helm of the program. The Chippewas enter the dual ranked eighth nationally as a team and boast eight wrestlers ranked in the top-20 of their respective weight classes. Sophomore heaveyweight Jarod Trice is the highest-ranked Chippewas at No. 3. He is 13-1 on the season and is on a 10-match winning streak.

LAST TIME OUT: The Cardinal was 1-1 at the Stanford Duals last Saturday. Stanford defeated Northern Colorado, 34-5, winning eight of the 10 bouts. The Cardinal fell to Pac-10 foe Oregon State in the second dual, 31-7. Sophomore Nick Amuchastegui and junior Zack Giesen were the points scorers for Stanford versus the Beavers.

WIN STREAKS: Sophomore Nick Amuchastegui boasts the longest win streak for the Cardinal this season. He won 13 matches in a row before falling to Jarrod King of Edinboro at the Reno Tournament of Champions. Junior Lucas Espericueta also strung together an impressive winning streak this year, tallying 11 consecutive victories between Nov. 21 and Dec. 20. Currently, Amuchastegui and Zack Giesen are both on two-match winning streaks and look to extend them this weekend.

TOP NOTCH RETURNERS: Stanford’s 17 returners are highlighted by a trio of NCAA qualifiers. Redshirt juniors Lucas Espericueta and Zack Giesen and redshirt sophomore Nick Amuchastegui. All three are Pac-10 placewinners and in the top-5 on Stanford’s freshman wins list. They have combined to post 194 wins thus far and are all on pace to finish their time at Stanford in the top-10 in careeer wins.

IN THE RANKINGS: Stanford made its first appearance of the year in the USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll, tying for 25th with Michigan State, in November. Individually, junior Zack Giesen is listed at No. 11 at 184 pounds among the top-20 in the InterMat rankings. He is also No. 13 by D1CW Rankings, while sophomore Nick Amuchastegui comes in at No. 21 in the 165 pound weight class.

GETTING TO KNOW...: Two Cardinal wrestlers have been featured on the OpenMat.com’s Q&A feature “7 Minutes With...”. To read what junior heaveyweight Dylan Rush or redshirt junior Zack Giesen had to say, visit news.theopenmat.com and search for “Dylan Rush” or “Zack Giesen”.

FRESH FACES: Stanford has nine newcomers on its roster this year. Highlighting the rookies are six state champions in Hawaii’s Dylan Rush, Iowa’s Bret Baumbach, Missouri’s Ryan Mango and Kyle Meyer, Vermont’s Jordan Gray and Wisconsin’s Sam Umlauf. Additionally, the new faces on the Cardinal roster include Anthony Degani (Crystal Lake, Ill.), Richard Kessler (Elkhorn, Wis.) and Tek Li (San Francisco, Calif.).

HEAD COACH Jason Borrelli: Stanford is under the guidance of a second-year head coach Jason Borrelli. In his first season at the helm of the program, the Cardinal earned eight dual wins, had four top-three Pac-10 placers for the first time in more than two decades and sent two wrestlers to the NCAA Championships in St. Louis. Borrelli, a former Central Michigan standout, first came to The Farm as an assistant coach in 2007 and quickly helped guide the Cardinal to one of its most successfull seasons in school history.

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