Zack Giesen, Justin Paulsen Earn At-Large NCAA Berths
March 10, 2010
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford juniors Zack Giesen and Justin Paulsen are headed to the 2010 NCAA Championships in Omaha, Neb. The Stanford wrestlers were among the 50 at-large selections announced today by the NCAA.
The pair will join sophomore Nick Amuchastegui and freshman Ryan Mango as the Cardinal's four representatives at the NCAA Championships. Amuchastegui captured the Pac-10 Conference title at 165 pounds, while Mango placed third at 125 pounds to earn automatic berths to the postseason.
One of the career-wins leaders in school history, Giesen finished third at this year's Pac-10 Championships at 184 pounds. He is 30-5 this season, joining Amuchastegui as the only Cardinal wrestlers to reach the 30-win mark this season. The Grants Pass, Ore., native claimed titles at the Fullerton Open and the Reno Tournament of Champions earlier this year. He has pinned three opponents in 2009-10, with his fastest fall coming in 42 seconds at the Pac-10 Tournament.
Giesen is making his third appearance at the NCAA Championships. He earned an automatic trip to the postseason as a freshman in 2006-07, but went 0-2 at the tournament. As a sophomore in 2007-08, Giesen garnered an at-large berth to the NCAA Championships, posting a 2-2 record.
Paulsen is making his first trip to the NCAA Championships after turning in his best season to date. The junior is 23-13 overall after going 11-6 in dual competition. He finished fifth at the Pac-10 Championships at 133 pounds. At the Fullerton Open in late November, Paulsen placed third after posting a 5-1 record. He is one of four Stanford wresters to amass at least 20 wins this season and he led the team with four technical fall victories.
The at-large selections were made by the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee using the selection criteria without priority order, which consists of head-to-head competition, qualifying event placement, quality wins, results against common opponents, winning percentage, rating percentage index, coaches ranking and number of matches contested at that weight class.
The 50 at-large qualifiers will join the 280 student-athletes that qualified automatically through their conference and regional qualifying tournaments in Omaha next week, March 18-20. In each weight class, 33 wrestlers will compete for national titles, with the top eight finishers being named All-Americans.