Pac-12 Announces Wrestling Honors
SAN FRANCISCO - The Pac-12 Conference has announced the 2016 Pac-12 Wrestling awards. OREGON STATE’s Amarveer Dhesi was voted Pac-12 Wrestler of the Year, while STANFORD’s Joey McKenna was named Pac-12 Wrestling Freshman/Newcomer of the Year. OREGON STATE’s Jim Zalesky was selected Pac-12 Wrestling Coach of the Year for the fifth-straight season, becoming just the second head coach all-time to achieve the feat.
PAC-12 WRESTLER OF THE YEAR – Amarveer Dhesi, Oregon State – Dhesi placed fifth at NCAA Championships and earned All-America honors for the Beavers. He boasted a 32-5 record, improving his OSU career mark to 59-15. The redshirt sophomore was the Pac-12 Champion in the heavyweight class and was named Outstanding Wrestler of the Meet at the Pac-12 Championships. He posted a 16-1 record in duals and scored a team-leading 69 team points. On the year, Dhesi had a team-best 12 pins and had winning streaks of 15 and 14 matches. Dhesi also took second place at the Canadian Olympic Trials. Dhesi's honor is the seventh all-time for Oregon State and he the first Beaver since Les Gutches in 1996 to garner the recognition.
PAC-12 FRESHMAN/NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR – Joey McKenna, Stanford – McKenna posted a 27-3 overall record and an 11-1 mark in duals as Stanford's starter at 141 pounds. He became just the fifth freshman in school history to win a Pac-12 title and is the first Cardinal to ever win a Conference title at 141 pounds. McKenna is the first freshman in program history to earn All-America honors and he is the first Cardinal wrestler to finish third in the national tournament. This is Stanford's second Freshman/Newcomer of the Year honor in the last three years and the fourth all-time.
PAC-12 WRESTLING COACH OF THE YEAR – Jim Zalesky, Oregon State – Zalesky earns his fifth-consecutive Pac-12 Wrestling Coach of the Year honor and sixth in the past seven seasons as the Beavers claimed their fifth-straight Pac-12 title. The win marked the seventh Conference title in Zalesky’s 10 seasons at the helm. Under Zalesky's direction, Dhesi was named the Outstanding Wrestler of the Meet, claiming the Beavers' only individual crown. Zalesky helped the Beavers place four wrestlers in championship bouts. Oregon State also had six wrestlers qualify for the NCAA Championships, where the Beavers finished 21st overall, their highest finish since they took eighth place in 2013.