Stanford Wrestling Says Goodbye to Seniors, Looks to the Future

May 17, 2004

Stanford, Calif. - The Stanford Cardinal wrapped up the most successful wrestling season in school history by saying goodbye to nine departing seniors and welcoming six new recruits to the Farm. Matt Gentry capped Stanford's breakthrough season with his historic victory at the NCAA championship in St. Louis. The Cardinal finished 19th in the final team rankings, its highest finish ever.

Coach Steve Buddie won honors as Pac-10 Coach of the Year and took five wrestlers to the NCAA championships. Matt Gentry ended the season as both the national and Pac-10 champion at 157 pounds this year, winning the Pac-10 Wrestler of the Year award. Gentry went undefeated during the season, reeling off 42 consecutive victories. Imad Kharbush was invited to the NCAA tournament after winning his first Pac-10 crown at 174 pounds. Brad Metzler's (141) second place finish at the Pac-10s earned him a spot at the NCAA tournament as well, where he won three matches. Tanner Gardner (125) and Paul Gross (133) both earned wildcard seeds at the national championships.

Even more impressive than the success Stanford had on the mats this winter was the success its team members had in the classroom. Seven Cardinal wrestlers were named to the Pac-10 All Academic Team. First team members include Matt Gentry and Imad Kharbush. Second team members were Brad Metzler, Shawn Ritzenthaler, and Luis Vendrell. Brian Perry and Larry Ozowara were honorable mention recipients.

Stanford had the fourth best GPA in the nation on the NWCA's list of Division I wrestling teams, and Matt Gentry, Imad Kharbush, and Luis Vendrell were all named Academic All-Americans.

Most of these excellent students and wrestlers will return to the Farm next year. Unfortunately we must also say goodbye to some of the team's most experienced wrestlers. The departing seniors are:

Outgoing Seniors (hometown; major):
133 - Paul Gross (Penn Valley, CA; Communications)
141 - Brad Metzler (Omaha, NE; Psychology)
149 - Brendon Fox (Higginsville, MO; Sociology & Art History)
157 - Marcus Glass (Oakland, CA; Economics)
157 - Scott Polley (Bonner Springs, KS; Economics)
165 - Garrett Johnston (McAlester, OK; Political Science)
165 - Sam Lofland (Scappoose, OR; Sociology)
184 - John Garfinkel (Quartz Hill, CA; Biology)
285 - Matt Twomey (Bloomfield Village, MI; Economics)

While it will be tough to make up for the loss of so many experienced wrestlers, Stanford will replenish its talent with a strong incoming class. With the Cardinal wrestling program beginning to gain national prominence, Coach Buddie was able to recruit some great wrestlers. There are high expectations for the incoming freshman. Stanford's recruits are:

Incoming Freshmen (hometown):
133 - Rafael Chavez (Rock Springs, WY)
141 - Matt Monahan (La Costa, CA)
157 - Bobby Pease (Los Gatos, CA)
174 - Luke Feist (Sandpoint, ID)
184 - Matt Tiffin (Cinco Ranch, TX)
197 - Jared Boyer (Oklahoma City, OK)

Both Rafael Chavez and Luke Feist are three-time champions in their respective home states of Wyoming and Idaho. Matt Tiffin won two state championships in Texas, going 98-1 over his junior and senior years of high school. Bobby Pease finished second in the state of California as a senior while Matt Monahan is a two-time state qualifier. Jared Boyer, who also played football in high school, is the 2002 FILA Cadet Greco-Roman National Champion. These six wrestlers look to add to a Stanford program that is improving by leaps and bounds. Adding these impressive recruits to a team that already has a national champion and two Pac-10 champions could produce dramatic results in the 2004-2005 season.

Stanford Wrestling Banquet Awards
Most Valuable:
Matt Gentry
Most Improved:
John Garfinkel
Coach's Award (for dedication to team and self-improvement):
Ryan Hagen, Ray Blake
Newcomer of the Year:
Tanner Gardner
Captain Awards:
Matt Gentry, Brad Metzler

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