NCAA Wrestling Championships Underway
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — Starting today, 24 wrestlers from the Pac-12 Conference will compete for a national title at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Mo.
ARIZONA STATE has four wrestlers at the championships: Shane McGough (133), Nathan Hoffer (141), Kevin Radford (184) and Levi Cooper (HWT). McGough, Hoffer and Radford are all redshirt freshmen and will be experiencing their first-ever NCAA Championship, while Cooper is at the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive season after earning All-America honors in 2011. The redshirt junior is the ninth seed in the heavyweight bracket.
BOISE STATE is also sending four wrestlers to St. Louis: Jake Swartz (184), Brian Owen (133), George Ivanov (157) and Brent Chriswell (197). Swartz, Owen and Chriswell all won their respective weight classes at the Pac-12 Championships in February, while Ivanov fell to Oregon State's RJ Pena in the title match. Swartz is the 10-seed in the 184-pound bracket.
CAL POLY has four competitors in the field: Boris Novachkov (141), Dominic Kastl (165), Ryan DesRoches (174) and Ryan Smith (197). Novachkov is a two-time NCAA Division I All-American, and is shooting to set a school record with a third All-American nod. The 141-pounder was a runner-up in the same weight class last year, falling to Michigan's Kellen Russell in the finals with a 3-2 decision. Novachkov was also runner-up at the Pac-12 Championships, losing a close one to OSU's Mike Mangrum in the final. Novachkov is seeded sixth for the 141-pound championship.
CSU BAKERSFIELD has two wrestlers at the championships: Tyler Iwamura (125) and Frank Lomas (133). Lomas earned an automatic berth to the national competition when he finished second at 133 pounds at the Pac-12 Championships. Iwamura, now a two-time national qualifier, is one of 43 wrestlers with an at-large berth.
OREGON STATE has eight wrestlers in the mix: Clayton Jack (HWT), Mike Mangrum (141), Garrett Drucker (133), Pat Rollins (125), Scott Sakaguchi (149), RJ Pena (157), Ty Vinson (184) and Taylor Meeks (197). Mangrum, Sakaguchi, Pena and Jack all won their respective weight classes at the Pac-12 Championships. Jack is the three-seed at heavyweight and Mangrum is seeded fourth at 141 pounds.
STANFORD rounds out the Pac-12's participation in the NCAA Championships with two competitors: Nick Amuchastegui (174) and Nick Mango (125). Both wrestlers won their respective weight classes at the Pac-12 Championships last month to automatically qualify for the national championship meet. Amuchastegui is undefeated at 20-0 and is the No. 3-seed in his weight class as he competes in his fourth NCAA Championship. Mango has 25 wins on the season and is the eight-seed in his weight class as he returns to the NCAA Championship for the third time.
The competition will be streamed live on ESPN3.com on Thursday. ESPNU and ESPN will combine for expanded live coverage of the championships on Friday and Saturday. Coverage begins with the quarterfinals on Friday at 8:30 a.m. PT on ESPNU and continues through the championship finals at 5:30 p.m. PT on ESPN.