Arizona State hosts 2019 Pac-12 Wrestling Championships
The 57th-annual Pac-12 Wrestling Championships will be held on Saturday, March 9 at Wells Fargo Arena, hosted by Arizona State University. All five teams bring a wealth of tough competition to the table, led by defending Pac-12 Champion ARIZONA STATE. Depending on which ranking service you cite, three Pac-12 teams are among the nation’s Top 25. The National Wrestling Coaches Assocation poll puts STANFORD at No. 24, while InterMat includes No. 17 Arizona State and No. 18 OREGON STATE. At least one Pac-12 wrestler is ranked in the InterMat’s Top 20 for all but two weight classes. The Pac-12 features four wrestlers ranked among the top five in their respective weight classes: No. 4 Ronnie Bresser (125), Oregon State; No. 4 Josh Shields (165), Arizona State; No. 3 Zahid Valenica (174), Arizona State; No. 4 Amar Dhesi (HWT), Oregon State. The first and second rounds, plus the consolation semifinals, will be streamed live on Pac-12.com. The championship rounds, which begin at 6 p.m. PT, will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.
There will be five institutions competing for the Conference Championship: Arizona State, Cal Poly, CSU Bakersfield, Oregon State, and Stanford.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Saturday, March 9
Session I of Pac-12 Wrestling Championships
First and Second Rounds
10:00 a.m. Doors Open
11:00 a.m. Round 1
11:50 a.m. Round 2
2 p.m. Break - Arena cleared
Session II of Pac-12 Wrestling Championships
Consolation semifinals, Championship Round
4:00 p.m. Doors Reopen
5:00 p.m. Round 3
6:45 p.m. Grand March
7:05 p.m. Championship Round (live on P12N)
(awards given shortly after each event)
9:07 p.m. Estimated start of team awards presentation
Tickets for the 2019 Pac-12 Wrestling Championships are available through the Arizona State Ticket Office at 480-727-0000.
All-session Adult $30
All-session Student/Youth/Senior $20
Single-session Adult $20
Single-session Student/Youth/Senior $15
Group General Admission $10
Students General Admission $5
The first and second rounds, plus the consolation semifinals, will be streamed live on Pac-12.com. The finals will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks with the broadcast beginning at 7 p.m. MT. Live results will be available after each match on the 2019 Pac-12 Wrestling Championships website: pac-12.com/wrestlingchamps
The Sun Devils will look to defend their Pac-12 title and make it three straight Conference titles for the first time since winning seven in a row from 1985-91. The Sun Devils had six individuals finish atop the podium at last year’s Pac-12 Championship. Arizona State’s squad is anchored by redshirt junior Zahid Valencia, All-American and the defending NCAA champion at 174. Valencia is 24-2 this season and 94-3 in three seasons. Redshirt junior, and defending Pac-12 champion, Josh Shields (157) paces the Sun Devils with a 25-3 record this season and nine major decisions. Shields, currently ranked No. 4, has won 14 straight bouts. The Sun Devils were and still remain the only team west of the Rockies to win a NCAA title in wrestling.
Cal Poly is seeking its first-ever Pac-12 championship. Gone is Colton Schilling, who won last year’s title at 141 to become the first Mustang to claim in individual title in five years. The Mustangs will look to Tom Lane to lead them at this year’s Championships. Lane, a junior, has posted a record of 18-10 this season and has won five of his last seven bouts. The two setbacks came against ranked foes (No. 13 Josh Hokit of Fresno State and No. 12 Nathan Traxler of Stanford).
The Roadrunners enter the Pac-12 Championship behind a pair of 20-win wrestlers in redshirt senior Sean Nickell (133) and redshirt sophomore Dominic Ducharme (184). Nickell, ranked No. 16, is 23-8 this season and has won eight of his last nine bouts. His lone setback a 10-9 decision to No. 12 Montorie Bridges of Wyoming. Ducharme is 22-11, and like Nickell has won eight of his last night bouts, dropping a 4-0 decision to No. 19 Tate Samuelson of Wyoming. CSUB owns two Conference titles (1996, 1999).
The Beavers pace the Pac-12 with 23 league crowns. Leading the way for Oregon State are a pair of ranked redshirt seniors in Ronnie Bresser (125) and Amarveer Dhesi (HWT), who are both currently ranked No. 4 in the country in their respective weight class. Bresser has won his last 13 bouts and is 21-1 this season, with a career record of 111-23. Dhesi, who claimed All-America status with a third-place finish at last year’s NCAA Championships, has won eight in a row. He represented Canada at the World Championships in October.
The Cardinal roster finds six wrestlers who have posted 20 wins this season, led by redshirt sophomore Nathan Traxler (197) with a 26-5 record. Three Cardinal find themselves nationally-ranked in their weight class - No. 20 Gabe Townsell (133), No. 15 Require van der Merwe (149), and No. 12 Traxler (197). Redshirt senior Paul Fox (157) took top honors at the Reno Tournament of Championships this season on the way to a 20-8 record, and is 94-40 in his career.
2019 NCAA WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
The NCAA Championships will take place March 21-23 at PPG Paints Arena - Pittsburgh, Pa. A total of 330 of the nation’s best wrestlers will compete at the NCAA Championships. Of those 330, 290 will be determined via automatic qualification. The remaining 40 spots will be selected at-large by the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee. Additional at-large selections will be announced on Wednesday, March 13 at 6 p.m. ET (NCAA.com). The Championship will be carried on either ESPNU or ESPN.