Stanford Captures First Pac-12 Wrestling Title
TEMPE, Ariz. – After competing for the Conference wrestling title since 1963, the STANFORD Cardinal finally earned its first-ever Pac-12 crown, edging host ARIZONA STATE by two points. It was the closest team competition since Oregon State edged Boise State by two points in 2010. The Cardinal posted 81.5 points behind two individual Pac-12 champions – Requir Van Der Merwe (149) and Nathan Traxler (197). Arizona State picked up 79.5 points behind individual titles from Christian Pagdilao (157), Josh Shields (165) and Zahid Valencia (174), while OREGON STATE finished third just two points behind the Sun Devils with 77.5 points. The Beavers picked up four individual titles from Ronnie Bresser (125), Grant Willits (141), Bob Coleman (184) and Amar Dhesi (285). CSU Bakersfield, behind Sean Nickell’s (133) second conference title, finished fourth with 49.5 points. CAL POLY was fifth with 15.0 points.
Arizona State’s Zahid Valencia (174) was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Championships after he posted a pair of wins, both by Technical Falls.
125 pounds: No. 4 Ronnie Bresser (Oregon State) def. Ryan Millhof (Arizona State). D; 5-4
• Tied 3-3 late in the third round, Bresser picked up two points for a takedown and held on for the decision.
• Bresser improved to 23-1 this season and is now a three-time Pac-12 champion (2015, 2018, 2019).
• Gabe Townsell (Stanford) took third place over Edward Flores (CSU Bakersfield) with a major decision, 15-6.
• The Pac-12 received three allocations at 125 for the NCAA Championships. In addition to Bresser, NCAA qualifiers include Millhof and Townsell.
133 pounds: No. 16 Sean Nickell (CSU Bakersfield) def. Mason Pengilly (Stanford). Injury default (6:45)
• Nickell led 5-0 with 14.8 seconds remaining when the bout was halted due to injury.
• Nickell, who stood atop the podium as the 2017 Pac-12 champion at 125, becomes the first Roadrunner to win the Pac-12 Championship at 133 pounds.
• Devan Turner (Oregon State) took third place over Josiah Kline (Arizona State) with a major decision; 14-6.
• The Pac-12 received two allocations at 133 for the NCAA Championships. In addition to Nickell, Pengilly also qualifies for the NCAA Championships
141 pounds: Grant Willits (Oregon State) def. Brandon Kier (Stanford). Fall; 3:38
• Tied at 2-2 with 1:21 remaining in the second round, Willits put the bout away with a Fall, his fourth of the season
• Willits moved his record to 20-7 on the year, becoming the third Beaver to reach the 20-win plateau this season.
• Carlos Herrera (CSU Bakersfield) finished third with a 3-2 decision over Cory Crooks (Arizona State).
149 pounds: No. 15 Requir Van Der Merwe (Stanford) def. Joshua Maruca (Arizona State). D; 5-3
• Van Der Merwe picked up one point on a late escape to break a 3-3 tie, then and added another point for riding time to capture the Pac-12 title at 149 with a 5-3 decision.
• Van Der Merwe, who improved to 23-6 this season, becomes the first Cardinal ever to win a Conference title at 149.
• Russell Rohlfing (CSU Bakersfield) earned third place with a 7-1 decision over Josh Reyes (Oregon State).
• The Pac-12 received two allocations at 149. In addition to Van Der Merwe, Maruca also qualifies for the NCAA Championships.
157 pounds: No. 14 Christian Pagdilao (Arizona State) def. Hunter Willits (Oregon State). D; 6-2
• Pagdilao picked up his 10th win in his last 11 bouts to improve to 22-8 this season.
• It’s the third straight individual title for the Sun Devils at 157.
• Paul Fox (Stanford) picked up a third-place finish with an 4-2 decision over Brawley Lamer (Cal Poly).
• The Pac-12 received two allocations at 157 for the NCAA Championships. In addition to Pagdilao, Wilits also qualifies for the NCAA Championships.
165 pounds: No. 4 Josh Shields (Arizona State) def. Jacob Thalin (CSU Bakersfield). D; 9-4
• Shields picked up his third consecutive Pac-12 title, two at 157 (2017, 2018) and now one 165. He’s run his current winning streak to 16 in a row and is now 27-3 this season.
• Jared Hill (Stanford) earned third place with a Fall (2:10) over Aaron Olmos (Oregon State).
174 pounds: No. 3 Zahid Valencia (Arizona State) def. Bryan Battisto (CSU Bakersfleld). TF; 5:00 (20-4)
• Valencia had little problem as he controlled the bout from the beginning and closed the second round with a flurry to post a Technical Fall, his second of the Championships and fourth of the season.
• Valencia, the three-time Pac-12 champion at 174, moved his career record to 96-3.
• Colt Doyle (Oregon State) earned third-place honors with a 4-2 decision over Rico Stormer (Stanford).
184 pounds: Bob Coleman (Oregon State) def. Judah Duhm (Stanford). D; 4-2
• Coleman picked up Oregon State’s third individual crown of the night as he held off Duhm with the decision.
• Coleman improved to xx-x and grabbed Oregon State’s second-ever individual title at 184, and first since Isaac Weber in 2002.
• Dom Duchame (CSU Bakersfield) picked up third place as earned a 4-2 decision in the extra period over Jacen Petersen (Arizona State).
197 pounds: No. 12 Nathan Traxler (Stanford) def. Thomas Lane (Cal Poly). D; 6-4
• Traxler earned Stanford’s third title at 197, and first since 2014 (Dan Scherer).
• Griego gives the Beavers their third title in four years, and fifth in seven years, at 197 pounds.
• Austyn Harris (Arizona State) placed third as Mark Penyacsek (CSU Bakersfield) suffered an injury in an earlier bout and was unable to compete for third place.
• The Pac-12 received two allocations at 197 for the NCAA Championships. In addition to Traxler, Lane also qualifies for the NCAA Championships after he earned a true second in the allocation match against Harris.
285 pounds: No. 4 Amar Dhesi (Oregon State) def. Haydn Maley (Stanford). MD; 17-3
• Dhesi cruised to a 17-3 major decision for his second straight Pac-12 title by major decision, and third overall.
• Dhesi’s joins former Beavers Jess Lewis (1968-70) and Jim Hagen (1971-73) as the only OSU wrestlers with three titles in the Heavyweight division.
• Brady Daniel (Arizona State) took third place over Sam Aguilar (Cal Poly) with a 4-3 decision.
• The Pac-12 received two allocations at 285 for the NCAA Championships. In addition to Dhesi, Maley also qualifies for the NCAA Championships following his allocation match win over Daniel.
Attendance at Arizona State’s Wells Fargo Arena for the first round of the championships was 975, while 1,350 fans were in attendance for the evening’s championship round.