Pac-12 wrestlers prepare for NCAA Championships

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SAN FRANCISCO —The Pac-12 Conference will have a strong presence at the NCAA Wrestling Championships this week (March 21-23) at PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pa. A total of 19 Pac-12 wrestlers, led by ARIZONA STATE defending NCAA champion Zahid Valencia (174), will be among the 330 student-athletes competing for a national title.

OREGON STATE will send six wrestlers to the NCAA Championships led by Pac-12 champions Ronnie Bresser (125), Grant Willits (141), Bob Coleman (184) and 2018 All-American Amar Dhesi (285). Additional Beavers include Devan Turner (133) and Hunter Willits (157).

Pac-12 Champion STANFORD will send five wrestlers to Pittsburgh. The Cardinal, coming off its first-ever Conference title, will be led by Pac-12 champions Requir van der Merwe (149) and Nathan Traxler (197). Joining those two for the Cardinal will be Gabe Townsell (125), Mason Pengilly (133) and Haydn Maley (285). After guiding the Cardinal to its first-ever Conference crown, coach Jason Borelli has been named a finalist for the NWCA Division I National Coach of the Year.

Arizona State will send four. Joining three-time Pac-12 champion Valencia for the Sun Devils will be Pac-12 champions Christian Pagdilao (157) and 2018 All-American Joshua Shields (165), and Joshua Maruca (149). Ryan Milhoff (125) qualified, but suffered an injury this week and will not compete at the Championships.

Pac-12 champion Sean Nickell (133) paces CSU BAKERSFIELD and will be joined by Russell Rohlfing (149) and Dom Ducharme (184).

Thomas Lane (197) will be the lone Mustang to represent CAL POLY at the NCAA Championships.

REPEAT?: Valencia will attempt to become the sixth Conference wrestler to successfully defend his NCAA title. The others to successfully defend their titles were the Oregon State quartet of Jess Lewis (HWT) in 1969-70, Greg Strobel (190) in 1973-74, Dan Hicks (142) in 1978-79, and Les Gutches (177) in 1995-96. CSUB’s Stephen Neal (HWT) was the most recent to accomplish the feat in 1998-99.

Thurs., March 21 – Session I, 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT, ESPNU
Thurs., March 21 – Session II, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, ESPN
Fri., March 22 – Session III, 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT, ESPNU
Fri., March 22 – Session IV, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, ESPN
Sat., March 23 – Session V, 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT, ESPNU
Sat., March 23 – Session VI, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, ESPN

Follow the NCAA Wrestling Championships on for daily results and bracket updates.

2019 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS – Pac-12 Participants:
125     Ronnie Bresser, OSU, Gabe Townsell, STAN   
133     Sean Nickell, CSUB; Devan Turner, OSU; Mason Pengilly, STAN (At-large)
141     Grant Willits, OSU
149     Joshua Maruca, ASU; Russell Rohlfing, CSUB (At-large); Requir van der Merwe, STAN
157     Christian Pagdilao, ASU; Hunter Willits, OSU
165     Joshua Shields, ASU
174     Zahid Valencia, ASU
184     Dom Ducharme, CSUB (At-large); Bob Coleman, OSU
197     Thomas Lane, Cal Poly; Nathan Traxler, STAN
HWT     Amar Dhesi, OSU; Haydn Maley, STAN

Arizona State, 1988

118     John Miller, Oregon, 1969
125     Anthony Robles, Arizona State, 2011
134     Roger Weigel, Oregon State, 1971
141     Derek Moore, UCD, 2007
142     Larry Owings, Washington, 1970
           Dan Hicks, Oregon State, 1978
           Dan Hicks, Oregon State, 1979
149     Eric Larkin, Arizona State, 2003
150     Eddie Urbano, Arizona State, 1985
157     Matt Gentry, Stanford, 2004
           Ben Cherrington, Boise State, 2006
           Bubba Jenkins, Arizona State, 2011
158     Dan St. John, Arizona State, 1989
           Markus Mollica, Arizona State, 1993
165     Kirk White, Boise State, 1999
167     Don Conway, Oregon State, 1961
           Dan St. John, Arizona State, 1990
           Ray Miller, Arizona State, 1993
           Markus Mollica, Arizona State, 1995
174     Zahid Valencia, Arizona State, 2018
177     Bentley Lyon, California, 1952
           Bill Murdock, Washington, 1972
           Les Gutches, Oregon State, 1995
           Les Gutches, Oregon State, 1996
184     Shane Webster, Oregon, 2006
190     Greg Strobel, Oregon State, 1973
           Greg Strobel, Oregon State, 1974
           Paul Keysaw, CSU Bakersfield, 1991
HWT     Curly Culp, Arizona State, 1967
           Jess Lewis, Oregon State, 1969
           Jess Lewis, Oregon State, 1970
           Larry Bielenberg, Oregon State, 1975
           Fred Bohna, UCLA, 1979
           Howard Harris, Oregon State, 1980
           Stephen Neal, CSU Bakersfield, 1998
           Stephen Neal, CSU Bakersfield, 1999

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