Pac-12 wrestlers prepare for NCAA Championships
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.
2019 CHAMPIONSHIPS SCHEDULE:
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 Trackwrestling.com 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
NCAA TEAM CHAMPIONS FROM THE PAC-12
Arizona State, 1988
NCAA INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONS FROM THE PAC-12
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