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National Finalist

Mar 19, 2021

ST. LOUIS - For the fourth time in program history, Stanford has a wrestler in the NCAA finals. Redshirt sophomore Shane Griffith is the third Cardinal to accomplish that feat after knocking off a pair of higher-seeded wrestlers in the quarterfinals and semifinals of the NCAA Championships, Friday, at the Enterprise Center. 

Griffith, the No. 8 seed at 165 pounds, joins Stanford's only NCAA champion Matt Gentry (2004) and Nick Amuchastegui (2011 and 2012) as NCAA finalists.

The Westwood, New Jersey, native registered a 3-1 sudden victory decision over top-seed Alex Marinelli of Iowa in the quarterfinals to become an NCAA All-American for the first time. He followed up with a 9-2 decision over No. 5 seed Zach Hartman of Bucknell to punch his ticket into the finals. He will take on No. 3 Jake Wentzel of Pittsburgh in the finals. 

Redshirt freshman Jaden Abas became the 24th All-American in school history, posting three consecutive wins on Friday in the consolation bracket at 149 pounds. He joins Joey McKenna (NCAA-2016), Real Woods (NWCA-2020) and Griffith (NWCA-2020) as the only freshman All-Americans in program history.

Abas began the day with a 4-1 decision over No. 23 seed Triston Lara of Northern Iowa and advanced to the Round of 12 with a 9-2 decision over No. 16 seed PJ Ogunsanya of Army. He gutted out a 2-1 overtime decision against No. 12 seed Max Murin of Iowa to secure his All-America honors. He will wrestle No. 7 seed Jonathan Millner of Appalachian State for seventh place on Saturday.

Woods and fifth-year senior Nathan Traxler both reached the Round of 12, but came up short. Woods, the No. 21 seed at 141 pounds, dropped his quarterfinal match against No. 4 seed Tariq Wilson of NC State, 3-1, and then fell 11-4 to No. 15 seed Clay Carlson of South Dakota State.

Traxler, the No. 25 seed at heavyweight, opened the day with a first-period fall over No. 10 seed Deonte Wilson of NC State. He then advanced to the Round of 12 with a 10-0 major decision against No. 15 seed Carter Isley of Northern Iowa. He closes out his Cardinal career with a 78-28 overall record.

Fifth-year senior Requir van der Merwe, the No. 17 seed at 157 pounds, closed out his career with a 2-2 mark at the national tournament. He posted an 8-4 decision over No. 31 seed Michael Petite of Buffalo before dropping an 11-3 major decision to No. 7 seed Jarrett Jacques of Missouri in the morning session. He ends his Cardinal career at 52-22.

Abas will wrestle in the medal rounds on Saturday at 8 a.m. PT on ESPN2. The finals will begin at 4 p.m. PT on ESPN.

#26 Jackson DiSario, 125 pounds | 0-2

Opponent Result
lost to #7 Taylor LaMont (Utah Valley) 19-1 (5:37)
lost to #10 Malik Heinselman (Ohio State) 10-3


#21 Real Woods, 141 pounds | 2-2

Opponent Result
dec. #12 Grant Willits (Oregon State) 6-3
dec. #5 Dom Demas (Oklahoma) 3-1 (SV)
lost to #4 Tariq Wilson (NC State) 3-1
lost to #15 Clay Carlson (South Dakota State) 11-4


#8 Jaden Abas, 149 pounds | 4-2

Opponent Result
lost to #25 Yahya Thomas (Northwestern) 6-2
dec. #24 Luke Nichter (Drexel) 7-1
dec. #23 Triston Lara (Northern Iowa) 4-1
dec. #16 PJ Ogunsanya (Army) 9-2
dec. #12 Max Murin (Iowa) 2-1 TB-1
lost to #25 Yahya Thomas (Northwestern) 7-1


#17 Requir van der Merwe, 157 pounds | 2-2

Opponent Result
dec. #16 Justin McCoy (Virginia) 3-2
lost to #1 Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) 4-2
dec. #31 Michael Petite (Buffalo) 8-4
lost to #7 Jarrett Jacques (Missouri) 11-3


#8 Shane Griffith, 165 pounds | 4-0

Opponent Result
dec. #25 Justin Tucker (Michigan State) 5-2
dec. #9 Luke Weber (North Dakota State) 7-5
dec. #1 Alex Marinessli (Iowa) 3-1 (SV)
dec. #5 Zach Hartman (Bucknell) 9-2


#27 Nick Stemmet, 197 pounds | 0-2

Opponent Result
lost to #6 Nino Bonaccorsi (Pittsburgh) 15-2
lost to #22 Chris Kober (Campbell) 12-7


#25 Nathan Traxler, 285 pounds | 3-2

Opponent Result
lost to #8 Jordan Wood (Lehigh) 6-1
tech. fall #24 Johnathan Birchmeier (Navy) 15-0 (5:30)
fall #10 Deonte Wilson (NC State) F1:18
maj. dec. #15 Carter Isley (Northern Iowa) 10-0
lost to #4 Cohlton Schultz (Arizona State) F0:44