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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|lost to #6 Nino Bonaccorsi (Pittsburgh)||15-2|
|lost to #22 Chris Kober (Campbell)||12-7|
#25 Nathan Traxler, 285 pounds | 3-2
|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|