Arizona State's Anthony Valencia named 2022 Pac-12 Wrestling Scholar-Athlete of the Year
SAN FRANCISCO - Arizona State redshirt senior Anthony Valencia has been named the 2022 Pac-12 Wrestling Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the Conference office announced today. The award, which is presented in each of the 24 sports the Pac-12 sponsors, was established to honor collegiate student-athletes that are standouts both academically and in their sports discipline.
Valencia, a graduate student from Bellflower, Calif., graduated from Arizona State with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies (business & communications) with a cumulative 3.03 grade-point average. The fourth Arizona State wrestler to be named the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Valencia is currently pursuing his master’s degree in liberal studies and currently has a 4.0 grade-point average.
Anthony Valencia has been one of the best wrestlers at ASU and in the country this season. The seventh-year wrestler has added 14 wins thus far to bring his career record to 114-29 and kicked off the season on a 13-match winning streak. His most notable win was a 6-3 decision over 13th-ranked All-American Jake Wentzel on the road at Pittsburgh. Valencia elected to pursue a spot on Mexico's Senior National team this year and qualified by sprinting through qualifying tournaments over the winter. He officially made it on Jan. 29 and returned to Tempe in time to pick up a 10-4 decision over Mason Reinche of Oregon State the next day. An NCAA All-American (165 lbs), Valencia is a four-time NCAA qualifier and earned the 2021 Pac-12 Outstanding Wrestler Award. He is a four-time individual Pac-12 champion, three-times at 165 lbs and once at 174 lbs.
Off the mat he continues to be one of the most outspoken leaders on the team and has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout his graduate program. In the classroom, Valencia is a two-time NWCA Scholar All-American (2020, 2021), a two-time Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention (2017, 2018), and a two-time Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll recipient (2020, 2021).
In order to be eligible for the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility) on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50 percent of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum one year in residence at the institution. Each Pac-12 institution may nominate one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a committee of Pac-12 staff members at the conclusion of each sport’s regular season. The athletics accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in voting for the award.
A Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be named in each of the Pac-12’s 24 sponsored sports: baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, beach volleyball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, football, men’s golf, women’s golf, women’s gymnastics, women’s lacrosse, men’s rowing, women’s rowing, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, softball, men’s swimming & diving, women’s swimming & diving, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s track & field, women’s track & field, women’s volleyball, and wrestling. The award was first established during the 2007-08 academic year.
ALSO NOMINATED: Brawley Lamer, Cal Poly