May 12, 2010
STANFORD, Calif. - The Stanford wrestling team celebrated a season of successes last weekend with its annual awards banquet. The Cardinal recognized numerous wrestlers with team awards and bid farewell to seniors Jake Johnson and Tyler Parker.
Fourteen wrestlers earned letters this season, including seven first-time recipients - Ryan Mango, Bret Baumbach, Mike Kent, Kyler Hasson, Spence Patrick, Richard Kessler and Dylan Rush. Three wrestlers earned their letter for a second time, including Porfirio Madrigal, Justin Paulsen and Nick Amuchastegui. Lucas Espericueta and Zack Giesen earned their third letter of their careers, while Johnson and Parker were four-time recipients.
Captains Amuchastegui, Giesen and Johnson were presented with the Captains' Award on Saturday.
Amuchastegui, Stanford's first NCAA All-American since 2008, earned the Vern Jones Outstanding Wrestler Award. The Talent, Ore., native also picked up the Stanford Wrestling BAGUBA Award, given to the student-athlete who best represents what the coaches look for in a Stanford wrestler. Amuchastegui finished fourth at 165 pounds at the NCAA Championships, marking the highest national finish by a Cardinal wrestler since 2004.
Mango was named the team Newcomer of the Year, given to the student-athlete who makes the largest impact during their first year on the roster. He ended his rookie season with a 25-15 record and tied for the fifth most wins by a freshman in program history. He finished third at the Pac-10 Championships and was one of Stanford's four NCAA qualifiers.
Fellow freshman Kessler was deemed Most Improved for showing the most development and progress from the beginning of the season to the end. At 197 pounds, Kessler finished fifth at his first conference championships.
The Coaches Award, given to the individual who made the most significant contributions to the well-being of the team in terms of attitude, improvement, or special leadership, was awarded to both Hasson and Kent.
Stanford wrestlers also proved to excel in the classroom this year. Five wrestlers earned Pac-10 All-Academic honors. Amuchastegui, Johnson and Parker were all selected to the First Team for the second straight season, while Hasson and Kent were named to the Second Team.
Johnson earned the Pac-10 Wrestling Scholar-Athlete of the Year, while Amuchastegui picked up the team Outstanding Scholar-Athlete award, given to the wrestler who best combines academic and athletic excellence. Amuchastegui had previously been presented the first annual NCAA Elite 88 Award, given to the student-athlete with the highest GPA at the NCAA Championships.
Under the direction of second-year head coach Jason Borrelli, Stanford won 10 duals in 2009-10, had three top-three Pac-10 placers, including its first Pac-10 Champion since 2008, and sent four wrestlers to compete for a national title at the NCAA Championships in Omaha, Neb., in March.