Feb. 14, 2004
Davis, Calif. -
If finishing strong is a good thing, then there is plenty to be happy about in Palo Alto tonight for the Stanford wrestling team. After suffering several gutwrenching losses, the Cardinal won the last five straight bouts Friday night to escape Davis with a 21-15 victory over the Aggies. The dual win is the sixth straight for Stanford, putting their season mark at 9-4, 5-2 Pac-10.
The Aggies' Brandon Bear (#2 Pac-10) got Davis off and running with an 11-4 win over Stanford's John Garfinkel. Larry Ozowara (197 lbs.) got Stanford back on the board, however, by throttling Davis' Ronnie Silva by a 17-10 margin. Stanford's heavyweight Shawn Ritzenthaler, who has been fighting illness all week long, battled hard with Mike Clarkston, but could not pull off the win, dropping a 9-3 decision.
With the Aggies leading 6-3 in the meet, Stanford's freshman sensation Tanner Gardner stepped to the mat, and dominated Davis' Tommy Schurkamp, currently ranked #1 in the conference. With only :04 remaining in the bout, Gardner held a 4-2 lead and was riding Schurkamp out for the win when disaster struck. Schurkamp bridged high from the bottom position, grabbed Gardner's head, and the official called a rare defensive pin. Even the Davis home crowd was stunned by the call. After another questionable late takedown call against Stanford's Paul Gross (133), Stanford was down by a team score of 15-3 after five bouts, as Gross was denied a well-deserved victory, losing to the Aggies' Derek Moore (#4 Pac-10).
Still, the resilience and heart that Stanford has demonstrated all season long again surfaced in the nick of time. Stanford's junior co-captain Brad Metzler (141) wasted little time in bringing the Cardinal back into the contest by pinning the Aggies' Shawn Haritani in a mere 27 seconds. Luis Vendrell then held on to a 7-5 win over Davis' Kevin Jones, 7-5. Matt Gentry (#1 Pac-10, #2 nationally) continued his undefeated season by displaying a wide array of takedowns to down defending Pac-10 champion Jeremiah Jarvis with a 9-3 decision. Closing the night out were clutch wins by Brian Perry (165), who defeated Mike Font (#2 Pac-10) by an 8-7 mark, and Imad Kharbush (174, #4 Pac-10) who avenged an earlier season loss to Davis' Daniel Price, dominating the Aggie for a 13-6 win, and ending Aggie hopes for a dual victory.
Stanford returns home tomorrow to close out their regular season with a conference meet against Portland State in Burnham Pavilion at 7:00 pm.
Stanford (21) at UC Davis (15)
184- Brandon Bear (UCD) dec. John Garfinkel (SU) 11-4
197- Larry Ozowara (SU) dec. Ronnie Silva (UCD) 17-10
Hwt- Mike Clarkston (UCD) dec. Shawn Ritzenthaler (SU) 9-3
125- Tommy Schurkamp (UCD) fall Tanner Gardner (SU) 6:56
133- Derek Moore (UCD) dec. Paul Gross (SU) 7-6
141- Brad Metzler (SU) fall Shawn Haritani (UCD) :27
149- Luis Vendrell (SU) dec. Kevin Jones (UCD)
157- No. 2 Matt Gentry (SU) dec. Jeremiah Jarvis (UCD)
165- Brian Perry (SU) dec. Mike Font (UCD) 8-7
174- Imad Kharbush (SU) dec. Daniel Price (UCD) 13-6