Feb. 22, 2012
THIS WEEK: The Stanford wrestling team (8-8; 3-2 Pac-12) has completed the 2011-12 regular season and is ready for the year's ultimate showdown - the 2012 Pac-12 Championships. Ten wrestlers from each school will compete for conference titles and berths in next month's NCAA Championships. Boise State plays host to the Pac-12 Tournament at Taco Bell Arena. Wrestling gets underway at 10 a.m. PT on Sunday, Feb. 26. The title winners will be determined by the end of the day Sunday.
THE FIELD: All six teams will be fighting for the conference crown Sunday. Stanford is the highest ranked Pac-12 squad coming in at No. 15 in the latest InterMat poll. Oregon State and Cal Poly are also ranked in the top-25, coming in at No. 17 and No. 19, respectively. The Pac-12 boasts 14 individually ranked wrestlers, including two Cardinal.
WHAT'S AT STAKE: In addition to competing for team and individual conference titles, wrestlers will be looking to qualify for the 2012 NCAA Championships in St. Louis, Mo., March 15-17.
TICKETS TO THE CHAMPIONSHIPS: Tickets to the championships start at $30 for general admission all-session passes. Seniors (62+), children (2-high school) and students (with valid ID) are $20. Tickets can be purchased on the Boise State website (broncosports.com).
REGULAR SEASON RECAP: The Cardinal finished the regular season with an 8-8 overall record and a 3-2 mark in the Pac-12 Conference. In its most recent competition, Stanford fell at Arizona State (22-15) on Feb. 5.
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT: Stanford's active wrestlers have made a combined 11 appearances at the conference championships, including nine in the Cardinal's probable lineup.
STANFORD AT THE CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS: Stanford has competed in NCAA wrestling since at least 1933, but has yet to win a conference championship. When the conference became the Pac-10 in 1980, the Cardinal's highest finish since then has been second, coming in 2008. Last season, Zack Giesen took home the 197-pound title, becoming the 13th Stanford wrestler to win a conference championship. The team finished fourth overall in 2011.
Stanford has sent a program-high five wrestlers to the NCAA Championships three times. Last year, four wrestlers represented the Cardinal in Philadelphia, Pa. Then a junior, Nick Amuchastegui
was the runner-up at 174 pounds to capture his second All-America accolades. His second-place finish was the highest by a Cardinal wrestler since Matt Gentry
won the program's only NCAA title in 2004 (157 pounds). Senior Zack Giesen
and then-sophomore Ryan Mango
placed sixth at 197 and 125 pounds, respectively, to also garner All-America honors.
IN THE RANKINGS: Senior Nick Amuchastegui and junior Ryan Mango are among the top-5 in this week's InterMat rankings. Amuchastegui is the top-ranked wrestler at 174 pounds, boasting an undefeated 18-0 record. Mango, who leads the team with 23 wins, is ranked No. 5 at 125 pounds. As a team, Stanford is ranked No. 15.
FOR THE RECORD: Senior Nick Amuchastegui began the year with 94 career wins, which ranked 10th-best in school history. His 18 wins this season has brought his career total to 112 moving him up to No. 4 on the all-time list, passing the likes of Chris Horpel, Steve Buddie and Zack Giesen. He needs eight wins to move into a tie for third place with Josh Zupancic.
TOP NOTCH RETURNERS: Stanford's 15 returners are highlighted by senior All-American and 2011 NCAA finalist Nick Amuchastegui and junior All-American Ryan Mango. Last year, Stanford sent four wrestlers to the NCAA Championships in Philadelphia, Pa. -seniors Zack Giesen and Justin Paulsen, Amuchastegui and Mango. Amuchastegui was the runner-up at 174 pounds, earning his second career All-America honors, while Giesen (197 pounds) and Mango (125 pounds) both finished sixth in their respective weight classes to secure their first All-America accolades. It marked the first time in program history the Cardinal produced three All-Americans in the same season.
FRESH FACES: Stanford has 10 newcomers on its roster this year. Highlighting the rookies are five state champions who combined to win 10 titles - Washington's Josh Lauderdale, Tennessee's Alex Manley, Florida's Alex Paraschuk, Maryland's Evan Silver and Illinois' Michael Sojka. Additionally, the new faces on the Cardinal roster include Joey Beck (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Dahlton Brown (Jackson, Calif.), Jordan Bryan (Los Angeles, Calif.), Mark Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.) and Brendan Ter Wee (Larchwood, Iowa).
HEAD COACH Jason Borrelli: Stanford is under the guidance of fourth-year head coach Jason Borrelli. In his first three seasons on The Farm, Borrelli has accrued a 28-29-2 record and has had five wrestlers qualify for the NCAA Championships for a total of nine appearances. Borrelli, a former Central Michigan standout, first came to The Farm as an assistant coach in 2007 and quickly helped guide the Cardinal to one of its most successful seasons in school history.