March 13, 2012
THIS WEEK: Two Stanford wrestlers - senior Nick Amuchastegui (20-0) and junior Ryan Mango (25-5) - will cap off the 2011-12 season this week, competing on collegiate wrestling's largest stage. The pair has qualified for the 2012 NCAA Championships, which will be held in St. Louis, Mo., Mar. 15-17.
WHAT'S AT STAKE: Mango (125 pounds) and Amuchastegui (174 pounds) will be competing with 32 other wrestlers from around the nation for the individual national title in their respective weight classes. The top-eight finishers in each weight class will be named 2012 All-Americans.
FOLLOW THE CHAMPIONSHIPS: Fans can view the first and second rounds live on ESPN3.com begining at 9 a.m. (PT) on Thursday, Mar. 15. ESPNU and ESPN will combine for expanded live coverage of the championships on Friday, Mar. 16 and Saturday, Mar. 17. The coverage begins with the quarterfinals on Friday at 8:30 a.m. (PT) on ESPNU and continues through the 5:30 p.m. (PT) championship finals on ESPN. Tickets to the championships have been sold out.
HOW THEY GOT THERE: Both Amuchastegui and Mango automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships by winning Pac-12 titles at the conference tournament in February. It marked the second career conference championship for Amuchastegui, who won the 165-pound title in 2010. It was the first for Mango, who had finished third as a freshman in 2010 and fourth as a sophomore in 2011.
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT: Both Stanford wrestlers competing in this year's NCAA Championships also participated in the past two tournaments. It marks the fourth NCAA Championship for Amuchastegui and the third for Mango.
STANFORD AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: Stanford's highest team finish at the NCAA Championships is 11th, which it accomplished last year under head coach Jason Borrelli. Former Cardinal Matt Gentry is Stanford's lone individual title winner. He took home the 157 pound championship in 2004. Last season, Amuchastegui's became just the second Cardinal wrestler to reach the NCAA finals, finishing as the runner-up at 174 pounds. Mango and then-senior Zack Giesen each placed sixth at 125 pounds and 197 pounds, respectively, marking the first time in school history Stanford produced three All-Americans in the same season.
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 finished third as a team at the conference championships with 125.0 team points. The Cardinal had three wrestlers finish as runner-ups - Timmy Boone
(149 pounds), Bret Baumbach
(165 pounds) and Spence Patrick
IN THE RANKINGS: Senior Nick Amuchastegui and junior Ryan Mango are among the top-12 seeds in this week's InterMat rankings. Amuchastegui is the third-seeded wrestler at 174 pounds, boasting an undefeated 20-0 record. Mango, who leads the team with 25 wins, is seeded eighth at 125 pounds. As a team, Stanford is ranked No. 23.
FOR THE RECORD: Senior Nick Amuchastegui began the year with 94 career wins, which ranked 10th-best in school history. His 20 wins this season has brought his career total to 114 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.
HEAD COACH Jason Borrelli: Stanford is under the guidance of fourth-year head coach Jason Borrelli. Through his first four seasons on The Farm, Borrelli has accrued a 36-27-2 record and has had five wrestlers qualify for the NCAA Championships for a total of 11 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.