May 2, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. - The Stanford wrestling team celebrated arguable the most successful season in school history with its annual awards banquet on Saturday night. The Cardinal recognized numerous wrestlers with team awards and bid farewell to seniors Lucas Espericueta, Zack Giesen, Justin Paulsen, Austin Quarles and Dylan Rush.
Nineteen wrestlers earned letters this season, including seven first-time recipients - Jordan Gray, Donovan Halpin, Kyle Meyer, Garrett Schaner, Dan Scherer, Sam Umlauf and Alan Yen. Another seven wrestlers earned their letter for a second time, including Timmy Boone, Kyler Hasson, Mike Kent, Ryan Mango, Spence Patrick, Rush and Matt Sencenbaugh. Along with Paulsen and Quarles, Nick Amuchastegui earned his third letter of his career, while Espericueta and Giesen were four-time recipients.
Seven wrestlers were recognized for their outstanding performances at the team's six home duals this season. The winners are as follows: Sencenbaugh (Northwestern), Boone (Tennessee-Chattanooga), Gray (San Francisco State), Scherer (Cal Baptist), Rush (Cal Poly) and Halpin and Patrick (Arizona State).
Amuchastegui and Giesen were the co-winners of the Vern Jones Outstanding Wrestler Award. Amuchastegui became just the second Cardinal wrestlers to reach the NCAA finals and the fourth wrestler in Stanford history to garner multiple All-America honors. He finished the season with a 31-4 overall record and a runner-up finish at 174 pounds at the NCAA Championships. Giesen won his first Pac-10 Conference title at 197 pounds and placed sixth at NCAAs to capture his first All-America accolades. He ends his time on The Farm with 110 career victories, fourth on the school's all-time wins list.
Amuchastegui 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 and the team's Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award. The Talent, Ore., native won the second annual NCAA Elite 88 Award, given to the student-athlete with the highest GPA at the NCAA Championships.
Scherer was named the team's 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 21-13 record and led the team with six falls on the season. He finished third at the Fullerton Open and California Collegiates, and fifth at the Pac-10 Championships.
Mango was deemed the team's Most Improved wrestler this season. At 125 pounds, Mango qualified for the NCAA Championships for the second straight season. He capped his year with a sixth-place finish at the national tournament and earned his first All-America honors.
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 Espericueta and Halpin.
Stanford wrestlers also proved to excel in the classroom this year. The Cardinal led the conference with six wrestlers earning Pac-10 All-Academic honors. Amuchastegui was selected to the First Team for the third straight season, while Boone, Gray, Kent, Meyer and Rush were all named to the Second Team.
Under the direction of third-year head coach Jason Borrelli, Stanford recorded the best-ever finish at the NCAA Championships (11th), took fourth at the Pac-10 Championships, crowned one conference champion and boasted three All-Americans for the first time in program history.