Cardinal Wrestling Hosts Stanford Duals Saturday
Stanford faces Northern Colorado and Oregon State at Burnham Pavilion.
THIS WEEK: The Cardinal hosts the Stanford Duals, Saturday, Jan. 9 at Burnham Pavilion. The Duals begin with Oregon State squaring off with Northern Colorado at 11 a.m. Stanford will then take on Northern Colorado at 12:30 p.m. before it faces the Beavers at 2 p.m. Menlo College will also participate in the duals, wrestling against Oregon State at 12:30 p.m. and Northern Colorado at 2 p.m.
ABOUT NORTHERN COLORADO: Northern Colorado is guided by interim head coach Ben Cherrington, a former NCAA and Pac-10 Champion at Boise State. The Bears are 0-6 heading into the Stanford Duals and are led by junior Justin Gaethje (157 pounds) and senior Kenny Hashimoto (141 pounds), both having earned Western Wrestling Conference Wrestler of the Week honors this season. Gaethje has won nine of his last 10 bouts and is 17-7 overall this year.
ABOUT OREGON STATE: The Beavers enter Saturday?s duals ranked No. 21 in the InterMat Division I team rankings with an 8-1 record (0-1 Pac-10). Oregon State is coached by Jim Zalesky, now in his fourth season in Corvallis. The Beavers boast six wrestlers ranked in the top-10 in both the InterMat and Division I college wrestling rankings, including a pair of sophomores, 125-pounder Jason Lara and heaveyweight Clayton Jack, who are both 9-0 in dual competition this season.
ABOUT MENLO COLLEGE: Menlo College is under the guidance of first-year coach Joey Martinez, who had served the last four seasons as an assistant coach for the Oaks. Menlo came into the season ranked 16th in the NAIA Preseason Coaches? Poll and are currently 1-2 on the year. The Oaks are led by sophomore Christian Martinez, a transfer from Cal State Bakersfield, and senior Josh Emmett. Martinez is ranked No. 10 in the NAIA individual rankings at 141 pounds, while Emmit comes in at No. 12 at 157 pounds.
LAST time: Stanford fell to Wyoming, 25-9, in its last dual meet. Justin Paulsen (133 pounds), Lucas Espericueta (157 pounds) and Nick Amuchastegui (165 pounds) combined for Stanford?s nine points. Paulsen and Amuchastegui remain undefeated in dual competition this season with records of 7-0 and 6-0, respectively.
UP NEXT: The Cardinal will travel to East Lansing, Mich., for the Spartan Duals, Saturday, Jan. 16. Stanford will face host Michigan State, Northern Illinois and Eastern Michigan. The team will also compete in a dual at Central Michigan the following afternoon in Mt. Pleasant, Mich.
WIN STREAKS: Sophomore Nick Amuchastegui boasts the longest win streak for the Cardinal this season. He won 13 matches in a row before falling to Jarrod King of Edinboro at the Reno Tournament of Champions. Junior Lucas Espericueta also strung together an impressive winning streak this year, tallying 11 consecutive victories between Nov. 21 and Dec. 20.
TOP NOTCH RETURNERS: Stanford?s 17 returners are highlighted by a trio of NCAA qualifiers. Redshirt juniors Lucas Espericueta and Zack Giesen and redshirt sophomore Nick Amuchastegui. All three are Pac-10 placewinners and in the top-5 on Stanford?s freshman wins list. They have combined to post 189 wins thus far and are all on pace to finish their time at Stanford in the top-10 in careeer wins.
IN THE RANKINGS: Stanford made its first appearance of the year in the USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll, tying for 25th with Michigan State, in November. Individually, junior Zack Giesen is listed at No. 13 at 184 pounds among the top-20 in the InterMat rankings. He is also No. 13 by D1CW Rankings, while sophomore Nick Amuchastegui comes in at No. 21 in the 165 pound weight class.
GETTING TO KNOW...: Two Cardinal wrestlers have been featured on the OpenMat.com?s Q&A feature ?7 Minutes With...?. To read what junior heaveyweight Dylan Rush or redshirt junior Zack Giesen had to say, visit news.theopenmat.com and search for ?Dylan Rush? or ?Zack Giesen?.
FRESH FACES: Stanford has nine newcomers on its roster this year. Highlighting the rookies are six state champions in Hawaii?s Dylan Rush, Iowa?s Bret Baumbach, Missouri?s Ryan Mango and Kyle Meyer, Vermont?s Jordan Gray and Wisconsin?s Sam Umlauf. Additionally, the new faces on the Cardinal roster include Anthony Degani (Crystal Lake, Ill.), Richard Kessler (Elkhorn, Wis.) and Tek Li (San Francisco, Calif.).
HEAD COACH JASON BORRELLI: Stanford is under the guidance of a second-year head coach Jason Borrelli. In his first season at the helm of the program, the Cardinal earned eight dual wins, had four top-three Pac-10 placers for the first time in more than two decades and sent two wrestlers to the NCAA Championships in St. Louis. 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 successfull seasons in school history