Tanner Gardner with the pin

Stanford Downs Fort Hays State in Season-Opener
Seven Stanford wrestlers win bouts to secure the 26-9 victory.

Nov. 9, 2007

Tecumseh, Kans. - The Stanford wrestling team (1-0) got a successful start to the new season tonight, defeating Fort Hays State (0-1), 26-9, in the team's first dual of 2007-08. Seven Cardinal wrestlers won bouts, and in his Kansas homecoming, senior Tanner Gardner pinned his first opponent of the year.

Wrestling in his high school gym, Gardner started the night and made the most of his return to Kansas. The two-time All-American 125-pounder pinned his first opponent of 2007-08, putting FHSU senior Kyle Patton on his back in 5:42.

Redshirt freshman Justin Paulsen followed by picking up a decision in his first career dual match, beating the Tigers' Blake Fisher, 5-2, at 133 pounds. After a Stanford loss at 141 pounds to bring the team score to 9-3, another Cardinal redshirt freshman, Lucas Espericueta, picked up a win in his first collegiate dual. The Shafter, Calif. native earned a 13-5 major decision over Josh Pfannenstiel at 149 pounds to bring the team score to 13-3.

Stanford's second returning All-American, senior Josh Zupancic, earned a 3-0 decision over FHSU's Eric Johnson in his first bout of the season at 157 pounds, and, at 165 pounds, sophomore Peter Miller took out Danny Grater, a wrestler ranked sixth nationally at the Division II level, 7-2.

The Tigers took the 174-pound match, but Cardinal sophomore Zack Giesen, one of four returning NCAA qualifiers, answered with a decisive win at 184 pounds to make it 23-6 and clinch the dual for Stanford. Giesen earned a major decision over FHSU sophomore Shawn Kuhlman, 14-4. Fellow sophomore Jake Johnson then became the second Cardinal of the night to take out a ranked wrestler, defeating fourth-ranked Tyler Gonzales, 5-1, for Stanford's largest lead of the night, 26-6.

Sophomore Matt Kim, redshirt freshman Alex Muller and senior Phillip Doerner dropped decisions in the season-opening dual. Kim was edged by James Annon, 7-6, at 141 pounds, while Doerner was edged by Dustin Martin, 2-1, at heavyweight. Muller fell 5-2 to Blake Malloy in his first collegiate dual match.

Stanford continues action in the Midwest on Sunday, heading to Warrensburg, Mo. to compete in the Central Missouri Open.

Stanford 26, Fort Hays State 9
Tanner Gardner (S) pinned Kyle Patton (F), 5:42
Justin Paulsen (S) dec. Blake Fisher (F), 5-2
James Annon (F) dec. Matt Kim (S), 7-6
Lucas Espericueta (S) maj. dec. Josh Pfannenfteil (F), 13-5
Josh Zupancic (S) dec. Eric Johnson (F), 3-0
Peter Miller (S) dec. Danny Grater (F), 7-2
Blake Malloy (F) dec. Alex Muller (S), 5-2
Zack Giesen (S) maj. dec. Shawn Kuhlman (F), 14-4
Jake Johnson (S) dec. Tyler Gonzales (F), 5-1
Dustin Martin (F) dec. Phillip Doerner (S), 2-1