InterMat Wrestling – Pac-12 Conference Update (2/22/22)

Oregon State 141 lber Grant Willits (photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

A fortnight has passed since we last checked in on the Pac-12 Conference here at InterMat – and not for lack of notable activity among the six conference teams. As high school coaches around the country (self-included) prepared their young student-athletes for the postseason stretch towards “State” (or “States” for the multi-divisional members of the Union), the Pac-12 teams completed the remainder of their regular-season dual schedule.

Final Pac-12 Season Dual Standings (As of 2/21/2022)

1. #10 Arizona State (9-4, 5-0 conference)
2. #20 Oregon State (8-3, 4-1)
3. Stanford (5-4, 3-2)
4. Cal Poly (4-3, 2-3)
T5. CSU Bakersfield (2-10, 0-4)
T5. Little Rock (1-13, 0-4)

Arizona State Completes Sweep of Conference, Splits Against #10 Missouri and Lehigh

Entering February, the then #7-ranked Sun Devils had just narrowly prevailed over then #21 Oregon State, 20-17, with Stanford and Little Rock remaining on their conference-dual schedule. A strong effort turned in a decisive 25-15 victory over Stanford on February 4th, highlighted by key victories over ranked Cardinal wrestlers. #4 Michael McGee (133) unleashed a technical fall on then-#29 Jackson DiSario, terminating the match early in under three-and-a-half minutes, 16-1. #9 Kyle Parco separated himself from fellow All-American, #12 Jaden Abas with an 11-3 major decision at 149lbs, scoring three takedowns to none on Abas. The Cardinal had their standouts, too, as #3 Shane Griffith outlasted #8 Anthony Valencia, 7-6, at 165lbs, while unranked 197lber Nick Stemmet (who has spent time in the national rankings) managed to hold #10 Kordell Norfleet to an 8-5 decision.

With the Cardinal dispatched, the Sun Devils moved on to their final conference dual, at Little Rock. Despite forfeiting at 165lbs, the Arizona State squad used four major decisions and two technical falls to separate themselves, 29-12, over Little Rock and complete their conference sweep on February 6th. Upon return to Tempe, they prepared to host the #10 Missouri Tigers on February 12th and the Lehigh Mountain Hawks the following week, at home.

If the then #6 Sun Devils needed a reality check, after seizing the conference dual-trophy, they found it in Missouri. Splitting the dual down the middle at five matches apiece, the Tigers left Tempe with the 19-14 dual-victory after #2 Keegan O’Toole pinned #7 Anthony Valencia at 165lbs, followed immediately after by a technical fall at 174lbs when #13 Peyton Mocco put up a 21-6 score on unranked Zane Coleman. Another important victory for the Tigers was a 4-2 decision by #8 Rocky Elam over #10 Kordell Norfleet at 197. Winners of ranked matchups for the Sun Devils were #4 Brandon Courtney (125), 10-5 over #17 Noah Surtin ; #7 Kyle Parco (149), 3-2 over #22 Josh Edmond; #3 Jacori Teemer (157), 3-1 SV1 over #21 Jarret Jacques; and #2 Cohlton Schultz (285), 8-1 over #19 Zach Elam.

On February 19th, in their final event before hosting the Pac-12 Championships on March 6th, the #10 Sun Devils squared off against a salty Lehigh squad, and needed a tremendous effort from #2 Cohlton Schultz to prevail, 21-17, and finish the regular season with a victory. Before it all came down to heavyweight, #7 Kyle Parco earned another ranked win with a 5-2 decision over #26 Max Brignola at 149lbs. #3 Jacori Teemer followed up at 157lbs with an 8-5 decision over #6 Josh Humphreys. Lehigh struck back at 165lbs, when #25 Brian Meyer upset #8 Anthony Valencia, 6-1, scoring two takedowns to none. Entering heavyweight, Arizona State held an 18-17 lead, with #2 Schultz remaining to face a fellow All-American in #7 Jordan Wood. After trading escapes in regulation, Schultz and Wood continued into the first-round of tiebreakers. In the second period of tiebreaker-1, an escape, takedown, and short-time rideout was the difference for Schultz, as he defeated a game Wood, 4-2 TB1, to secure the dual meet victory.

Oregon State and Stanford both Sweep Cal Poly and CSU Bakersfield, Battle for 2nd

Both the Oregon State Beavers and Stanford Cardinal solidified their claims to second-place in the dual-standings, having defeated conference Cal Poly and CSU Bakersfield (Oregon State prevailing 21-10 and 36-4, respectively, while Stanford managed 23-14 and 20-17 duals over the Mustangs and Roadrunners). The results set up a winner-takes-runner-up dual between the Beavers and Cardinal, on February 20th in Palo Alto. The visiting, #20 Beavers left little doubt, taking seven of ten matches to defeat Stanford, 30-9. The dual went mostly chalk, with Stanford earning wins at 197 (unranked Nick Stemmet over Ryan Reyes via 6-2 decision), 149 (#12 Jaden Abas 9-4 over #25 Cory Crooks), and 165 (#3 Shane Griffith 6 -1 over unranked Matthew Olguin). Oregon State’s #12-ranked 133lber Devan Turner prevailed over #33 Jackson DiSario, 5-1, setting the stage for the #13-ranked 141lber Grant Willits. Trailing 1-0 in the second period, Willits found himself on a leg as then-#4 Real Woods aimed at funk the position to score his own points. Willits, however, attacked the position and stacked Woods up, earning a sudden neutral fall to upset the Cardinal All-American. At 174lbs, #27 Mateo Olmos defeated #33 Tyler Eischens, 6-4. An interesting note is that Ryan Reyes would flip the result of his bout with Nick Stemmet in extra matches, defeating the Cardinal 7-6 in a non-scoring bout.

Cal Poly Undefeated in Home Tri-Meet with Air Force, CSU Bakersfield

In between their aforementioned dual-defeats to Oregon State on February 4th and Stanford on February 19th, the Mustangs hosted a successful home event on February 13th, defeating Air Force, 27-18, and CSU Bakersfield, 21-18. Against Air Force, the Mustangs took six of ten boots, using a major at 197lbs by Trent Tracy, a technical fall at 165lbs by #1 Evan Wick, and a fall at 149lbs by #16 Legend Lamer to offset an individual upset at 174lbs and a fall for the Falcons at heavyweight. At 174lbs, #30 Sam Wolf upset #13 Adam Kemp in sudden-victory, 3-1. The other ranked individual from Air Force, #6 Wyatt Hendrickson, earned a first-period fall over Cal Poly’s Sam Aguilar.

Against CSU Bakersfield, Cal Poly and the Roadrunners split the dual, five matches apiece, with Mustang bonus points making the difference. The five ranked Mustangs each earned victories, with #16 Legend Lamer’s (149) 11-6 decision the only non-bonus point victory. #29 Antonio Lorenzo opened the dual with a 12-4 major over Eddie Flores at 125lbs, before the Mustangs conceded an injury default to Bakersfield’s #23-ranked 133lber Chance Rich. #31 Lawrence Saenz (141) earned an 11-2 major over Louie Ramos, while #1 Evan Wick (165) and #5 Bernie Truax (184) each earned technical falls.

Urias Leads Roadrunners into Postseason

The CSU Bakersfield Roadrunner narrowly defeated transitioning-to-Division 1 Cal Baptist, 20-19, to open the month of February. The remainder of the month, however, was brutal for the Roadrunners, as they suffered dual meet defeats to Stanford (20-17), Air Force (25-9), Cal Poly (21-18), and Oregon State (36- 4). A bright spot in the line-up has been 174lber Albert Urias, who has earned himself a place in the national rankings, yet again. At the time unranked, Urias earned a major over Cal Baptist’s Johann Steinforth, before upsetting Stanford’s #29 Tyler Eischens with a 10-8 sudden-victory performance on February 10th. Urias followed that performance up with another ranked, overtime victory, this time an 8-6 SV1 win over #30 Sam Wolf (Air Force). A 3-2 decision over Cal Poly’s Nathan Tausch kept the momentum going for Urias going into his final bout of the regular season against Oregon State. Squaring off against #27 Mateo Olmos, #31 Urias nearly forced overtime again, but Olmos was able to secure a short-time takedown to halt Urias, 6-4.

Returning NCAA Round of 12 Chance Rich has waxed and waned in the month of February. Entering the month ranked #14 at 133lbs, Rich dropped a 4-2 SV1 match to Cal Baptist’s Hunter Leake, before rebounding with a ranked win over #31 Jackson DiSario (Stanford), 9-4. However, Rich would slip again, losing 3-2 to Air Force’s Sidney Flores. Rich did not take the mat against Oregon State. Fellow NCAA Qualifier Angelo Martinoni (141) has been rather inactive, taking the mat only against Stanford in February, losing a 14-3 major to #5 Real Woods. Of note, senior 149lber Josh Brown took advantage of a mismatch in his final appearance as a Roadrunner, earning a 19-4 technical fall over Oregon State non-starter Jason Shaner to protect his team from a shutout against the Beavers.

Little Rock Endures Final Duals, Individuals Prevent Shutouts

The young Trojan team endured four lopsided dual-meet defeats in the first two weekends of February, losing to Oklahoma (37-3), #7 Arizona State (29-12), North Dakota State (30-9), and South Dakota State (43-3).

Tyler Brennan (165) earned a 12-0 major decision over Troy Mantanona (Oklahoma) to prevent a shutout. Brennan would go on to receive a forfeit against Arizona State. Conner Ward (141) defeated Mykey Ramos, 5-2, and Triston Wills (174) defeated Zane Coleman, 8-1, as Little Rock weathered the high-powered Sun Devil squad. Joseph Bianchi (149) earned back-to-back during the Dakota trip, preventing a shutout against South Dakota State with his efforts. Also winning at North Dakota State were Josiah Hill (285) and Jayden Carson (125), who each earned decisions. The Trojans are in the middle of a three-week hiatus from competition as they prepare for their run at the Pac-12 tournament.

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