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Wresting for peace

Pac 12 Championships Recap

03/01/2018, 2:15pm EST
By Michael Willis

 The Pac 12 tournament occurs one week before the rest of the conference tournaments take place. So while most NCAA wrestlers are gearing up for this weekend, the Pac 12’s are either done for the season, or already focusing on the NCAA tournament in March.

125 Qualifiers 1.Ronnie Bresser- ORST 2. Ryan Milhof- ASU 3. Sergio Mendez- CSUB 4. Gabe Townsell STAN

Along with 197, 125 had the most automatic qualifier spots. Sergio Mendez had a great tournament as the 4th seed, pushing top seeded former All-American, Ryan Millhof to the brink in an 8-7 match. In the consi-finals he pinned #3 seed Gabe Townsell. #2 seed, Ronnie Bresser defeated #1 seed Millhof, 3-2 in the finals, avenging a 9-4 defeat from earlier this season.

133 Qualifiers 1. Ali Naser- ASU 2. Mason Pengilly- STAN

Top seeded Ali Naser won 3-2 and 8-3 to claim his first PAC 12 title and a qualifying spot. While #3 seed Mason Pengilly stole a spot earned by Cal Bakersfield’s, #2 Sean Nickell. Pengilly upset Nickell in the semi-finals in sudden victory. Nickell wrestled back for third, but will need a wildcard to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

141 Qualifiers: 1. Colton Schilling- CP

141 only had one qualifying spot which was earned by Cal Poly senior, Colt Schilling, punching his ticket to the NCAA tournament for the second time in his career. Bakersfield’s Russel Rohlfing took second, but will need a wildcard to get into the tournament this year after qualifying last year. Likewise, two-time NCAA qualifier from Oregon State, Jack Hathaway, took third and is currently on the outside looking in.

149 Qualifiers: 1. Jason Tsirtsis- ASU

Former Northwestern NCAA Champion, Jason Tsirtsis qualified for his 4th NCAA tournament, and his first as a Sun Devil. He will be looking to earn his fourth All-American honors this year. Cal Poly’s Josh Cortez took 2nd, but will most likely not earn a wildcard.

157 Qualifiers: 1. Josh Shields- ASU 2. Hunter Willits ORST 3. Paul Fox STAN

Redshirt sophomore, Josh Shields, won his second Pac 12 title, and will be looking to earn his first All-American honors in Cleveland. True freshman, Hunter Willits, came in as the #3 seed and knocked off returning All-American, #2 seed Paul Fox in the semis. Fox came back to take third and earn an automatic qualifying spot. Bakersfield’s Coleman Hammond took 4th and should have an outside shot at earning a wildcard spot.

165 Qualifiers: 1. Anthony Valencia ASU

The lighter of the Valencia brothers won his second Pac 12 title, defeating Bakersfield’s Lorenzo de La Riva in the finals. De La Riva took second to Valencia last year at the Pac 12 tournament as well. However, in 2017 De La Riva earned an automatic qualifier spot, and this year he has to hope for a wildcard to qualify.

174 Qualifiers: 1. Zahid Valencia- ASU 2. Keaton Subjeck- STAN

Zahid Valencia rolled through the tournament to earn his second PAC 12 championship. He will look to improve upon his third place finish at NCAAs last season. The #2 seed, Keaton Subjeck, lost by major decision to Valencia in the finals but still qualified for his third NCAA tournament.

184 Qualifiers: Kordell Norfleet- ASU

Kordell Norfleet was the second seed, but it’s hard to call him the underdog given that he had never wrestled the top seed, Cal Poly’s Matt Wilhelm. Norfleet is a true freshman who has had an up and down season, but came through when it counted to earn a spot at NCAAs. Wilhelm will most likely not earn a wildcard

197 Qualifers: 1. Corey Griego- ORST- 2. Matt Williams- CSUB 3. Nathan Traxler- STAN 4. Tom Lane- CP

 The seeds at 197 held exactly as the Pac 12 pushes through 4 to the NCAA tournament. ASU’s true freshman, Cade Belshay, is the odd man out.

285 Qualifiers: 1. Amar Dheshi- ORST 2. Nathan Butler- STAN 3. Tanner Hall- ASU

After missing last season with an injury, former All-American, Amar Dheshi, looks like a man on a mission. After pinning his semi-final opponent in the first period, Dheshi hammered Stanford’s Nathan Butler in the finals, 11-2. To even reach the finals Butler had to defeat returning All-American, Tanner Hall, for the second time this season. In both matches Butler emerged victorious in sudden victory. Hall came back to earn the last qualifying spot by pinning his opponent in the consolation finals.

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