Arizona State secured its 19th conference title (Photo/Pac-12 Conference)
STANFORD, Calif. -- The No. 6 Sun Devil wrestling team willed their way back to the top of the conference with five individual titles to win its third Pac-12 Wrestling Championship in four years after posting their highest conference tournament point total (141.5) since 1993.
The conference title was ASU's 21st all-time and 19th in the Pac-10/12 era with the help of five individual conference champion performances - Brandon Courtney (125), Jacori Teemer (157), Anthony Valencia (174), Kordell Norfleet (197) and Tanner Hall (HWT).
"What the guys did today was really impressive in that last round," head coach Zeke Jones said. "We knew our backs were against the wall and the guys really stepped up and competed well. It was a mix of youth and experience. Our youth along the way started off with our champ at 125, Brandon Courtney. He helped jumpstart our run."
The difference to taking home the team title could also be pinpointed by a collective effort from semifinal performances from the six finalist representatives, as each wrestler was able to secure a bonus-point win in their first match of the day.
Norfleet, the top-seed at a loaded 197 lb. weight class was named Co-Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Pac-12 tournament after recording two bonus-point wins, including a fall over No. 10 Nathan Traxler in only 1:38.
The Chicago native became the 14th ASU wrestler to be awarded the prestigious conference honor.
Valencia would have been a close second in the voting process as he displayed a dominant showing en route to his third Pac-12 title in three seasons.
In one of the final matches of the night, Hall was able to finish out his Sun Devil career as a two-time Pac-12 champion at heavyweight.
It was a weekend that saw ASU put together a complete team performance to guide the program to another championship run.
"Looking back, obviously the season is not over yet for a couple more weeks, but the one thing that I will appreciate the most is all the support that everyone has given us whether it's from the boosters, fans, family and the coaches," graduate senior Tanner Hall said. "We have all come together, even though we were all so different before we got here, we were able to use that to become one to strive towards the same goal."
Courtney and Teemer will be making their first appearance at the NCAA's in a couple weeks, while Shields and Hall earn their fourth berth. Valencia punches his third ticket to college wrestling's biggest tournament and fellow 2018 Freshman Newcomer of the Year, Norfleet will be making his second showing.
The Sun Devils finished with 141.5 points as a team, while host Stanford took second (122), CSUB third (99.5), Oregon State fourth (92.5), Cal Poly fifth (90) and Little Rock sixth (62.5). It was the program's highest point total at a Pac-12 tournament since 1993 when ASU put
The NCAA Selection Show will announce the final 40 at-large bids on Wednesday, March 11 with time and network to be determined. The six NCAA qualifiers will now get ready to compete in the final tournament of the season at the NCAA Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota, set for March 19-21.