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Pac-12 Conference Recap (11/23/21)

2021 NCAA All-American Cohlton Schultz (Photo Courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarrior.com)

The CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners led the weekend off on a humbling note, conceding a 32-9 neutral-site dual-meet to Utah Valley in Riverside, California. The duo of victors for the Roadrunners was #20 Angelo Martinoni (winner by third-period fall over UR James Emmer at 141lbs) and UR Josh Brown (winner by 12-6 decision at 149lbs). Against the three ranked Wolverines (#7 Taylor Lamont, 125; #28 Haiden Drury, 133; and #8 Demetrius Romero, 165), the Roadrunners allowed two major decisions, with early-season stand-out UR Augustine Garcia holding the 2x BigXII Champion and All-American Romero to a 6-1 decision.

Also on Friday, November 19th, was #7 Arizona State's home-opener against #14 Oklahoma, an exciting dual that featured sixteen ranked wrestlers and six ranked head-to-head match-ups. The Sun Devils defended home-territory well, coming away from the match with a 22-12 victory, winning seven of ten bouts, including five of six ranked match-ups against the Sooners. At 133lbs, #7 Michael McGee made a statement, putting a 12-3 major decision on #8 Tony Madrigal of Oklahoma. Also earning a major decision for the Sun Devils was #18 Jesse Vasquez at 141lbs, who topped UR Jacob Butler, 13-5. Earning decisions over ranked opponents were #4 Brandon Courtney (8-3 over #22 Joey Prata at 125lbs), #7 Kyle Parco (7-2 over #17 Mitch Moore at 149lbs), #4 Jacori Teemer (11-5 over #13 Justin Thomas at 157lbs), and #4 Cohlton Schultz (4-1 over #25 Josh Heindselman at 285lbs). Finally, #7 Anthony Valencia topped up-and-comer UR Troy Mantanona 8-6 at 165lbs, in a match where Valencia led three takedowns to one. Leaving the dual upset was Arizona State's 197lber, #7-ranked Kordell Norfleet. In a match where both wrestlers traded takedowns, Norfleet fell to #9 Jake Woodley, 5-3, marking the only ranked Sun Devil to lose Friday evening.

In the afternoon of Saturday, November 20th, Cal Poly hosted a contingent of (D2) San Francisco State wrestlers in extra countable matches. Alongside teammates, Cal Poly starters and brothers, #15 Legend Lamer (149) and UR Brawley Lamer (157) took the mat, combining for a 1-1 day. Legend defeated SF State 141lber Josh Norikiyo, 15-0 technical fall, while Brawley fell to #14 (D2) Mason Boutain, 15-4 major decision.

Across the country, Stanford started the first leg of their New York weekend with a Saturday evening dual-meet in Coach Rob Koll's former stomping grounds of Ithaca, facing the #11-ranked Cornell squad. It was a brutal homecoming, with Stanford leaving Ithaca with only two match-victories in the form of a 3-1 decision at lightweight from UR Logan Ashton over UR Greg Diakomihalis and an injury default win from UR Peter Ming over #15 Lewis Fernandes at heavyweight (in a match where Ming earned the opening takedown prior to the injury). Final score, 30-9 Cornell. Among the other contested matches, ranked Stanford wrestlers were a step behind their competitors, with #8 Jaden Abas (149) losing to #1 Yianni Diakomihalis (3-1) and #30 Tyler Eischens (174) losing to #9 Chris Foca (6-4), both by a two-point margin. #1 Shane Griffith was upset by UR Julian Ramirez, beaten 3-2 in a match that featured a hotly debated no-takedown call with Griffith on the short end of the deal. Finally, #32 Jackson DiSario was on the receiving end of a 14-3 major from #3 (at 125) Vito Arujau at 133lbs, while #26 Nick Stemmet was stunned by UR Jacob Cardenas via 18-3 technical fall at 197lbs.

Sunday, the morning of the 21st, the Cardinal woke up with a fire in their belly and went to work. Taking seven of nine contested matches from Binghamton, the Cardinal earned their first dual-victory of the year, 25-13. #32 Jackson DiSario earned a 1-0 decision over UR Anthony Sobotker on the strength of back-to-back rideouts in the 2nd- and 3rd-periods. #8 Jaden Abas put a fall on UR Nick Lombard at 149lbs. At 174lbs, #30 Tyler Eischens also got back in the win column as well, topping UR Brevin Cassella, 8-6. In the only ranked match-up of the dual, #26 Nick Stemmets held Binghamton's #13 Lou DePrez to a decision, but fell 8-3.

Back on the West Coast, California wrestlers -- as well as a strong contingent from Utah Valley -- from across the collegiate levels competed at the Roadrunner Open hosted by CSU Bakersfield. Cal Poly sent a sizable team of predominantly non-starters to the tournament, with Luka Wick (149) earning a Roadrunner Open title while wrestling unattached, earning a notable victory in the finals over UR Josh Brown of host CSU Bakersfield, 9-2. Another notable tournament victor was Trent Munoz (184), who wrestled for the Beaver Dam RTC (via Oregon State) in his first college competition of the season. The hosts earned a tournament title after pushing four in the finals. In addition to the aforementioned Josh Brown, UR Eddie Flores at 125lbs and #20 Angelo Martinoni at 141lbs both advanced to the finals but fell short of tournament gold by fall and 8-5 decision, respectively. At 174lbs, Albert Urias earned CSU Bakersfield an individual title with an 8-2 decision in the finals over John Morrison of Beaver Dam RTC.

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