CSU Bakersfield 184 lber Jacob Hansen (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
Week 11 brought a slew of humbling dual-meet performances, as the entirety of the Pac-12 conference was in action, with the exception of #16 Cal Poly. Below, we recap the action before setting the stage for the weekend ahead.
Bakersfield's Road Trip: #8 Iowa State (January 12th), Chippewa Challenge (January 16th)
The California State University, Bakersfield wrestling team took a four-dual road trip last week, facing off with the #8-ranked dual-team in Iowa State on Wednesday the 12th prior to the Chippewa Challenge on Sunday the 16th.
With the Iowa State Cyclones fielding an impressive seven ranked individuals, the Roadrunners were caught in the storm from start to finish, losing all nine contested bouts to fall 44-0. At 125lbs, Eddie Flores was able to manage #24 Kysen Terukina to an 8-2 decision loss, while #27-ranked Angelo Martinoni held #11 Ian Parker to a 6-2 decision.
In Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, on the campus of Central Michigan, the Roadrunners' humbling performances continued, with their wrestlers taking two matches apiece from Central Michigan and Campbell in 31-6 and 30-9 losses, respectively. Against the host Chippewas, Bakersfield 149lber Josh Brown and 184lber Jacob Hansen were able to notch six-point decisions, with Brown defeating Mason Breece, 11-5 SV1, and Hansen defeating Ben Cushman, 9-3. #27 Angelo Martinoni had an eighteen-point affair with #13 Dresden Simon at 141, but ultimately fell, 10-8.
The Camels of Campbell proved similarly formidable, taking seven of nine bouts from the Roadrunners. This time, it was #27 Martinoni and 197lber Josh Loomer getting their hands raised. Martinoni collected a second-period FALL over Shannon Hanna, while Loomer scored a 3-2 decision over Levi Hopkins.
To close their road trip, the Bakersfield squad gave their first-year head coach Luke Smith a definitive dual-victory. The Roadrunners won all nine contested bouts against American, outscoring their opponents 69-14 through 197lbs, before Jacob Sieder earned a first-period fall at heavyweight. After three lopsided dual-meet losses on the week, a functional shut-out marks the first career dual-meet victory while at the helm for Luke Smith.
Of note, the Roadrunners were without #16 Chance Rich in all four dual-meets, as they forfeited 133lbs in each meet. Top performers for the Roadrunners, again, were #27 Angelo Martinoni (141), Josh Brown (149), Jacob Hansen (184), and Josh Loomer (197), who each left the Chippewa Challenge with 2-1 records.
Ever-improving Little Rock Opens Conference Duals: #23 Oregon State (January 14th), Stanford (January 15th)
A two-dual itinerary bookended the Trojans' West Coast trip, as Neil Erisman's Little Rock squad opened their conference dual-season against two perennial conference powers. It was a tumultuous start in Corvallis, Oregon. Facing the #23-ranked dual-team in Oregon State, a Beavers line-up that boasts eight-ranked wrestlers, the Trojans were overcome at all ten bouts. Despite the lopsided 34-0 dual-score, there were a few bouts right within the margins for the Trojans. At 149lbs, Joey Bianchi held #28 Cory Crooks to a 3-1 decision, while Triston Wills scrapped with #27 Mateo Olmos in an 8-5 affair at 174lbs. The Trojans would not go quietly, however, as 197lber Brooks Sacharczyk used a late push on a takedown and nearfall to close the gap on Ryan Reyes in an eventual 16-14 loss. The match of the night for the Trojans was at heavyweight, when Josiah Hill pushed #10 Gary Traub to tiebreakers. Hill scored two takedowns to one during regulation to force overtime, 6-6. However, "Gas Tank" Gary was able to surge late, and slipped away from the heavyweight Trojan, 11-6 in tiebreaker-1.
The Trojans had little time to wallow, as they traveled to face Stanford the very next day. And wallow they did not, as the Trojans took four matches against a talented Stanford squad, with three bonus-point victories. Of note, the Cardinal did not wrestle #6 Real Woods at 141lbs nor #13 Jaden Abas at 149lbs, and bumped up both #4 Shane Griffith and #29 Tyler Eischens to 174 and 184, respectively. Leading off the dual was Jayden Carson at 125lbs, who put together a 20-2 technical fall to set a strong tone for the visiting Trojans. Joey Bianchi scored a 2-0 decision at 149, while Tyler Brennan took advantage of the bump at 165lbs to emerge with an 11-0 major decision against Stanford's Tony Williams. Finally, at heavyweight, Josiah Hill again came through for his team in his performance, flipping a result from last season and pinning Peter Ming, much to the pleasure of Coach Erisman. "[Hill] 's got the attitude, he puts in the work, and he's headed in the right direction. Josiah is taking on a big leadership role on our team, becoming more vocal with both his words and his actions, and I'm proud of where he's at."
Winners for the Stanford squad included #29 Jackson DiSario, who navigated an 8-5 decision over Jaylen Carson at 133lbs, and Jason Miranda, who stepped in for #6 Woods at 141lbs and came away with a 6-1 decision over Conner Ward. Charlie Darracott (157) earned a major while Nick Stemmet (197) picked up a first-period fall. A bumped-up Griffith took out Triston Wills at 174lbs, 6-1, while Eischens succeeded over Will Edgar, 7-2, at 184lbs.
#6 Arizona State Stunned in Back-to-Back Duals: #25 Pitt (January 14th), Princeton (January 16th)
The conference-leading Arizona State Sun Devils dropped two surprising duals over the weekend, starting with a brow-raising, 24-19 defeat at #25 Pittsburgh. Although the Sun Devils won six of ten matches, they suffered four six-point losses (in the form of three falls and a stall-out) to lose the dual-meet. The six ranked Sun Devils each "did their job," with #4 Brandon Courtney (125), #4 Michael McGee (133), #3 Jacori Teemer (157), and #6 Anthony Valencia (165) each earning decisions over ranked opponents. Courtney defeated #32 Gage Curry, 10-4, while McGee earned a notable victory over All-American caliber, #7 Micky Phillippi. Teemer prevailed over #21 Elijah Cleary, 6-2, before Valencia took out #13 Jake Wentzel, 6-3.
#11 Kyle Parco earned bonus in a 16-2 major over unranked Dan Mancini at 149lbs, and #3-ranked heavyweight Cohlton Schultz matched Parco with a major, 13-5 over Jake Slinger. However, the effort from the six-ranked Sun Devils would not be enough to fell the Panthers. At 141lbs, #22 Cole Matthews terminated his match against Arizona State's Julian Chlebove in the first period with a fall - perhaps foreshadowing the end of the dual. At the start of the 174lbs bout, with ASU leading 16-6, it was all Pitt for the next three bouts. Unranked James Lledo pinned ASU 174lber Zane Coleman in the first period, followed by #31 Gregg Harvey pushing the pace and disqualifying Josh Nummer in the third period on stall calls. With his team now leading 18-16 in the dual, #9 Nino Bonaccorsi pinned Jake Ortiz (stepping in for #10 Kordell Norfleet) in the first period to clinch the dual-meet for Pitt. A team-point after the 197lbs match, followed by Schultz's aforementioned major decision at 285lbs, concluded the dual at 24-19, Panthers.
The weekend ended for the Sun Devils with another close, this time to the Tigers of Princeton. Winning five of nine contested bouts, the absence of #16 Jesse Vasquez (141) and #10 Kordell Norfleet (197) again proving costly. The dual started off with an uncommon result, as #4 Brandon Courtney fell by 12-6 decision to #2-ranked Patrick Glory at 125lbs. #4 Michael McGee would swing the momentum back into Arizona State's favor with a second-period technical fall at 133lbs, before Cleveland Belton dropped an 8-7 decision to Princeton's Daniel Coles at 141lbs. The ranked-trio of #11 Parco (149), #3 Teemer (157), and #6 Valencia (165) would each earn decisions. Then, the deja vu set in. At 174lbs, Zane Coleman conceded an 8-4 decision to Princeton's Nate Duggan, before an Arizona State forfeit at 184lbs and a Princeton technical fall by Luke Stout over Jake Ortiz pushed the team score to 20-14 Princeton entering heavyweight. Needing a fall to push the dual to tiebreaker criteria, #3 Cohlton Schultz was able to leave with his second major decision of the weekend, 13-5 over Matthew Cover, but not with the fall.
The two humbling defeats give Arizona State some work to do as they approach their conference dual-schedule, starting with CSU Bakersfield on Sunday, followed by Cal Poly on Monday. (See below for ongoing and upcoming Pac-12 events this weekend!)
Little Rock 33-7 Virginia Military Institute (Replay on Rokfin)
Little Rock 3-28 Appalachian State (Replay on Rokfin)
#22 Oregon State 30-15 Northern Colorado (Replay on FloWrestling)
Saturday, January 22nd
#22 Oregon State @ Wyoming (12pm Pacific, Live on FloWrestling)
Sunday, January 23rd
#8 Arizona State @ CSU Bakersfield (2pm Pacific, Live on ESPN+) *Pac-12 Dual-Meet
Monday, January 24th
#8 Arizona State @ Cal Poly (12pm Pacific, Live on Cal Poly Stream) *Pac-12 Dual-Meet