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Wrestling opens regular season with outdoor meet

Cardinal to take on San Francisco State in a match at the Football Fan Fest

Redshirt sophomore Requir van der Merwe (above) holds a 4-1 record after losing to a ranked opponent in the first meet of the season. He looks to have a great year in his third year on the farm. (DAVID ELKINSON/isiphotos.com)

On Saturday, Stanford wrestling (0-0) is hosting its home opener against San Francisco State (1-1) in the open air at Stanford Athletics’ Fan Fest, right before the Oregon-Stanford football match. The Cardinal have recently tasted victory after two freshmen, Real Woods (141 pounds) and Shane Griffith (165 pounds), and one redshirt freshman, Haydn Maley (heavyweight), won the Princeton Open last Sunday.

Woods started off his season with an exceptional 5-0 sweep, taking down both No. 7 Sa’Deria Perry of Old Dominion and, in the final match, No. 14 Nate Limmex of Purdue. Woods’s run was matched also by Griffith’s 5-0 performance, which included a final match against Brad Laughlin from Army. Maley secured the third Cardinal triumph after taking the heavyweight title in a final match against none other than teammate David Showunmi, a redshirt junior also in the heavyweight division.

The team also saw stellar performances from junior Gabriel Townsell, ranked 19th in the country in the 125-pound class. Townsell fell to No. 16 Devin Schroder from Purdue by a 4-2 decision. Like Townsell, redshirt sophomore Requir van der Merwe also ended up with a 4-1 record after losing to a ranked opponent, No. 20 Alfred Bannister from Maryland. Finally, Stanford’s own No. 7 Nathan Traxler took second place in the 197-pound contest with a 4-1 record.

On top of this flurry of titles and invitational victories, the entire Cardinal squad did well for their first trip of the season: Every team member finished with at least a 2-2 record.

The Cardinal are more than prepared to bring the heat to the SF State Gators, who recently dominated Life Pacific with a 37-6 score, but also lost to Cal State Bakersfield, 34-3. Cal State was represented by a pair of two-time NCAA qualifiers, Sean Nickell and Russell Rohlfing, resulting in a series of crushing defeats for SF State.

That being said, the Gators are packing a lot of power. Romeo Medina-Ontiveros took down Life Pacific opponent Kevin Pastor with a 13-1 decision, and Maximilian Schneider secured the only Gator victory against Cal State with a 13-9 decision over Jacob Thalin. SF State also boasts redshirt junior Jordan Gurrola, who is coming back after taking two seasons off but is currently ranked 11th in the nation in the 140 pound class.

Stanford has little to worry about in terms of the heavyweight class considering Maley’s recent triumph. However, SF State’s Schneider (165 pounds) and Angelo Reyes (125 pounds) may give the Cardinal a run for their money.

Catch the upcoming brawl between the Gators and Cardinal at the Football Fan Fest outside Stanford Stadium, at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

 

Contact Arman Kassam at armank ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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