SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Led by top-ranked 184-pounder Mitch Woods, Cal Poly will compete in the Pacific-12 Conference Wrestling Championship on Sunday at Maples Pavilion on the campus of Stanford University.
First bouts begin at 10:30 a.m., with the championship finals slated for 6 p.m. and televised by Pac-12 Networks with Jason Knapp (play-by-play), Ken Chertow (analyst) and Anthony Robles (analyst).
Woods (pictured at right) will take a 12-5 record and six-match winning streak into the conference finals. The senior from Camino. Calif., and a graduate of Union Mine High School placed fifth in last year's event at Arizona State and has posted a pair of falls and one major decision this season.
Ranked second at 157 pounds is Colt Shorts, also a senior and a graduate of Canon-McMillan High School in Canonsburg, Penn.
The lone Mustang in the most recent NCAA Division I Wrestling Coaches Committee Rankings, Shorts is ranked No. 21 in his weight class with a 19-11 record, four falls and five major decisions. He was fifth in last year's Pac-12 finals at 157.
Four other Mustangs are ranked fourth in this week's Pac-12 poll.
Rounding out the Mustang lineup at the conference finals will be redshirt freshman Brandon Staley (2-7) at 125, sophomore Yoshito Funakoshi (8-17) at 133, sophomore Joshy Cortez (12-17) at 149 and junior Luke Wilson (10-13) at 165.
Only two of last year's 10 individual champions return to defend their titles. Connor Schram of Stanford claimed the 125-pound crown in 2016 and is ranked No. 2 at 133 this year while Joey McKenna, also of Stanford, is back to defend his 141-pound title.
Other top finishers from a year ago competing in the 2017 finals are Joey Palmer of Oregon State, ranked No. 1 at 133 and the runner-up a year ago; Austin Dewey of Boise State, runner-up at 174 a year ago and ranked No. 3 this year; Corey Griego of Oregon State, runner-up at 184 last year and ranked No. 1 at 197 this season; and Tanner Hall of Arizona State, who placed third at 185 pounds a year ago and is ranked No. 1 this week.
Oregon State claimed its fifth consecutive Pac-12 team title a year ago, tallying 118 points. The Beavers' championship run is in jeopardy as they are not in InterMat's top-25 tournament rankings this week. Arizona State is ranked No. 12 and Stanford drew a No. 17 ranking this week.
Cal Poly placed sixth a year ago with 73.5 points.
Oregon State, Arizona State and Stanford all posted 4-1 marks in conference duals while Cal Poly, CSU Bakersfield and Boise State were 1-4.
The 2017 NCAA Division I National Championship is slated for March 16-18 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
Cal Poly (6-10, 1-4 Pac-12)
125 — Brandon Staley (2-7), Redshirt Freshman, Oviedo, FL
133 — Yoshito Funakoshi (8-17), Sophomore, Torrance, CA
141 — Colton Schilling (12-8), Junior, Sweet Home, OR
149 — Joshy Cortez (12-17), Sophomore, Temecula, CA
157 — No. 21 Colt Shorts (19-11), Senior, Canonsburg, PA
165 — Luke Wilson 10-13), Junior, Santa Maria, CA
174 — Travis Berridge (11-7), Senior, Brandon, FL
184 — Mitch Woods (12-5), Senior, Camino, CA
197 — Thomas Lane (13-12), Redshirt Freshman, Garden City, NY
285 — Spencer Empey (16-14), Junior, Sparks, NV
Nationally-ranked wrestlers from Pac-12 schools (NCAA Division I Coaches Rankings):
125 — 16. Gabe Townsell (Stanford), 25. Sean Nickell (CSU Bakersfield).
133 — None.
141 — 6. Joey McKenna (Stanford), 21. Russell Rohlfing (CSU Bakersfield), 26. Johnathan Hathaway (Oregon State).
149 — 14. Joshua Maruca (Arizona State), 17. Joey Delgado (Oregon State).
157 — 3. Joshua Shields (Arizona State), 21. Colt Shorts (Cal Poly), 28. Paul Fox (Stanford).
165 — 4. Anthony Valencia (Arizona State), 11. Keaton Subjeck (Stanford), 28. Lorenzo De La Riva (CSU Bakersfield).
174 — 2. Sahid Valencia (Arizona State), 31. Austin Dewey (Boise State).
184 — 31. Kadyn Del Toro (Boise State).
197 — 13. Matt Williams (CSU Bakersfield), 15. Josh Marchok (Stanford).
285 — 3. Tanner Hall (Arizona State), 10. Nathan Butler (Stanford), 13. Cody Crawford (Oregon State).