Posted: Feb 05, 2019
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly wraps up a season-opening stretch of seven consecutive home dual meets this weekend by hosting Fresno State on Saturday night and Air Force on Sunday afternoon.
The match with the Bulldogs begins at 7 p.m. and will be held in the Recreation Center on campus due to a conflict with a men's basketball game. Sunday's dual meet with the Falcons inside Mott Athletics Center starts at 1 o'clock.
Fresno State, which resurrected its wrestling program a year ago after an 11-year hiatus, owns an 8-6 dual meet record, winning its last four duals against Utah Valley, South Dakota State, Oregon State and Wyoming after a 4-6 start.
The Bulldogs also have beaten Northern Colorado, Cal Baptist and Division III schools Centenary of New Jersey and Johnson & Wales.
Coached by Troy Steiner, a 10-year assistant coach at Oregon State, Fresno State went 4-16 in its first season back on the mat a year ago with wins over San Francisco State, Cal Poly, Bucknell and Northern Colorado.
The Bulldogs beat Cal Poly 28-19 with pins in the final two bouts in the first dual meet between the two Central California rivals since Feb. 7, 2006. Despite the loss, Cal Poly still owns a 27-17 advantage in the series.
A four-time All-American at Iowa where he compiled a 148-13 record in the 134- and 142-pound weight classes, Steiner was a member of three Hawkeye national championship teams from 1991-93 and won the 1992 NCAA Division I National Championship in the 142-pound weight class.
Fresno State will put four nationally wrestlers on the mat against Cal Poly, led by Josh Hokit, No. 13 in the NCAA Coaches Rankings at 197 pounds. A running back on the Bulldogs' football team, Hokit is 17-3 on the mat, including a 6-0 mark in duals, after placing fifth in the Big 12 Championships a year ago and finishing 9-8.
Hokit played 13 of 14 football games last fall, rushing for 260 yards and one touchdown. The Clovis High School graduate ran for 583 yards as a sophomore and 130 yards along with special teams duties as a freshman.
Bulldog 149-pounder Khristian Olivas is ranked No. 19 with a 17-8 mark. He was an NCAA qualifier a year ago as a Big 12 wild card, earning 27 wins including a 17-3 mark in duals.
AJ Nevills is ranked No. 20 at 285 pounds with a 16-6 record. He also qualified for the NCAAs in 2018, placing second in the Big 12 Championships and finishing with a team-leading 28 wins, 16-4 in duals.
Fresno State 184-pounder Jackson Hemauer, a redshirt freshman ranked No. 25 in his weight class with a 17-8 mark, placed fourth at the Midlands in late December, as did Nevills. Olivas and Hokit both placed seventh.
Air Force sports a 4-4 overall dual meet record with a 1-3 mark in Big 12 matches. The Falcons have defeated Western Colorado twice, Simon Fraser once and, in a Big 12 dual, Fresno State 19-15 in November.
Air Force will field a trio of wrestlers listed in the initial NCAA Coaches Rankings.
Alex Mossing is ranked No. 29 at 157 pounds while Sidney Flores at 125 and Anthony McLaughlin at 197 both are ranked No. 30.
A senior, Mossing is 53-38 in his collegiate career, including a 16-11 mark this season with five falls. He has placed fourth and sixth in the Big 12 Championships.
Also a senior, McLaughlin is 10-1 this year and 53-28 as a Falcon. Flores is a freshman with a 15-9 mark and was a three-time state meet qualifier while wrestling at Bishop Amat High School.
Under fifth-year head coach Sam Barber, Air Force placed second behind Navy in the All-Academy Championships two weeks ago and two Falcons claimed titles — Flores at 125 and Garrett O'Shea (15-8) at 141.
The Falcons also competed in the Las Vegas Invitational and Southern Scuffle, but no wrestler earned placement.
Last year's dual between the Mustangs and Falcons was canceled due to a government shutdown. Cal Poly is 0-5 against Air Force, dropping a 21-10 dual to the Falcons two years ago in the Performing Arts Center's Harman Hall.
Cal Poly junior Tom Lane is ranked No. 17 by Amateur Wrestling News and No. 24 by the NCAA Coaches Panel at 197 pounds and will carry a 16-8 record into Saturday's dual meet. The Garden City, N.Y., native has won eight of his last nine bouts and was a 2018 NCAA qualifier.
Cal Poly has competed in just five duals so far, all at home, losing to Cal Baptist, Northwestern, CSU Bakersfield, Northern Colorado and Oregon State. The Mustangs concentrated on competition in seven tournaments during the first two months of the season to give the younger members of the squad more experience.
Topping the list of performances for the Mustangs so far is a sixth-place finish by Lane at the 56th annual Midlands Championships near Chicago, Illinois. in late December. Lane battled back from an opening-round loss to win five consecutive bouts in the wrestlebacks.
Joshy Cortez placed third at 157 pounds in the Roadrunner Open while three Mustangs placed in the Black Knight Invitational at Army West Point. Yoshito Funakoshi finished second at 133 pounds, Brawley Lamer was fourth at 157 and Ty Schilling claimed fifth place at 149.
Cal Poly also competed in two tournaments hosted by Menlo College as well as in the Las Vegas Invitational, the Reno Tournament of Champions and the California Collegiate Open hosted by San Francisco State.
In addition to Lane, other Mustangs scheduled to compete Saturday who own winning records include Schilling (10-9), Lamer (11-10) and 285-pounder Seville Hayes (11-7), who placed third in the California Collegiate Open. Funakoshi sports a 7-7 mark.
After two more Pac-12 dual meets on the road later this month at Stanford on Feb. 17 (Pac-12 Networks) and Arizona State on Feb. 22, the Mustangs will compete in the Pac-12 Championships on March 9, also at Arizona State, with the NCAA Division I National Championship slated for March 21-23 inside PPG Paints Arena at Pittsburgh, Penn.
Cal Poly (0-5, 0-2 Pac-12)
125 — Benny Martinez (8-14), Freshman, Eastlake, CA
133 — Yoshito Funakoshi (7-7), Senior, Torrance, CA
141 — Wyatt Cornelison (6-13), Redshirt Freshman, Clovis, CA
149 — Ty Schilling (10-9), Junior, Brownsville, OR
157 — Brawley Lamer (11-10), Redshirt Freshman, Corvallis, OR
165 — Joe La Rosa (2-5), Redshirt Freshman, Hughson, CA
174 — Nathan Tausch (6-10), Freshman, Poway, CA
184 — Willem DeBoer (10-12), Redshirt Freshman, Bakersfield, CA
197 — Tom Lane (16-8), Junior, Garden City, NY
285 — Samuel Aguilar (8-12), Redshirt Freshman, Apple Valley, CA or Seville Hayes (11-7), Senior, San Diego, CA
Fresno State (8-6. 4-3 Big 12)
125 - Robert Garcia IV (6-10), Redshirt Freshman, Selma, CA
133 - Gary Joint (12-10), Redshirt Freshman, Lemoore, CA
141 - Chris Deloza (11-9), Sophomore, Fresno, CA
149 - No. 12 Khristian Olivas (17-8), Junior, Clovis, CA
157 - Jacob Wright (19-7), Redshirt Freshman, Dinuba, CA
165 - Isaiah Hokit (11-9), Junior, Clovis, CA
174 - Dominic Kincaid (9-7), Junior, Clovis, CA
184 - No. 25 Jackson Hemauer (17-8), Redshirt Freshman, DeForest, WI
197 - No. 13 Josh Hokit (17-3), Junior, Clovis, CA
285 — No. 20 AJ Nevills (16-6), Sophomore, Clovis, CA
Air Force (4-4, 1-3 Big 12)
125 — Sidney Flores (15-9), Freshman, West Covina, CA
133 — John Twomey (13-10), Senior, South Huntington, NY or Tony DeCesare (4-5), Sophomore, Northfield, OH
141 — Garrett O'Shea (15-8), Junior, Butler, NJ
149 — Alec Opsal (11-11), Junior, New Fairfield, CT
157 — Alex Mossing (16-11), Senior, Toledo, OH or Trey Brisker (6-5), Freshman, Wilton, IA
165 — Jacoby Ward (11-8), Sophomore, Cincinnati, OH
174 — Randy Meneweather (14-12), Junior, Washington, IL
184 — Jacob Thompson (6-9), Freshman, Cincinnati, OH
197 — Anthony McLaughlin (10-1), Senior, Cleveland, OH or Casey Jumps (8-7), Sophomore, Platte City, MO
285 — Kayne Hutchison (7-4), Freshman, Pittsburg, KS
Photo above of Nathan Tausch courtesy of Nathan Nybakke | Photography805.com