The Stanford wrestling team wrapped up its 2010-11 season yesterday at the NCAA Championships in Philadelphia, Pa., where the Cardinal placed 11th, the program’s best-ever finish.
Nick Amuchastegui led the way with one of the best individual performances in Stanford wrestling’s 95-year history. The junior finished as the runner-up at 174 pounds, becoming only the second Cardinal wrestler ever to reach the championship bout at the NCAA Championships.
Entering the meet as the No. 7 seed, Amuchastegui cruised past Wisconsin’s Benjamin Jordan with a 13-1 major decision and defeated Ohio State’s Nick Heflin by a 6-1 decision to reach the quarterfinals. He then faced No. 2 seed Edward Ruth of Penn State and was leading 9-2 when Ruth defaulted due to injury. Amuchastegui pulled another upset in the semis, knocking off No. 3 seed Mack Lewnes of Cornell to reach the final, where he fell to the top-seeded Jonathan Reader of Iowa State.
With his second-place finish, Amuchastegui was named an All-American for the second straight year, becoming only the fourth Stanford wrestler to receive the honor multiple times. Along with Amuchastegui, sophomore Ryan Mango and senior Zack Giesen were also named All-Americans, helping Stanford tally three All-American honors in a single year for the first time ever. Mango placed sixth at 125 pounds in his second appearance at NCAAs, while Giesen placed sixth at 192 pounds in his final collegiate meet. Giesen’s 109 career wins make him tied for fourth in team history.