Rocked in Little Rock: Wrestling goes 1-2 in triple-header

Strong Sunday start shifts to struggles against SDSU, Sooners

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In the first dual of the Little Rock Quad triple-header, men’s wrestling initially had the wind at its back after the team dominated Little Rock by a score of 27-9. The Cardinal’s fortunes took a sudden turn against South Dakota State, losing 23-15. Early momentum in their final dual against Oklahoma also turned sour as the Sooners closed out the team’s weekend with a 21-12 defeat. 

The 157 weight class was the bright spot for Stanford with true freshman Charlie Darracott earning the team’s only fall of the meet against Little Rock and redshirt senior Requir van der Merwe winning both of his matches against his South Dakota State and Oklahoma opponents. True freshman Jason Miranda also went 2-0 against the Jackrabbits and Sooners. In the 149 weight class Jaden Abas also shined; the redshirt freshman won all three of his matches on Sunday.

Other classes struggled across the three straight matches. Both true freshman Nick Stemmet and sophomore Jackson DiSario started strong in their bouts against Little Rock, but lost via fall in subsequent matches against South Dakota State. DiSario was able to find his footing in the final match and edge out Oklahoma’s Mason Naifeh in a 1-0 decision. On the other hand, Stemmet was subbed out for Hayden Maley in the 197 weight class, who lost in a 5-1 decision against Oklahoma. 

Sunday’s final dual against the Sooners was a tale of two weight classes. In contests of 157 pounds and fewer, the Cardinal outscored Oklahoma 12-3 in 5 decisions with only sophomore Luciano Arroyo dropping his match against Dom Demas (Arroyo defeated his Little Rock opponent but dropped his following match against South Dakota State). The Sooners’ larger wrestlers quickly fought back, with Tony Mantanona defeating redshirt sophomore Tyler Eichens via fall. The following four matches were consecutive losing decisions to close out the 21-12 defeat.

Noticeably absent was redshirt sophomore Shane Griffith. Head coach Jason Borrelli confirmed that last year’s NWCA First Team All-American was recovering from an injury prior to Sunday. 

With a 4-2 record on the season, the Cardinal turned their attention back to the West Coast. The team will next face Oregon State and Utah Valley on Feb. 7, followed by the Pac-12 championship in Corvallis at the end of the month.

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Michael Espinosa '22 is majoring in international relations. He's the head of The Daily's social media team, and editor for the University beat and also occasionally writes for sports, arts, and The Grind. He's the biggest Taylor Swift fan at Stanford and the proudest New Yorker you will ever meet. Contact him at mespinosa 'at' stanforddaily.com.