Amuchastegui is Pac-12 Wrestler of the Year | April 6, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - April 6, 2012

Amuchastegui is Pac-12 Wrestler of the Year

The Farm will be busy this weekend with softball, tennis, track and field, men's volleyball and women's water polo

by Rick Eymer

Stanford senior Nick Amuchastegui is the unanimous pick for the Pac-12 Conference Wrestler of the Year following a season that saw him finish 24-1, his only loss coming in the NCAA finals.

Amuchastegui is the second Cardinal to be named conference Wrestler of the Year, as Matt Gentry earned the honor in 2004. The two are the only Stanford wrestlers to reach the NCAA finals, with Amuchastegui being the first two reach it twice.

"Nick has set the standard for all future Stanford wrestlers and will be greatly missed," said Stanford head coach Jason Borrelli. "As sad as we are to lose him as a wrestler, we look forward to welcoming him to our list of outstanding alumni!"

The senior concludes his collegiate career with a 118-19 overall record, marking the fourth-best win total in program history. Amuchastegui competed in four NCAA Championships, earning All-America status on three occasions. He joins former Cardinal Tanner Gardner as the only three-time All-Americans in school history.

Amuchastegui is also a two-time conference champion, winning the 165-pound title in 2010 and the 174-pound crown this season. He finished as the conference runner-up as a redshirt freshman and a junior. His 18 career pins ties for the eighth-most by a Cardinal wrestler, while his 24 consecutive victories this season is the second-best streak in school history.

"Nick is truly an outstanding individual and one of the most amazing people I have ever met," stated Borrelli. "He is a man of the highest caliber who possesses the hallmarks of success: intelligence, self-motivation, integrity, leadership, selflessness, and courage."

A two-time NCAA Elite 88 Award winner, Amuchastegui was the Capital One/CoSIDA Men's At-Large Academic All-American of the Year in 2011.


Stanford shortstop Ashley Hansen was listed in an impressive lineup of 10 senior student-athletes when the finalists were announced for the 2012 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Each year, the award is presented to student-athletes who excel not only on the playing field, but also in the classroom and in their community.

The 10 finalists have garnered tremendous achievements both on and off the field and were chosen from a list of 30 candidates based on personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete — classroom, community, character and competition.

Nationwide balloting begins immediately and continues through May 14 to determine the sixth annual winner, who will receive the award during the NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Stanford (27-8, 1-5 Pac-12) will play host to Oregon (23-7, 2-3 Pac-12) on Friday (7 p.m.) and Saturday (noon).

Women's tennis

Junior Natalie Dillon has put together a nice winning streak recently. She beat Cal Poly's Ireen Kuipers, 6-1, 6-2, Wednesday to record her fifth consecutive win as the sixth-ranked Stanford women's tennis team downed the visiting Mustangs, 7-0, in a nonconference match.

Dillon, who replaced an ailing Kristie Ahn in the lineup, has won six of her past seven matches after losing her first four. Ahn has not played in a month.

All six singles players won in straight sets as the Cardinal (14-0) won by shutout a sixth straight match.

Stanford will host Santa Clara on Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

Men's tennis

Stanford will host Oregon on Friday (1:30 p.m.) and No. 22 Washington on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Track and field

It's another year for the annual Stanford Invitational track and field meet but not just another year. This one is special, because it ends with the Olympic Games in London this summer.

An Olympic year is always a special one and organizers of the 38th running of the Stanford Invitational hope this weekend's meet at Cobb Track and Angell Field will be a positive step forward for a number of athletes planning on making the trip to England.

The meet will get underway on Friday morning at 9 a.m. with the men's collegiate javelin. Running events begin at 11 a.m. High School and college events will rotate throughout the meet, but the highlight of the meet is often Friday's distance carnival that begins at 5:15 p.m. The distance races will feature some of the top college and pro athletes in the country and will go deep into the night, with the last race scheduled for 10:48 p.m.

Saturday, things again get underway at 9 a.m., this time with both the track and the field events. The final event is set for 4:52 p.m. as the high school 4x400-meter relay concludes the meet.

Men's volleyball

No. 5 Stanford (16-6, 13-5 MPSF) will host No. 8 Long Beach State (13-12, 8-10) on Friday and No. 12 Cal State Northridge (10-15, 6-12) on Saturday, both in Maples Pavilion at 7 p.m.

Women's water polo

No. 2-ranked Stanford (18-1, 4-0 MPSF)) will risk its co-lead in the league when it hosts No. 3 USC on Saturday at 1 p.m.


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