SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly opens its fifth wrestling season under the guidance of Brendan Buckley on Monday with an outdoor Pac-12 dual meet against Stanford.
First bout begins at 3 p.m. in the University Union plaza. It will be Cal Poly's third outdoor dual meet, following a 2014 match against Oregon State and a 2015 dual against CSU Bakersfield.
While none of the eight returning Mustang starters is ranked nationally at the start of the season, Stanford will bring three nationally ranked matmen.
True freshman Joey McKenna is ranked No. 13 at 141 pounds, junior Jim Wilson is ranked No. 4 at 165 pounds and sophomore Nathan Butler is ranked No. 15 at 285 pounds.
Wilson, a team captain and two-time Pac-12 champion, placed eighth in last year's NCAAs to earn All-America honors and opens his third campaign with the Cardinal with a 69-15 record.
Butler was 29-9 and a Pac-12 champion a year ago.
Cal Poly's group of eight returning starters — those who wrestled in at least six duals and competed in the Pac-12 Championship — is led by sophomore Colton Schilling, 21-11 with 12 falls at 141 pounds a year ago, and junior Travis Berridge (pictured above), 18-15 with three falls at 165 pounds.
Jason DelaCruz posted an 8-8 mark at 133 pounds last year while Spencer Empey, a redshirt a year ago, was 13-12 as a true freshman in the 2013-14 season.
Cal Poly's roster also features a dozen newcomers, three of whom earned victories over returning veterans in the Green and Gold Meet last Sunday. David Gonzalez at 125 pounds, Joshy Cortez at 149 and Andrew Morgan at 174 all posted wins in their first matches as Mustangs.
"We have a lot more experience across the lineup this year," said Buckley. "We have a lot of returning guys who have varsity experience and Pac-12 experience. Plus there are some good leaders on this team.
"The team has been working incredibly hard on many fronts this fall and the coaching staff is very pleased with the group that we have and the effort they have given," Buckley added. "We have excellent leadership and a large commitment from our veteran wrestlers and a strong freshmen class.
"I am really looking forward to the upcoming season."
The Mustangs own a 39-17-1 advantage against Stanford, though the Cardinal earned a 24-9 win two years ago in the Mott Athletics Center and a 22-13 triumph last year inside Maples Pavilion, winning five of the last six matches after the Mustangs jumped to an early 10-7 lead. The Cardinal, under eighth-year head coach Jason Borelli, has won five straight duals against Cal Poly.
Stanford at Cal Poly (Monday, Nov. 2, University Union Plaza, 3 p.m.)
- 125 — Connor Schram (S), Soph., Canonsburg, PA vs. Yoshito Funakoshi (CP), Soph., Torrance, CA, or David Gonzalez (CP), Fr., Covina, CA
- 133 — Eric Cramer (S), Jr., Palo Alto, CA vs. Jason DelaCruz (CP), Soph., Fresno, CA
- 141 — Joey McKenna (S), Fr., Towaco, NJ vs. Colton Schilling (CP), So., Sweet Home, OR
- 149 — Paul Fox (S), Fr., Lovelock, NV vs. Joshy Cortez (CP), Fr., Temecula, CA
- 157 — Maxwell Hvolbek (S), Jr., West Hills, CA vs. Colt Shorts (CP), Jr., Canonsburg, PA or Blake Kastl (CP), Jr., Saint Paris, OH
- 165 — Jim Wilson (S), Jr., Lodi, CA vs. Xavier Johnson (CP), Jr., Brentwood, CA
- 174 — Keaton Subjeck (S), So., El Dorado Hills, CA vs. Andrew Morgan (CP), Fr., Huntington Beach, CA or Sohrab Movahedi (CP), So., Northridge, CA
- 184 — Peter Galli (S), Jr., Baltimore, MD vs. Mitch Woods (CP), Jr., Camino, CA
- 197 — Michael Sojka (S), Sr., Winnebago, IL vs. J.T. Goodwin (CP), Jr., Stockton, CA
- 285 — Nathan Butler (S), Soph., Leavenworth, KS vs. Cortes Morales (CP), Fr., Fresno, CA