wrestling-d1 flag

Arizona State Athletics | February 27, 2017

Arizona State captures first Pac-12 title in 11 years

  Zahid Valencia took home Most Outstanding honors for ASU in the Pac-12 tournament.

PALO ALTO, Calif. – For the first time in 11 years, Arizona State wrestling will be bringing a conference championship trophy home to Tempe after winning the 2017 Pac-12 Wrestling Championship by a 4.5-point margin over the host Stanford Cardinal, 127-122.5. CSU Bakersfield (92) finished third, Oregon State fourth (91.5), Boise State fifth (79) and Cal Poly sixth (78).

ASU's 19th all-time conference championship and 17th in the Pac-12 comes also thanks to five individual champions for the Sun Devils: Josh Maruca (149), Josh Shields (157), Anthony Valencia (165), Zahid Valencia (174), and Tanner Hall (HWT). Five marks the most title winners the Sun Devils have had since 2003 when ASU had six champions.

"It means a lot to have all our administrators here and it always starts with leadership," said head coach Zeke Jones. "All of our guys put their all into making this weekend all that it was, whether it's on the mat or in the back room as practice partners. It takes a lot of us to get it done. We have a very young team and we're not done yet but it's a good start. These guys are going to be a part of the leadership of our team for a very long time."

ASU also led all teams with seven individuals advancing to Sunday evening's championship finals as Josh Kramer (125) and Jacen Petersen (184) also pulled off upsets en route to a pair of second place finishes.

Sophomore Tanner Hall credited the entire team effort that contributed to the title saying that "many times the champions are the ones that get all the publicity but I think it's important to recognize everyone, especially Jacen Petersen and Josh Kramer who did more than was expected of them and without them, we couldn't have won."

Zahid Valencia, who remains undefeated (33-0) on his freshman campaign, was named Most Outstanding Wrestler for the Pac-12 tournament, also receiving the award for most falls in the tournament.

Valencia's Most Outstanding award was a first for ASU since 2009 when Anthony Robles, one of the commentators on the call for the Pac-12 Network broadcast, won the same award and was just the Sun Devils' 11th all-time.

Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson, as well as multiple administrators and support staff, were in attendance and the championship was especially meaningful for him, as his first Pac-12 champion as athletics director.

"This is a great place to start," said Anderson, "but we have a long, illustrious road ahead. Thank you to all the student-athletes and their families. President Crow texted his hearty congratulations and as a former wrestler, he understands everything that goes into successes like this. Thank you to Zeke, Art Martori, and all the supporters – we're just getting started."

The five Pac-12 champions will now prepare for next month's NCAA championships in St. Louis, Mo. March 16-18.


Women's track and field rankings: New Mexico jumps into top 10 after Bryan Clay Invitational

New Mexico now has five top-six national times over three events and enters the top-10 for the first time this season in the April 18 college track and field rankings.

Women's track and field rankings: Kentucky and LSU lead the SEC charge to the top

Week 3 of the women's outdoor track and field rankings has a new look as one conference flexes its muscle and three new teams join the top 25. Here are takeaways from the national rating index from the USTFCCCA.

Dan Hodge Trophy: History, winners, and how it works

Here's the history of the Dan Hodge Trophy, named after one of the all-time greats and given annually to the top college wrestler every year since 1985.

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners