The Arizona State men’s wrestling team is in Corvallis, Oregon looking to go back-to-back as PAC-12 champions, after a dominating performance in 2020. They have six top 10 ranked wrestlers in their respective weight classes this year.
“We’re beyond gratfeul and thankful to be here,” head coach Zeke Jones said as he was talking about being fortunate to have a wrestling season. “But, we’re a combative sport too. We’re thankful and grateful but we’re just to tryinf to put on our hands on you and throw some people on the ground.”
There are a few achievememnts on the horizon for the Sun Devils in this PAC-12 Championship and beyond.
Senior Anthony Valencia became the 18th ASU wrestler to win three PAC-12 championships in 2020. A fourth would put him elite company, joining Eric Larkin and Markus Mollica as the only ones to do so in the maroon and gold. He will compete as the four seed in the 165 pound weight class this weekend.
“I treat every tournament and match like it’s an NCAA match,” Valencia said. “I’m excited to win four, but I look at the bigger picture and the bigger picture is I want to be an NCAA champ. So it’s definitely something I want to do and put in the record books. Being a four time pAC-12 champ is pretty big.”
Cohton Schultz and Kordell Norfleet have first round byes for ASU. Schultz is in the heavyweight category and is 10-0 this year. The freshman is enjoying this opportunity, but knows there’s more on the way.
Schultz will be attempting to qualify for the Olympics later in March, all while balancing the PAC-12 and NCAA tournaments with ASU. He’ll be traveling to multiple states to compete.
“I’m excited, I love wrestling,” Schultz said. “Being able to compete and travel again is something I’m looking forward to big time. I kind of knew, when we decied what my schedule was going to be like, I knew what I was signing up for.”
Norfleet is competeing at 197 pounds this year. With all of the different elements that led to this moment, he’s just ready to showcase the work he’s been putting in, saying that wrestling practice is the toughest part of his life but he loves every minute of it.
Here’s some more information about the wrestlers competing for the Sun Devils in the PAC-12 Championships.
3x Pac-12 Champion @Air_Valencia led the Sun Devils this season in decisions (5️⃣)!😈
— Sun Devil Wrestling (@ASUWrestling) February 27, 2021
2x Pac-12 Champion at 197lbs, @kd70_ led the Sun Devils this season in technical fall victories (3️⃣) and in four-point near falls (4️⃣)! He also had 2️⃣ pins, 3️⃣ bonus points and 1️⃣7️⃣ takedowns!😈🔱
— Sun Devil Wrestling (@ASUWrestling) February 24, 2021
✔️ Undefeated 2020 Season (10-0)
✔️ Back-to-back victories against top-10 opponents
✔️ @pac12 Wrestler of the Week
You might know him, it’s @TheCohlTrain😈
— Sun Devil Wrestling (@ASUWrestling) February 17, 2021