Cal Poly Wrestling earned a third-place finish as a team at the Pac-12 Championships on Sunday, March 5 inside Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto.
Redshirt sophomore Antonio Lorenzo, graduate Ethan Rotondo and redshirt junior Bernie Truax all earned automatic qualifications for the NCAA National Championships.
Truax brought home his second individual Pac-12 title at 197 pounds, while Lorenzo (125 pounds) and Rotondo (133 pounds) both secured third-place finishes to send them to the Big Dance.
Truax started the day with a first-round bye after earning the top seed. A 1-0 win over Arizona State’s No. 24 Kordell Norfleet in the semifinal secured Truax his NCAA berth.
The two-time All-American took down Stanford’s 21st-ranked Nick Stemmet, 7-6, in the title match. Truax is now 13-1 on the season and ranked No. 5 nationally.
Lorenzo earned a 10-2 major decision win in the first round to advance to the semifinals. After falling 4-2, he dropped to the consolation semifinals.
With a chance to qualify for nationals on the line, Lorenzo earned an 8-4 win to propel himself into the third-place bout. Against 26th-ranked Nico Provo from Stanford, Lorenzo used three takedowns to cruise to a 7-4 victory and clinched a spot at NCAAs.
Rotondo’s route to the national tournament mirrored that of Lorenzo’s. The 33rd-ranked wrestler won his opening duel against Stanford’s Jackson Disario, 3-1, before falling in the semifinals to move to the consolation side.
Cal Poly’s “scrapyard dog” went to work, earning a 4-2 win to move to the third-place bout. In a rematch with Disario, Rotondo didn’t back down, riding out a 3-1 decision to punch his ticket to nationals.
Redshirt freshmen Luka Wick and Trevor Tinker both brought home second-place finishes at 157 and 285 pounds after both Mustangs earned first-round byes to start competition.
Wick used a 6-0 second-round victory to claim a spot in the title bout. In a meeting with top-seed Daniel Cardenas from Stanford, Wick fell by major decision, 13-4. The Pac-12 was only allocated one automatic qualifying spot in the 157-pound division.
Likewise, Tinker won his first bout of the day, 5-1. In the final title match of the day, Arizona State’s Cohlton Schultz pinned Tinker in 2:48 to deny him a spot at nationals. 285 pounds was also only allocated one automatic qualifier.
Three more Mustangs found the podium, as redshirt junior Lawrence Saenz (141), sixth-year Dom Demas (149) and redshirt sophomore Legend Lamer (165) all placed third.
As a team, Cal Poly also made it on the podium, finishing in third place, the highest team finish for the program in the conference finals since the 2009-10 season. The Mustangs also won all five Pac-12 dual meets this season.
Oregon State brought home the team title with 123.5 points, followed by Stanford at 113.5 points and Cal Poly with 112.
While the rest of the lineup awaits the announcement of at-large bids on Wednesday, March 8, Lorenzo, Rotondo and Truax will all be heading to Tulsa, Oklahoma from Thursday, March 16 to Saturday, March 18 for the NCAA National Championships.