Cal Poly Wrestling redshirt sophomore Bernie Truax defeated Trey Munoz of Arizona State in a 11-2 major decision for the 174-pound title at the 2021 Pac-12 Wrestling Championships inside Gill Coliseum on Sunday, Feb. 28.
With the win, Truax qualified for the NCAA Division I National Championship tournament for the second straight year. Truax qualified for the 2020 Nationals, but was unable to compete due to the COVID-19 shutdown the year prior.
Truax, holding a record of 9-1 through the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season, battled the Sun Devil’s Munoz through a scoreless first period. The second period began with Munoz taking the bottom position and earning a reversal to take a 2-0 lead.
Truax escaped, then secured a takedown and four-point near fall to jump ahead 7-2 heading into the final period. Truax earned an escape, a takedown and riding time for the nine-point victory.
Earlier in the tournament Truax received a first-round bye, then he won by pin against Triston Wills of Little Rock within just 59 seconds in the semifinals.
Cal Poly’s other Pac-12 finalist was redshirt freshman Legend Lamer in the 149 pound weight class. Lamer fell to Jaden Abas of Stanford in a 10-5 loss.
Lamer’s points came from his five escapes while Abas secured four takedowns, one escape and a riding time point for the victory. Lamer suffered his first loss of the 2021 season with a record of 10-1 for the year.
Like his teammate Truax, Lamer drew a first-round bye and went on to defeat Lane Stigall of Oregon State in an 11-2 major decision in the semifinals.
Lamer then secured a pre-allocated spot to the national tournament after recording a 4-2 decision victory over Cory Crooks of Arizona State.
Truax and Lamer were two of three Mustangs in the national polls this week. In the NCAA Division I Coaches Poll, Lamer ranked No. 10 at 149 pounds, Truax No. 16 at 174 pounds and redshirt sophomore Lawrence Saenz ranked No. 28 at 141 pounds.
Seven of the eight Mustangs who managed to compete in the wrestleback semifinals earned wins to advance to the finals for third and fourth place. Only redshirt junior Samuel Aguilar, however, managed to secure third place in the 285 pound weight class .
After securing a takedown halfway into the first period, Aguilar pinned Jacob Sieder of CSU Bakersfield in 1 minute, 42 seconds. Aguilar’s record was 3-1 on the day and the junior finished the year with an overall record of 7-2 .
As a team, Cal Poly finished fourth place in the Pac-12 Tournament, scoring 107 points for their highest finish in 11 years.
Arizona State claimed the title for the second consecutive year and their fourth title in the last five years, finishing with 136 points. Oregon State finished second with 123 points while Stanford, with 115.5 points, placed third.
Truax is scheduled to compete in the NCAA Division I Nationals on Mar. 18-20 in St. Louis.