24 NCAA qualifiers from CA: Anthony Valencia #2 seed, Jaden Abas #8 seed


24 wrestlers with CA HS backgrounds qualified for the upcoming NCAA Wrestling Championships, which will be held March 18-20 in St. Louis, MO. The total includes 15 auto-qualifiers (based on conference finish) and 9 more that earned at-large berths. There’s a CA qualifier in every weight class other than 197 and 285 lbs. I will not include competitors from CA programs who do not have CA backgrounds (e.g. Legend Lamer qualified for Cal Poly at 149 lbs. but grew up in Oregon and six other Stanford wrestlers qualified but all attended non-CA high schools).



Click to access 2021_ncaa_d1_brackets2.pdf


The NCAA committee has also determined the tournament seeds and the brackets are out! Among the top 12 seeds: Senior Anthony Valencia (Arizona State) is the #2 seed at 174 lbs. Redshirt freshman Jaden Abas (Stanford) is the #8 seed at 149 lbs. Senior Justin Thomas (Oklahoma) is the #10 seed at 157 lbs. Sophomore Bernie Truax (Cal Poly SLO) is the #12 seed at 174 lbs.

It’s quite a diverse mix of former state medalists and champions representing six different sections (Central, Southern, Sac Joaquin, Central Coast, San Diego, and North Coast). Half the qualifiers are former CA champions with 15 combined state titles. The magnitude of an NCAA appearance should not be understated … many state champions never step onto a mat during championships weekend. Over the past decade – from 2010-2019, excluding the cancelled 2020 NCAA tournament – 48 wrestlers with CA ties earned top 8 medals, otherwise known as All-American honors – with no fewer than 4 in a single season.

Needless to say, this “irregular” season lends to what will likely be a highly unpredictable NCAA showdown. Certainly, there are heavy favorites (Spencer Lee of Iowa at 125, Gable Steveson of Minnesota at 285) but with limited action/exposure and mostly localized competition, it is difficult to forecast who will reach the medal podium. Even during the last “normal” Championships in 2019, 16 medalists were seeded outside the top 8. So in such an uncertain 2021 environment, opportunities abound. From over 2,000 wrestlers starting the season, 330 wrestlers will enter Thursday morning with a clean slate and 80 will depart Saturday night in the history books as All-Americans. How many will CA have?

Here are the 24 CA hopefuls with their college data as well as head-to-head match-ups vs. NCAA qualifiers. I’ll also include their high school accomplishments.

125 pounds


Liam Cronin #13
Year: Junior

School: U. of Nebraska
Finish/Conference: 9th Big Ten
Qualification: At-large bid
2021 Record: 7-3
Career Record: 61-48
InterMat Ranking: #14

B10: d. #19 Barnett (Wisconsin) 2:02
B10: l. #12 DeAugustino (Northwestern) 4-1
B10: l. #9 Schroder (Purdue) 3-1 SV1
DUAL: #8 d. Foley (Michigan St.) 14-13
DUAL: l. #1 Lee (Iowa) 1:21
DUAL: d. #15 McKee (Minnesota) 8-1


Indiana University (2017-2020)
2020: 5th Big Ten, NCAA Qualifier (125)


Servite HS (Southern, 2016)
2016: 7th NHSCA Sr. Nationals (113)

2016: 2nd CA (113)
2015: 2nd CA (106)

133 pounds

Devan Turner #16
Year: Senior
School: Oregon State
Finish/Conference: 1st PAC-12
Qualification: Automatic
2021 Record: 6-4
Career Record: 64-42
InterMat Ranking: #15

P12: d. #19 Rich (CS Bakersfield) 3-1
DUAL: l. #28 SMith (Utah V.) 4-1
DUAL: l. #6 Schmitt (Missouri) 12-0
DUAL: l. #14 Price (So. Dakota) 6-3


2020: 1st PAC-12, NCAA Qualifier (133)

2019: 3rd PAC-12, 1-2 NCAA (133)
2018: 4th PAC-12

Dixon HS (Sac Joaquin, 2016)
2016: 5th CA (126)
2015: 1st NHSCA Jr. Nationals (120)
2015: 3-2 Top 12 CA (120)
2014: Qtrs., Top 12 CA (113)

133 pounds

Chance Rich #19
Year: Sophomore
School: Cal State Bakersfield
Finish/Conference: 2nd PAC-12
Qualification: At-Large
2021 Record: 5-2
Career Record: 23-22
InterMat Ranking: N/R

P12: l. #16 Turner (Oregon St.) 3-1
P12: d. #9 McGee (Arizona St.) 6-4 SV1
P12: d. #29 P. Bianchi (Little Rock) 6-4 SV1
DUAL: d. #29 P. Bianchi (Little Rock) 7-5

2020: 4th PAC-12 (133)

Valencia HS (Southern, 2018)
2018: 8th CA (126)
2017: 4th Jr. Folkstyle Nationals (126)
2017: 6th CA (120)
2016: 1-2 CA (113)

133 pounds

Jacob Allen #27
Year: Junior
School: Naval Academy
Finish/Conference: 2nd EIWA
Qualification: Automatic
2021 Record: 8-5
Career Record: 37-28
InterMat Ranking: #17

EIWA: l. #17 Hines (Lehigh) 4-2
EIWA: d. #26 Miller (Bucknell) 10-1
EIWA: l. #17 Hines (Lehigh) 2-0
DUAL: l. #5 Phillippi (Pittsburgh) 8-3

Poway HS (San Diego, 2018)
2018: 4th CA (120)
2017: 8th CA (106)
2016: Qtrs., Top 12 CA (106)

141 pounds

DJ Lloren #13
Year: Senior
School: Fresno State
Finish/Conference: 3rd Big 12
Qualification: Automatic
2021 Record: 12-1
Career Record: 62-32
InterMat Ranking: #14

B12: d. #15 Carlson (So. Dakota) 6-4
B12: l. #7 Parker (Iowa St.) 6-2


2020: 5th Big 12, NCAA Qualifier (141)

Utah Valley (Big 12, 2017-2019)
2018: 2-2 Big 12 (133)

Buchanan HS (Central, 2016)
2016: 2nd Flo Nationals (126)
2016: 2nd CA (132)
2015: 3rd Jr. Folkstyle Nationals (126)
2015: 1st CA (120)
2014: 3rd NHSCA So. Nationals (120)
2014: 5th CA (113)
2013: 8th Flo Nationals (106)
2013: 5th CA (106)

141 pounds

Angelo Martinoni #27
Year: Sophomore
School: Cal State Bakersfield
Finish/Conference: 2nd PAC-12
Qualification: Automatic
2021 Record: 4-1
Career Record: 32-19
InterMat Ranking: N/R

P12: l. #21 Woods (Stanford) 3-2

2020: 5th PAC-12 (141)

Folsom HS (Sac Joaquin, 2018)
2018: 2nd Flo Nationals (126)
2018: 5th CA (126)

2017: 5th Jr. Folkstyle Nationals (132)
2017: 3-2 CA (120)
2016: 3-2 CA (113)

141 pounds

Marcos Polanco #28
Year: Redshirt Freshman
School: U. of Minnesota
Finish/Conference: 11th Big Ten
Qualification: At-Large
2021 Record: 6-7
Career Record: 7-11
InterMat Ranking: N/R

B10: l. #32 Rooks (Indiana) 5-2
B10: l. #14 Duncan (Illinois) 8-0
B10: l. #32 Rooks (Indiana) 5-4
DUAL: d. Valdiviez (N’western) 3-1 SV1
DUAL: l. #14 Duncan (Illnois) 5-2
DUAL: l. #3 Rivera (Rutgers) 14-3
DUAL: d. #18 Fillius (Purdue) 3-2
DUAL: l. #1 Eierman (Iowa) 22-9
DUAL: l. #8 Red (Nebraska)

Bishop Amat HS (Southern, 2019)
2019: 6th CA (132)
2018: 7th NHSCA Jr. Nationals (132)
2018: 4th CA (132)

Servite HS (Southern)
2017: 2nd Cadet Folkstyle Nationals (126)
2016: 4-2 Top 12 CA (106)

141 pounds

Chase Zollmann #29
Year: Sophomore
School: U. of Wyoming
Finish/Conference: 5th Big 12
Qualification: At-Large
2021 Record: 12-6
Career Record: 43-28
InterMat Ranking: N/R

B12: l. #15 Carlson (So. Dakota) 2-1
B12: l. Parker (Iowa St.) 12-1

Poway HS (San Diego, 2018)
2018: 3rd CA (132)
2017: 5th CA (126)
2016: 2nd NHSCA So. Nationals (120)

2016: 3rd CA (113)
2015: 3rd NHSCA Fr. Nationals (106)

2015: 7th CA (106)

141 pounds

Julian Flores #31
Year: Senior
School: Drexel University
Finish/Conference: 4th EIWA
Qualification: Automatic
2021 Record: 6-3
Career Record: 42-45
InterMat Ranking: N/R

EIWA: l. #24 McGonagle (Lehigh) 3-0
EIWA: l. #24 McGonagle (Lehigh) 2-0
EIWA: d. #33 Vespa (Hofstra) 3-0
DUAL: l. #17 Bell (Rider) 7-2

2018: 0-2 EIWA (141)

San Marino HS (Southern, 2016)
2016: 4th Jr. Folkstyle Nationals (145)
2016: 4th CA (138)
2015: 3rd Jr. Folkstyle Nationals (138)
2015: 1st CA (132)
2014: 4th Jr. Folkstyle Nationals (132)
2014: 5th CA (132)
2013: 2nd Jr. Folkstyle Nationals (126)
2013: 5th CA (120)

149 pounds

Jaden Abas #8
Year: Redshirt Freshman
School: Stanford University
Finish/Conference: 1st PAC-12
Qualification: Automatic
2021 Record: 8-2
Career Record: 34-6
InterMat Ranking: #10

P12: d. #9 Lamer (Cal Poly) 10-5
P12: d. #31 Crooks (Arizona St.) 7-4
DUAL: l. #33 Hunsaker (Utah Valley) 2:16
DUAL: d. #13 Moore (Oklahoma) 5-2

P12: l. #9 Lamer (Cal Poly) 4-3

Rancho Bernardo HS (San Diego, 2019)
2019: 1st CA (145)
2018: 1st CA (138)
2017: 3rd CA (126)
Frontier HS (Central)
2016: 3rd NHSCA Fr. Nationals (120)
2016: 2nd CA (120)

149 pounds

Kyle Parco #17
Year: Redshirt Freshman
School: Fresno State
Finish/Conference: 3rd Big 12
Qualification: Automatic
2021 Record: 13-1
Career Record: 30-3
InterMat Ranking: #17

B12: d. #18 Degen (Iowa St.) 9-4
B12: l. #23 Lara (No. Iowa) 9-4
B12: d. #18 Degen (Iowa St.) 4-3

De La Salle HS (North Coast, 2019)
2019: 1st CA (132)
2018: Qtrs., Top 12 CA (126)
San Ramon Valley (North Coast)
2017: 0-2 CA (126)
2016: 5th Cadet Folkstyle Nationals (126)
2016: 1-2 CA (126)

149 pounds

Peyton Omania #28
Year: Redshirt Freshman
School: Michigan State
Finish/Conference: 11th Big Ten
Qualification: At-Large
2021 Record: 4-6
Career Record: 23-12
InterMat Ranking: N/R

B10: l. #21 Rooks (Indiana) 5-3
B10: l. #1 Sasso (Ohio St.) 9-1
B10: d. #10 Van Brill (Rutgers) 9-6
DUAL: d. #11 Storr (Michigan) 15-8
DUAL: l. #15 Parriott (Purdue) 11-2
DUAL: l. #5 Lovett (Nebraska) 13-3
DUAL: l. #1 Sasso (Ohio St.) 7-6
DUAL: l. #14 Blockhus (Minnesota) 16-4

De La Salle HS (North Coast, 2018)
2018: 1st CA (145)
2017: 6th CA (145)
2016: 5th CA (145)

149 pounds

Greg Gaxiola #32
Year: Senior
School: Hofstra University
Finish/Conference: 4th EIWA
Qualification: Automatic
2021 Record: 4-3
Career Record: 38-35
InterMat Ranking: N/R

EIWA: l. #24 Nichter (Drexel) 6-2
EIWA: l. #16 Ogunsanya (Army) 10-4
EIWA: l. #24 Nichter (Drexel) 7-2

Fresno State (Big 12, 2017-2020)
2020: 5th Big 12, NCAA Qualifier (149)
2018: 0-2 Big 12 (157)

Cal Baptist
(Division 2, 2016-2017)

2017: Regional Qualifier

Buchanan HS (Buchanan, 2016)
2016: 4th CA (145)
2015: 7th CA (132)
2014: 6th NHSCA So. Nationals (126)
2014: 2-2 CA (126)
2013: 1-2 CA (113)

157 pounds

Justin Thomas #10
Year: Senior
School: U. of Oklahoma
Finish/Conference: 3rd Big 12
Qualification: Automatic
2021 Record: 11-3
Career Record: 86-44
InterMat Ranking: #9

B12: d. #18 DeVos (So. Dakota) 3-1 SV1
B12: d. #23 Wright (Dinuba) 8-2
B12: l. #8 Franek (No. Dakota) 3-1 SV1
DUAL: d. #18 DeVos (So. Dakota) 4-0
DUAL: l. #17 van der Merwe (Stanford) 5-4
DUAL: l. #3 Carr (Iowa St.) 4-0
DUAL: d. #11 Teemer (Arizona St.) 6-2

2020: 4th Big 12, NCAA Qualifier (157)
2019: 2nd Big 12, 3-2 T12 NCAA (157)
2018: 1-2 Big 12 (157)

Calvary Chapel HS (Southern, 2016)
2016: 1st CA (160)
Santiago Corona HS (Southern)
2015: 2nd CA (152)
2014: 3rd CA (145)
2013: 6th Cadet Nationals Folkstyle (145)
2013: 4th CA (126)

157 pounds


Chase Saldate #15
Year: True Freshman
School: Michigan State
Finish/Conference: 4th Big Ten
Qualification: Automatic
2021 Record: 8-5
Career Record: 8-5
InterMat Ranking: #14

B10: l. #6 Lee (Minnesota) 6-3
B10: d. #9 Coleman (Purdue) 3-1
B10: d. #14 Lewan (Michigan) MFF
B10: d. #29 Licking (Nebraska) 3:31
B10: l. #5 Young (Iowa) 4-0
DUAL: d. #29 Licking (Nebraska) 3:31
DUAL: l. #14 Lewan (Michigan) 7-2
DUAL: l. #9 Coleman (Purdue) 6-4 SV1
DUAL: l. #6 Lee (Minnesota) 5-4

Gilroy HS (Central Coast, 2020)
2020: 1st CA (152)
2019:3rd NHSCA Jr. Nationals (152)
2019: 2nd CA (138)
2018: 1st NHSCA So. Nationals (132)
2018: 4th CA (126)
2017: 2nd NHSCA Fr. Nationals (120)
2017: 2-2 CA (120)

157 pounds

Jacob Wright #23
Year: Junior
School: U. of Wyoming
Finish/Conference: 5th Big 12
Qualification: At-Large
2021 Record: 16-4
Career Record: 71-26
InterMat Ranking: #20

B12: l. #10 Thomas (Oklahoma) 8-2
B12: l. #18 DeVos (So. Dakota) 9-4
DUAL: l. #18 DeVos (So. Dakota) 8-5
DUAL: d. #26 Lovell (Central MI) 10-4
DUAL: l. #7 Jacques (Missouri) 3-1

Fresno State (Big 12, 2018-2020)
2020: 5th Big 12, NCAA Qualifier (157)
2019: 5th Big 12 (157)

Dinuba HS (Central, 2017)
2017: 4th CA (145)
2016: 2nd CA (138)
2014: 3rd NHSCA Fr. Nationals (126)
2014: 2-2 CA (120)

165 pounds

Anthony Valencia #2
Year: Senior

School: Arizona State
Finish/Conference: 1st PAC-12
Qualification: Automatic
2021 Record: 10-0
Career Record: 97-24
InterMat Ranking: #2

P12: d. #8 Griffith (Stanford) 7-1
DUAL: d. Moody (Wyoming) 12-7

2020: 1st PAC-12, NCAA Qualifier (174)
2018: 1st PAC-12, 2-2 NCAA (165)
2017: 1st PAC-12, 2-2 Qtrs. NCAA (165)

St. John Bosco HS (Southern, 2015)
2015: 1st CA (170)

2014: 2nd Jr. Folkstyle Nationals (170)
2014: 1st CA (170)
2013: 3rd Jr. Folkstyle Nationals (145)
2013: 2nd CA (145)
2012: 1st Flo Nationals (126)
2012: 1st CA (126)

165 pounds

Izzak Olejnik #18
Year: Sophomore

School: Northern Illinois
Finish/Conference: 1st MAC
Qualification: Automatic
2021 Record: 13-2
Career Record: 37-16
InterMat Ranking: #19

MAC: l. #6 O’Toole (Missouri) 6-2
DUAL: l. #6 O’Toole (Missouri) 5-1

2020: 2nd MAC, NCAA Qualifier (165)

Bakersfield HS (Central, 2018)
2018: 5th NHSCA Sr. Nationals (145)
2018: 4th CA (145)
2017: 0-2 CA (126)
2016: 3rd Jr. Folkstyle Nationals (106)
2016: 5th CA (106)
2015: 6th Cadet Folkstyle Nationals (106)
2015: 3-2 CA (106)
2014: 5th Cadet Folkstyle Nationals (94)

165 pounds

Andrew Sparks #24
Year: True Freshman
School: U. of Minnesota
Finish/Conference: I-D Big Ten
Qualification: At-Large
2021 Record: 9-3
Career Record: 9-3
InterMat Ranking: #20

B10: l. #23 Lee (Penn State) 0:45
B10: d. #31 Ferrante (N’western) 8-4
B10: l. #11 C. Amine (Michigan) 5-2
DUAL: d. #31 Ferrante (N’westner) 14-11
DUAL: d. #19 Nijenhuis (Purdue) 7-3
DUAL: l. #1 Marinelli (Iowa) 8-4
DUAL: d. #25 Tucker (Michigan St.) 9-7
DUAL: d. #14 Robb (Nebraska) 7-6

Calvary Chapel HS (Southern, 2020)
2020: 1st CA (160)
2019: 3-2 CA (152)

174 pounds

Bernie Truax #12
Year: Sophomore

School: Cal Poly SLO
Finish/Conference: 1st PAC-12
Qualification: Automatic
2021 Record: 9-1
Career Record: 38-18
InterMat Ranking: #11

P12: d. #20 Munoz (Arizona St.) 11-2
DUAL: d. #20 Munoz (Arizona St.) 4-2 SV1
DUAL: l. #2 Romero (Utah Valley) 6-4 SV1


2020: 2nd PAC-12, NCAA Qualifier (165)

Rancho Buena Vista HS (San Diego, 2018)
2018: 3rd CA (145)

2017: 5th Junior Folkstyle Nationals (138)
2017: 2nd CA (138)
2016: 0-2 CA (113)

174 pounds

Trey Munoz #20
Year: Redshirt Freshman

School: Arizona State
Finish/Conference: 2nd PAC-12
Qualification: Automatic
2021 Record: 5-2
Career Record: 18-4
InterMat Ranking: N/R

P12: l. #12 Truax (Cal Poly) 11-2
DUAL: l. #12 Truax (Cal Poly) 4-2 SV1
DUAL: l. #29 Runyon (No. Iowa) 3-2
DUAL: d. #23 Mantanona (Oklahoma) 8-3

Trabuco Hills HS (Southern, 2019)
2019: 1st NHSCA Senior Nationals (170)
2019: 1st CA (170)
2018: 3rd Junior Folkstyle Nationals (152)
2018: 2nd CA (152)
2017: 8th Cadet Folkstyle Nationals (138)
2017: 3-2 CA (126)

174 pounds

Anthony Mantanona #23
Year: Junior
School: U. of Oklahoma
Finish/Conference: 5th Big 12
Qualification: At-Large
2021 Record: 8-7
Career Record: 61-32
InterMat Ranking: N/R

B12: d. #25 Surratt (Air Force) 8-0
B12: l. #14 Hastings (Wyoming) 2:59
B12: l. #2 Romero (Utah Valley) 11-6
DUAL: d. #18 Plott (OK State) 7-4
DUAL: l. #18 Plott (OK State) 11-6
DUAL: l. #29 Runyon (No. Iowa) 2:10
DUAL: l. #20 Munoz (Arizona St.) 8-3

2020: 2nd Big 12, NCAA Qualifier (174)
2019: 2-2 Big 12 (174)

Palm Desert HS (Southern, 2017)
2017: 1st Jr. Folkstyle Nationals (170)
2017: 1st CA (170)

2016: 1st Flo Nationals (160)
2016: 8th Jr. Folkstyle Nationals (170)
2016: 2nd CA (170)
2015: 3rd Jr. Folkstyle Nationals (152)
2015: 4th CA (145)
2014: 1st Cadet Folkstyle Nationals (145)
2014: 3-2 CA (132)

184 pounds

Dominic Ducharme #21
Year: Senior

School: Cal State Bakersfield
Finish/Conference: 1st PAC-12
Qualification: Automatic
2021 Record: 5-0
Career Record: 57-43
InterMat Ranking: N/R

P12: d. #31 Reyes (Oregon St.) 3-2 TB1

2019: 3rd PAC-12, 1-2 NCAA (184)
2018: 3rd PAC-12 (184)

Windsor HS (North Coast, 2016)
2016: 3rd CA (170)
2015: 8th CA (152)

184 pounds

Ryan Reyes #31
Year: Sophomore
School: Oregon State
Finish/Conference: 2nd PAC-12
Qualification: At-Large
2021 Record: 6-4
Career Record: 11-11
InterMat Ranking: N/R

P12: l. #21 Ducharme (CS Bakersfield) 3-2 TB1
DUAL: l. #25 Waddell (Chattanooga) 4-0
DUAL: l. #11 Geer (OK State) 11-5
DUAL: l. #9 Kent (Missouri) 4-3

Gilroy HS (Central Coast, 2019)
2019: 1st CA (195)
Clovis West HS (Central)
2018: 3rd CA (195)
2017: 1st NHSCA So. Nationals (195)
2017: 3rd CA (195)
2016: 1st NHSCA Fr. Nationals (195)
2016: 7th CA (170)