TCWs All-College Team

DAXTON GORDON (Cal Baptist) 2018 NCAA Division II National Champion

 

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The TCW All-State team was chosen based and determined on each wrestler’s performance at their respective national tournament (Division I, II, III, NAIA, NJCAA and the CCCAA), not whether one wrestler can beat another from this division or that division. Enjoy!!

 

FIRST TEAM

125 – Julian Gaytan (Midland-Nebraska/Fresno City/Clovis, CS) Jr.
The former California Community College State Champion continued his winning ways unto the next level, as he finished his initial season as the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) runner-up. He was a 2018 Great Plains Athletic Conference Champion, the NAIA qualifier tournament, and concluded the season with a 17-4 record.

133 – Dustin Kirk (King University/Cerritos College/Elsinore HS, SS) Sr.
Kirk had a tremendous 2017-18 season that saw him become for a second consecutive year a Division II All-American along with teammate and workout partner Bryce Killian. Kirk and Killian became the first two-time All-Americans for King University. Kirk concluded his collegiate career with a 43-20 record.

141 – Ralph Tovar (Clackamas/Poway HS, SD) So.
Former CIF state champion Ralph Tovar won a West Regional tournament for Clackamas Community College to advance to the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament (NJCAA) as the No. 2 seed. At Nationals, Tovar was upset in the second round and was sent to the consolation bracket. He then went on to win four consecutive matches in the backside before falling in the third-place bout.

149 – Daxton Gordon (Cal Baptist/Brawley HS, SD) So.
A week prior to capturing a National Championship, Gordon won an NCAA Division II Super Region IV Championship by knocking out in the finals the then No. 4 ranked grappler in Division II, Efe Osaghae (Fort Hays State). At Nationals, Gordon became the third grappler in Lancer history to win a Division II Championship after taking down James Pleski (St. Cloud State) in overtime.

157 – Paul Fox (Stanford/Gilroy HS, CC) Jr.
Fox started the postseason strong by placing third at the Pac-12 Championships in Corvallis, Oregon and punching his way to nationals. Fox then began the national tournament by upsetting No. 11 wrestler Clayton Ream (North Dakota State) in the first round, 5-4. After suffering a defeat in the hands of a University of Iowa wrestler, Fox won two additional matches before falling in the blood round to two-time All-American Tyler Berger (Nebraska).

165 – Isaiah Martinez (Illinois/Lemoore HS, CS) Sr.
The 2017-18 season was a memorable one for Martinez as he became the 16th wrestler to accomplish the feat of winning four Big Ten titles in the 106-year history of the conference. Martinez concluded his career for the Orange and Blue with two national titles and four trips to the finals. According to the University of Illinois website, Martinez has the highest win percentage (.975) in school history.

174 –Zahid Valencia (Arizona St./St. John Bosco HS, SS) So.
After claiming his second Pac-12 title this season, Zahid advanced to the national tournament where he went on to defeat returning NCAA Champion Mark Hall (Penn State) 8-2 to complete his undefeated (37-0) season and become the 11th national champion in Sun Devil wrestling history. Valencia also became the first national champion for the Sun Devils at 174-pounds and helped them earned their first top-10 finish as a team since 2010-11.

184 – Zach Linton (Doane University/Winters HS, N) So.
After falling short of gathering All-American honors in 2017, Linton was a different wrestler this season as he claimed a Great Plains Conference Championship by obtaining the fall on all three opponents he faced. At the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) tournament, Linton advanced to the finals with a 22-second pin over No. 1 Cameron Jones (Cumberlands (Ky.)). In the finals of the NAIA tournament, Linton loss a (10-3) match to No. 2 Charles Sharon (Campbellsville (Ky.)) to finish the season with a 33-3 record.

197 – Matt Williams (CS Bakersfield/Sultana HS, SS) Sr.
After finishing as the 2018 Pac-12 runner-up and gaining his third conference medal, Williams entered the NCAA tournament as the No. 15 seeded wrestler. Williams won his initial match by a fall over Jordan Atienza (Central Michigan) before falling to the No. 2 Ben Darmstadt (Cornell) 15-4. On the backside, Williams won an additional match before his dreams of becoming an All-American were shattered by No. 7 Frank Mattiace (Penn) 8-5.

285 – Nick Nevills (Penn State/Clovis HS, CS) Jr.
Nevills became a two-time All-American with a seventh-place finish at 285-pounds. Nevills finished with a 4-2 record at nationals to close out his junior season with a 30-7 record and help the Nittany Lions clinched its seventh NCAA title in the last eight years.

 

SECOND TEAM

125 – C.J. Pestano (Central Iowa/Torrance HS, SS) Sr.
Pestano capped off his collegiate career by placing at the NCAA Division III Nationals to become the Dutch’s second three-time All-American at Central Iowa. An illustrious career for Pestano also includes a second-place finish in 2016 and a fourth-place effort in 2017. A 30-4 mark this year gives Pestano a career record of 107-9.

133 – Giovanni Castillo (Concordia University/Cerritos College/Centennial-Corona HS, SS) Sr.
After claiming a Great Plains Athletic Conference Championship, a week before nationals, Castillo became the ninth Bulldog in Concordia University wrestling history to claim an All-American award for second-year head coach Andrew Nicola.

141 – Russell Rohlfing (CS Bakersfield/Sonora HS, SS) So.
Rohlfing punched his second trip to nationals by placing second at the Pac-12 tournament along with four other Road Runners. Rohlfing concluded the 2017-18 season with a record of 22-12.

149 – Natrelle Demison (Adam State/Bakersfield HS, CS) Jr.
During the 2017-18 season, Demison placed third at the West Regional Tournament to qualified to the big dance where he earned All-American honors after defeating Efe Osaghae (Forth Hay State) 3-2.

157 – James Schmidt (Rio Hondo/La Serna HS, SS) So.
James Schmidt became the 11th different wrestler from Rio Hondo to win a California Community College Athletic Association Championship (CCCAA) by defeating Fresno City grappler Conrad Lopez, 14-3.

165 – Evan Wick (Wisconsin/San Marino HS, SS) Fr.
Rankings are made on the mats, and Evan Wick proved that by placing third at the national tournament despite being the 10th seed. With his wicked cradle, Evan finished 6-1 on the tournament after pinning Chance Marsteller (Lock Haven) in the third-place bout.

174 – Nolan Kistler (Cal Baptist/ML King HS, SS) Sr.
Nolan became the Lancers all-time wins holder after placing second at nationals and gathering his third All-American honors. Prior to wrestling in the finals, Kistler was in a 19th match winning streak. His streak was stopped by Nick Becker (Wisconsin-Parkside), a three-national champion who boasted an 88-0 undefeated record going into the match.

184 – Nicholas Fiegener (Cal Baptist/Folsom HS, SJ) Jr.
Fiegener became an All-American for the second time by placing fourth at nationals and helping the Lancers finish third in the tournament for the second consecutive year.

197 – Daniel Chaid (North Carolina/Bellarmine Prep HS, CC) Sr.
Chaid secured his second trip to nationals by placing third at the Atlantic Coast Conference. He became a three-time conference placer as he placed fourth at the Big 12 as a redshirt freshman for the University of Oklahoma. At the national tournament, Chaid went 1-2 to complete his collegiate career as a two-time Division I qualifier.

285 – Jeremiah Gerl (Hastings/Cerritos College/Calvary Chapel-Downey HS, SS) Sr.
Gerl made quick work of his third-place opponent at NAIA nationals to become a two-time All-American and become the highest place winner at nationals for a Bronco. Prior to attending Hastings College, Gerl was a CCCAA All-American for Cerritos College.

 

THIRD TEAM 

125 – Sergio Mendez (CS Bakersfield/San Fernando HS, LA)
133 – Sean Nickell (CS Bakersfield/Bakersfield HS, CS)
141 – Aaron Mora (Fresno City/Clovis West HS, CS)
149 – Joseph Alexander (Simpson/Charter Oak HS, SS)
157 – Conrad Lopez (Fresno City/Hoover HS, CS)
165 – Jonathan Chavez (Cornell/De La Salle HS, NC)
174 – Anthony Orozco (Menlo/Vista Murrieta HS, SS)
184 – Nick Maximov (Clackamas/Chico HS, N)
197 – David Vanweems (Cerritos College/Corona-Centennial HS, SS)
285 – Jeramy Sweany (Cornell/Vacaville HS, SJ)