We have the latest updates from Southern California’s collegiate wrestling scene as we get ready for the upcoming season. This new feature has recent news from the region’s college wrestling programs. Click for today’s update.
California State University Bakersfield – NCAA D1
CSU Bakersfield senior Sean Nickell has been ranked 16th in the 133-pound weight class in The Open Mat’s NCAA Division 1 preseason rankings. Nickell has also been ranked 12th by Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine. No other Pac-12 wrestler is ranked in that weight class in either poll, making Nickell the likely favorite to win his second Pac-12 title.
Last season, the redshirt senior with a 24-12 record, and scored an upset of ninth-ranked Dennis Gustafson of Virginia Tech at the NCAA Championships before being eliminated by sixteenth-ranked Mitch McKee of University of Minnesota.
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo – NCAA D1
Cal Poly released their 2018/2019 wrestling schedule. This year’s lineup will be tournament heavy with only nine dual meets on the schedule. Seven of the nine dual meets will be in San Luis Obispo this year, compared to only three last year.
Their home meets will be against Cal Baptist on November 10, Northwestern on December 17, CSU Bakersfield on January 11, Northern Colorado on January 18, Oregon State on February 2, Fresno State on February 9, and Air Force on February 10.
Vaughan Hitchcock, who had a 23 year career coaching at Cal Poly that included eight NCAA Division II national championships in the late 1960s and early 1970s, died on September 30, 2018 in San Luis Obispo, CA at the age of 84. Hitchcock had a record of 355-112-4 at Cal poly from 1962 through 1985, which included a streak of over 150 consecutive victories against California opponents.
Hitchcock’s wrestlers won a combined 18 NCAA Division II national championships and earned 67 All-American honors. In Division I, two Mustangs won national titles and 22 were named All-Americans. Hitchcock was named NCAA Division II Wrestling Coach of the Year on two occasions. He was inducted into the Helms Amateur Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1994, the NCAA Division II Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1998, and the California Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2000. He received the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s “Lifetime to Service Award” in 2002.
California Baptist University – NCAA D1
Cal Baptist will be competing at the NCAA Division I level for the first time this year, having moved up from Division II. Their first Division I schedule sees them at home against Ohio State on November 16, Oregon State on February 22, and CSU Bakersfield on February 23. They also travel to Drexel and Pennsylvania in February. As they are still in the transition phase to Division I, they will not be eligible to compete at the NCAA Division I Championships until 2022/2023.
Life Pacific College – NAIA
Life Pacific College has joined the Cascade Collegiate Conference for wrestling in 2018/2019. This will be the inaugural season for Life Pacific’s wrestling program.
California Community College Wrestling has released its latest rankings and Cerritos College is ranked 2nd, Mt. San Antonio College 3rd, Bakersfield College 5th, and Palomar College 6th in the team rankings. Fresno City College is ranked 1st.
Oliver Rivero of Santa Ana College is ranked 1st in the 133-pound weight class and Josh Brown of Cerritos College is 1st in the 141-pound weight class.