Stanford Cardinal 19/20 Preview


Well-Known Member
Jan 5, 2016

Stanford won its first ever Pac-12 wrestling championship, edging out Arizona State by 2 points. Unfortunately, that didn’t equate into much success at the NCAAs as Stanford got only 5.5 points (40th place) compared to 8.5 points (34th place) in 2018. The Cardinal qualified five wrestlers into the NCAA Championships with two making it to the round of 12 (Pengilly and Traxler). Stanford went 9-4 in duals with three wins against ranked opponents; Northwestern, Oregon State and Arizona State. Their losses were to CSU Bakersfield, Purdue, Nebraska and Indiana (ouch, how did that happen?). The Cardinal placed 22nd at Cliff Keen and 4th at the Southern Scuffle.

Stanford should improve their tournament performance this season just having Real Woods in their lineup. The Cardinal will have at least 4 new starters this season, losing one of last year’s qualifiers (Pengilly) and a former qualifier/AA (Fox). Stanford has not yet released their 19/20 schedule. The Pac-12 does get a new 6th member this year. As global warming is causing the Pacific Ocean to spill over eastward, it was only common sense to invite Little Rock into the conference. It makes almost as much sense as West Virginia being in the Big-12.

Gabe Townsell (Sr) <Oak Park River Forest, IL>

Townsell will be trying to become a 4x NCAA qualifier this season. He had an overall record of 19-12 and placed 3rd, grabbing the last allocation, at the Pac-12 Championships. Townsell was the 20 seed and went 1-2 at NCAAs. He was 1-2 in 2018 and 2-2 in 2017. <Bonus: 16.1%, RPI: .581>

Dalton Young (So) <Lakeside, WA>

Young went 6-9, mostly at 141, last season primarily at opens. He did have a close 4-3 loss to RBY at the Scuffle. Perhaps incoming freshman Jackson DiSario will challenge him for the spot.

Last season, Mason Pengilly in his final year went 15-7 overall and placed 2nd at the Pac-12 Championships (2 allocations). He was the 31 seed at the NCAA tournament. After losing to Steve Micic in the first round, Pengilly defeated three better seeded wrestlers in the wrestlebacks before losing to Ethan Lizak (Minny) in the round of 12.

Real Woods (Fr) <Montini Catholic, IL>

Real laid the wood on a lot of wrestlers during his redshirt season as he went 22-1 and sporting a 65% bonus rate. He ended his season with 12 straight tech falls. His only loss was a 6-3 decision against Nick Lee at the Scuffle. Woods had several wins against NCAA qualifiers.

Last season, Brandon Kier (Sr) went 4-6 and placed 2nd at the Pac-12 Championships (1 allocation). Three other wrestlers also got some starts @141 for Stanford last season.

Requir van der Merwe (Jr) <Blair Academy, NJ>

Van der Merwe won the Pac-12 championship and qualified for his first NCAA championships. He went 24-8 overall and entered the NCAAs as the 14 seed. Van der Merwe was a upset in the first round by (19)Cole Martin (Wisky) and lost to (20)Thomas Thorn (Minny) in his second match in the wrestlebacks. <Bonus: 18.8%, RPI: .624>

Dominck Mandarino (Jr) <Don Bosco Prep, NJ>

Mandarino split time filling in for the starters between 157 and 165 last season going 21-9. He had several wins against qualifiers and former qualifiers including two wins against his teammate, Paul Fox.

Paul Fox went 22-9 in his last season for the Cardinal but didn’t qualify for the NCAA Championships. He placed 3rd at the Pac-12 Championships, missing getting one of the two allocations for the conference and then also missed getting an at large bid. Fox only had one win against a qualifier, Dan Reed (Col), and lost against Zac Carson (Ohio) who did get an at large bid. Fox was a two-time qualifier and was one of the Cinderella stories in 2017 being unseeded and reaching the podium, placing 7th.

Shane Griffith (Fr) <Bergen Catholic, NJ>

Another very strong redshirt enters the Stanford lineup this season. Griffith went 24-2 last season with his only losses coming to Vincenzo Joseph (6-4 decision) and Ryan Niven (Grand View). His biggest win was against eventual 13 seed Andrew Fogarty (NDSU).

Jared Hill (Jr) <Clovis, CA>

Hill went 11-10 and placed 3rd at the Pac-12 Championships (1 allocation) @165 last season. He didn’t have any wins against NCAA qualifiers.

Last season, outgoing senior Rico Stormer went 18-14 and didn’t qualify for the NCAAs. He placed 4th at the Pac-12 Championships.

Judah Duhm (Jr) <Lookout Mountain, GA>

184 was very unsettled for Stanford last season as Austin Flores (Sr) and Colbey Harlan (So) alternated starts. Duhm, coming back from injury, became the starter at the end of the season and fell just short of qualifying for the NCAAs, placing 2nd at the Big-12 Championships (1 allocation). His record was 5-2, including an upset win over Dom Ducharme (CSUB) at the Pac-12 Championships. Ducharme received an at-large bid to the NCAAs.

Nathan Traxler (Jr) <Marmion Academy, IL>

Traxler went 30-7 and won the Pac-12 Championship, qualifying for the NCAAs a 2nd time. He was the 8 seed in the tournament and had a little bit of bad luck with matchups after losing to Bo Nickal in the quarters he dropped to the wrestlebacks and was pinned by (6)Willie Miklus (ISU) in the round of 12. <Bonus: 37.8%, RPI: .658>

Haydn Maley (So) <Roseburg, OR>

Maley went 22-13 in his first year as a starter for the Cardinal. He finished 2nd at the Pac-12 Championships and was the 24 seed at the NCAAs, going 0-2. <Bonus: 20.0%, RPI: .573>

New Faces
Stanford has two top-20 (in weight class) incoming freshmen:

Jackson DiSario (Fr) <Ola, GA>
DiSario is a three-time 5A Georgia state champion. Intermat ranks him at #20 @126.

Jaden Abas (Fr) <Rancho Bernardino, CA>
Abas is a two-time California state champion @138 in 2018 and @145 in 2019. He’s the son of 4-time All-American and 3-time NCAA finalist, Gerry Abas. As an interesting aside, Jaden defeated Cael Valencia (yes, of that Valencia family) in the 2019 finals. Intermat ranks him at #2 @145.

This came from an article titled, "Horny, Inebriated Stanford Tree a Menace to Decent Society"


Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2013
... After losing to Steve Micic in the first round, Pengilly defeated three better seeded wrestlers in the wrestlebacks ...
Good problem solving, Cali, with the term “better seeded”!

(The alternative term “higher seeded” tends to confuse people because of confusion between higher number (which means lower seed) and higher seed (which means lower number).
  • Like
Reactions: Cali_Nittany


Well-Known Member
Mar 27, 2017
Pretty decent middle of the lineup. Real Woods, van de Merwe or Abas, Mandarino or Abas, and Griffith is pretty solid. Woods and Griffith are the real thing. Excited to see both of them compete throughout the year. I believe that both of them should AA this year as redshirt freshman. I’m excited to see Abas and wonder if he can crack the lineup. Van de Merwe and Mandarino aren’t great but both are solid and have experience. Not really sure what to think about Abas. I’ve seen him look amazing and then like crap. He’s a much better folkstyler in my opinion where his cradles are deadly. Overall, Stanford should be much better this year. I hope Townsell can put it together for his senior season as well. He’s so explosive and looks incredible when he is on but seems very inconsistent. I’ll be watching but mainly just to see how those 2 freshman look.
  • Like
Reactions: goStanford18