Event: Pacific-10 Championships
Where: Titan Gymnasium – Fullerton, Calif.
When: Sunday and Monday; all day
Who to watch: Sophomore Ricky Alcala seems to be returning to form after a brief hiatus due to injury.
A native of Arvin, Calif., Alcala earned his fourth pin of the season against Cal Poly’s Lenny Romero on Feb. 15. He’s tied for first on the team in pins this year.
Alcala is 5-3 against Pac-10 competition this year, and is looking to lead the Aggies from the heavyweight position.
Did you know? Oregon State’s 17 conference titles are the most of any Pac-10 team. Arizona State trails with 16 of its own.
Since 2000, however, Arizona State and Boise State have dominated the tournament, winning eight of the last nine.
Preview: The Aggies finished off their Pac-10 regular season with a victory against Cal Poly, pushing their conference record to 4-4 and their overall record to 8-6.
The story of the second half for the Aggies has been overcoming their injuries.
When healthy, UC Davis can compete with some of the best programs in the country, including Northwestern and Oregon State. But when plagued by injuries, the Aggies have been upset by the likes of San Francisco State.
Coach Lennie Zalesky believes the Aggies can compete with the top teams in the tournament because they have a strong all around team.
“I believe we have one of the most well-rounded teams that we have ever had,” Zalesky said. “Each weight class has a wrestler who will be able to compete with a top 20 ranked wrestler.”
With some of the best teams in the country at the tournament this weekend, the Aggies will have the chance to prove that they are a strong team. Following a two-week break, they should have the health they need to do so.
– Kyle Hyland