Pac-12 Announces Wrestling Honors
SAN FRANCISCO - The Pac-12 Conference has announced the 2017 Pac-12 Wrestling awards. ARIZONA STATE’s Zahid Valencia was voted Pac-12 Wrestler of the Year, as well as the Pac-12 Wrestling Freshman/Newcomer of the Year. ARIZONA STATE’s Zeke Jones was selected Pac-12 Wrestling Coach of the Year.
PAC-12 WRESTLER OF THE YEAR and PAC-12 FRESHMAN/NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR – Zahid Valencia, Arizona State – Valencia becomes the first Pac-12 wrestler to earn both Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year and Pac-12 Wrestler of the Year in the same season. He’s just the second Sun Devil to be tabbed Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year and the 18th to be tabbed Conference Wrestler of the Year. Valencia placed third at NCAA Championships and earned All-America honors for the Sun Devils. The Bellflower, Calif., native was the Pac-12 Champion at 174 pounds and boasted a record of 38-1 this season. He recorded 14 falls, including his Pac-12 semifinal match win that occurred in 0:16. The redshirt freshman was named Outstanding Wrestler of the Meet at the Pac-12 Championships. He posted a 14-0 record in duals and scored a team-leading 70 team points.
PAC-12 WRESTLING COACH OF THE YEAR – Zeke Jones, Arizona State – Jones earns his first Pac-12 Wrestling Coach of the Year honor and becomes the fifth different Arizona State coach to earn the honor. Jones led the Sun Devils to a top 25 ranking this season and their first Pac-12 title since 2006. Under the guidance of Jones, the Sun Devils went on to finish 14th at the NCAA Championships and had a pair of teammates pick up third-place finishes to earn All-America honors (Zahid Valencia and Tanner Hall).