Three ASU wrestlers qualify for quarterfinals after day one of NCAA Championships

Zahid Valencia, Josh Shields and Christian Pagdilao earned bonus points in five of their six total matches

Three out of the ASU four wrestlers who competed during day one of the 2019 NCAA Wrestling Championships made their way into Friday's quarterfinals. The Sun Devils currently stand at No. 19 in team points.

Redshirt junior Zahid Valencia, who is looking to defend his 2018 title, knocked out Rider's Dean Sherry and Utah Valley's Kimball Bastian with two major decision victories in the first two rounds. 

Valencia is in the quarterfinals for his third consecutive year and will take on Ben Harvey of Army on Friday.

Fellow redshirt junior Josh Shields also had an impressive showing Thursday, posting two major decision victories as well. In the quarterfinals, Shields with matchup against Northern Iowa's Bryce Steiert

This will be Shields' first trip to the quarterfinals, along with graduate student Christian Pagdilao, who won his first NCAA match.

Pagdilao picked up bonus points in the first round, courtesy of a major decision victory. In the second round, he defeated Lehigh's Josh Humphreys in a rematch of a regular season bout in which Pagdilao fell 6-1 back in January. 

Josh Maruca, who fell to Pat Lugo of Iowa in his first match, is ASU's lone wrestler not competing in the quarterfinals. The redshirt junior bounced back in the consolation round and took down No. 7 seed Kaden Gfeller of Oklahoma State to stay alive in the tournament. He will face Justin Oliver of NC State in round two of the consolation bracket.

Note: Redshirt senior Ryan Millhof qualified for the NCAA Tournament but is unable to participate due to an injury.


Reach the reporter at kmgianco@asu.edu and follow @Kaleb_Mart on Twitter.

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