Roadrunners roll into Pac-12 play

Peter Castillo

Sports Editor


Over winter break, the CSU Bakersfield wrestling team opened the Pacific-12 Conference portion of its schedule with a 22-15 loss against No. 15 ranked Stanford University at the Icardo Center on Jan. 8.

On Dec. 18, CSUB placed 18th out of 32 teams in the Reno Tournament of Champions in Reno, Nevada.

“We wrestled flat, lacked focus, and it showed in our results,” said CSUB coach Manny Rivera to “We have to make some improvements for the next time we compete.”

Redshirt-sophomore Sean Nickell and redshirt-freshman Dominic Balmer were led the way for the Roadrunners, with Nickell going 4-2 in his six matches, while Balmer finished 3-2 in his five matches.

In the Ken Kraft Midlands Championships, which took place from Dec. 29 to Dec. 30 at Chicago, Illinois, CSUB finished 14th out of 32 schools.

“A competition like this is a great measuring stick to see where we stand nationally,” said Rivera to “It was great to get three guys on the podium. However, I believe we should have had more placers. We definitely having things to improve on and we can get a lot better before the post season.”

Three Roadrunners finished in the top eight in their respective weight classes. Redshirt-freshman Lorenzo De La Riva finished second in the 165-pound division.

Redshirt-freshman Russell Rohlfing placed sixth in the 141-pound division, while redshirt-junior Matt Williams would finish seventh.

On Jan. 4, CSUB returned home to take on the University of West Virginia.  

The Roadrunners defeated the Mountaineers 19-18.  

West Virginia came into the meet 0-5 on the season.

“We had some mixed results tonight,” said Rivera to “Giving up two wins is very disappointing in a couple of the matches that I thought we were favored. In my opinion we should have won by a lot more. We have to stay ready and get better for Sunday with a much better Stanford team coming in. We have to wrestle better than this.”

At the time of this publication, the Roadrunners had not yet competed against Utah Valley University on Jan. 19 and Jan. 21 at Boise State University.

CSUB returns to the Icardo Center for its final home meet of the season on Feb. 3 against the University of Northern Colorado.

It is the Roadrunners final home meet of the season.