Former Fresno-area wrestling standouts Scott Sakaguchi, Stephen West and James Cook are in the field for the NCAA Division I Championships, scheduled for March 21-23 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Oregon State junior Sakaguchi (Clovis High) is the seventh seed in the 149-pound bracket and opens against Buffalo’s Blake Roulo. Sakaguchi (24-6, nine falls) earned his third trip to the NCAA’s as the Pac-12 runner-up. He placed seventh at 149 pounds last season.
Columbia senior West (Buchanan) is unseeded at 174 pounds and faces Virginia’s Jonathan Fausey in the first round. West (23-7, seven falls) received an at-large bid and will be making his first appearance in the tournament.
Campbell sophomore Cook (Madera/Clovis West) is unseeded and takes on No. 10 seed Jacob Swarts of Boise State in his opener. Cook (8-8, four falls) became an unlikely NCAA qualifier when he won the Southern Conference Championship tournament as its seventh seed, beating the top three seeds en route to the title. Cook entered the conference tournament 5-8 on the season.
Also in the field is Cal State Bakersfield 174-pounder Bryce Hammond (Bakersfield).
The opening two rounds are set for March 21, the quarterfinals and semifinals are March 22 and the finals are March 23.
Opening-night action will be televised on ESPN3, the second night on ESPNU and the finals will be shown on ESPN.