SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Five state meet qualifiers, including a pair of second-place finishers, comprise the group of wrestlers who have signed a National Letter of Intent to continue their careers at Cal Poly.
Mustang head coach Jon Sioredas and director of athletics Don Oberhelman announced the signings during the one-week Early Signing Period, which opened last Wednesday and ends today. The Regular Signing Period runs from April 10 through August 1.
The group includes two wrestlers from Oakdale High School — 149-pounder Jake Ryan and 165-pounder Bronson Harmon — along with a pair from San Diego County — 141-pounder Bernie Truax of Rancho Buena Vista High School and 184-pounder Nathan Tausch of Poway High School.
The fifth signee — 125-pounder Hunter Sparks — hails from Roseburg, Oregon.
"We are extremely excited about our five early commits," said Sioredas. "They each embody high character and high work ethic and will be great additions to our program.
"We have very high goals both academically and athletically, and we cannot wait to get this crew on campus to get to work," Sioredas added, just days before beginning his second season as Mustang head coach.
Truax placed second in the California State High School Wrestling Championship last March at 138 pounds. He was the first Rancho Buena Vista wrestler in 12 years to be a state finalist. En route to a 46-6 record, Truax finished first in the CIF-San Diego Section Division I Championship and was second at the Masters Meet and fifth in the Battle for the Belt. As a sophomore, Truax finished first in the CIF-San Diego Section Division I Championship and third in the Masters Meet.
Sparks claimed second place at 113 pounds in the Oregon state high school finals, following a first-place finish in 2016 and sixth place in 2015. Maintaining a 3.65 GPA, he led the Indians to their fourth consecutive state title and ninth in the last 11 years. Sparks placed first in the Reser's Tournament of Champions and, last summer, was first in the Oregon state junior freestyle finals and sixth in Junior Greco-Roman.
Harmon compiled a 35-7 record as a junior at Oakdale, claiming fourth place in the state finals at 160 pounds after a first-place finish in the CIF-Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet and second place in the CIF-Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Championship. He was a 2016 state meet qualifier as a sophomore as well.
Tausch earned a fifth-place state meet finish at 182 pounds following titles in the CIF-San Diego Section Masters Meet and CIF-San Diego Section Division III Championship. Earlier in the season, he placed first in the John Bright Memorial, Las Vegas Holiday Classic and Cerritos TOC and was third at the 2017 Battle for the Belt. Tausch earned a trip to the CIF State Championships as a sophomore in 2016 after being the CIF San Diego Section runner-up at the Masters Meet. He also placed third at the 2016 California World Challenge.
On his way to a 24-4 season as a junior, Ryan placed first in the CIF-Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Championship and was third at the CIF-Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet, earning a spot in the California State High School Championship at 145 pounds, where he was 2-1.
Cal Poly opens its 2017-18 season Sunday at the Roadrunner Open hosted by CSU Bakersfield at the Icardo Center on campus.
Bronson Harmon (Oakdale HS) Jake Ryan (Oakdale HS) Bernie Truax (Rancho Buena Vista HS)
Hunter Sparks (Roseburg HS) Nathan Tausch (Poway HS)