The heavyweight division at the Pac-12 tournament was by far the toughest, featuring three of the top-10 wrestlers in the country. Sixth-ranked Amar Dhesi (Oregon State), seventh-ranked Nathan Butler (Stanford), and eighth-ranked Tanner Hall (Arizona State) had all won conference titles, trading the top spot over the past three seasons. For Dhesi, it had to feel like his rivals were simply holding his belt. The big Canadian missed both the 2014-15 season and 2016-17 with knee injuries, winning his Pac-12 title and becoming an All-American the season in between. The Oregon State 285 was a combined 8-1 against the other two entering Sunday and proved once again that he is the best in the west.
After pinning Spencer Empey (Cal Poly) in the first period to open his account at the 2018 Pac-12 Wrestling Championships, Dhesi advanced to face the same foe he defeated to win the title in 2016. It would be Butler after he knocked off Hall for the sixth time in eight career meetings. The Stanford senior is wrestling better than ever in his final campaign, but Dhesi proved to be on another level. Three first period takedowns built a 6-2 lead for the Beaver and that advantage would continue to build as the match wore on. A final takedown and ride out saw Amar secure an 11-2 major decision, confirming he is ready to chase a second All-American finish in Cleveland.
For his efforts, Amar Dhesi (Oregon State) is TOM’s College Wrestler of the Week!