BAKERSFIELD, Calif.—The CSU Bakersfield wrestling team opens the 2016-17 season this weekend when the Roadrunners host California Baptist Saturday night at 6 p.m.  The Roadrunner program will honor Veterans prior to the start of the dual for their service in their respective branch of military service.

California Baptist is coming off a 7-3 dual season. CBU won the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championship a year ago, took second in its region and finished sixth at the NCAA Division II National Championships. The Lancers are ranked 13th in preseason Top 25 poll. Three CBU wrestlers; Jacob Waste (3rd, 197), Nick Fiegener (5th, 184), and Nolan Kistler (7th, 174) are ranked in their respective weights in the preseason poll.

The ‘Runners are also scheduled to send redshirts and backups to two open tournaments this weekend as well. CSUB will have five unattached entries in Saturday’s Fresno City College Musick Open while nine Roadrunners are going to wrestle unattached at Sunday’s San Francisco State 21 Under JC/College Open.

The CSU Bakersfield wrestling team prepared for the season by holding its Blue-Gold dual Oct. 22. The Gold defeated the Blue by a 20-17 count. The dual began at 174 pounds where the Gold’s Matt Penyacsek defeated Bryan Battisto 9-2. In the 184-pound bout, Dylan Bollinger tied the dual for the Blue team with a 9-4 victory over Mark Penyacsek.

Matt Williams, moving back to 197 this season from heavyweight, put the Gold back into the lead with a pin of Jacob Sieder at 1:42. In the heavyweight match; Alex Encarnarcion-Strand defeated Dominic Balmer 12-1. Sergio Mendez extended the Gold advantage to five with an 8-2 victory over Sean Nickell at 125 pounds. Carlos Herrera defeated Everett Pratt 7-2 at 133 pounds to again extend the Gold lead. Russell Rohlfing got the Blue back on the scoreboard with a major decision (11-3) against Tyler Lawrence in the 141-pound bout.

Coleman Hammond, ranked in the top 20 in three preseason polls at 149 pounds, defeated Kalani Tonge by tech fall 20 seconds into the third period.  Sean O’Rourke put the Blue into striking distance with a 5-3 victory over Jacob Thalin at 157 pounds. With the Gold leading 20-14, Matt Penyascek came back to wrestle at 165 pounds for the Gold and faced Lorenzo De La Riva in the final match of the night. De La Riva built up over three minutes in riding time which helped him to a 6-4 victory, but it wasn’t enough for the Blue as the Gold held on for a 20-17 victory.

The CSU Bakersfield wrestling program and the Coyote Club will be hosting a fundraiser entitled “New Era-Same Tradition” on Thursday, Nov. 17. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be held in the home of Kevin and Tuesdy Small.

The keynote speaker for the event will be former University of Minnesota head coach J Robinson. Robinson led the Golden Gophers to three national championships and was named national coach of the year on four occasions. Robinson’s wrestlers earned 117 All-American honors, claimed 14 national championships, and earned 405 dual victories. Robinson coached the only team (2001) to claim 10 NCAA Division I All-Americans in the same season.

CSU Bakersfield head coach Manny Rivera will also speak. Rivera is in his first season as head coach of the Roadrunners. He was a member of the 2007 Minnesota national championship team and earned All-American honors for the Gophers. Also in attendance will be CSUB wrestling great Stephen Neal. A two-time NCAA Division I national champion, Neal would go onto a 10-year NFL career, winning three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots.  KBAK Sports Director Greg Kerr will serve as the emcee for the event.

This fundraiser along with several other events that are conducted during the season assist in meeting a goal of raising $250,000 which sustains the CSUB wrestling program. For more information on attending “New Era-Same Tradition” call 661-654-2343.