TEMPE, Ariz. - In 2015, Sun Devil wrestling had the No. 1 recruiting class in the country. Two of head coach Zeke Jones’ were the Valencia brothers.
Anthony and Zahid aren’t twins but they might as well be.
“Our mom used to dress us up alike. you couldn’t tell us apart,” Zahid Valencia chuckled.
The two brothers are born almost exactly a year apart (given a day or two, Anthony is older) and have been wrestling since they were 2 and 3 years old.
“It’s really cool to see the process, to be wrestling together in college and at this high of a level,” Anthony Valencia said.
Coach Zeke Jones recruited the Valencia brothers out of California and coined them the “first believers” in his program and vision. His vision is playing out in his favor.
For the first time in 11 years, Arizona State wrestling won the 2017 Pac-12 Wrestling Championship in late February, giving them the confidence and that extra push heading into the big tournament this week.
Both brothers rank in the top 10 heading into this week’s NCAA Division I Championships in St. Louis. Zahid Valencia remains undefeated at 33-0 and should he remain undefeated this week, he will become the third freshman in NCAA history to ever accomplish the feat.
Matches begin on Thursday.
© 2017 KPNX-TV