Eric Larkin Named Pac-10 Wrestler of the Year

April 30, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State sophomore Eric Larkin was named the 2001 Pac-10 Wrestler of the Year, conference commissioner Tom Hansen announced today.

Larkin, a native of Tucson, Ariz., compiled a season record of 28-2, while winning the Pac-10 title at 141 pounds and earning his second-straight All-America honors with a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Larkin, the 14th wrestler in ASU history to become a two-time All-American, missed almost 30 days of mat training this season due to surgery on both knees.

Larkin is the 11th wrestler in Sun Devil history to earn this distinction and the second Sun Devil in the last two years to be honored. Steve Blackford was named the 2000 Pac-10 Wrestler of the Year as a junior.

Lee Roy Smith was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his nine-year career. In 2001, Smith led the Sun Devils to their fifth Pac-10 title in the last nine years and a ninth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. He ended his ASU career with an overall dual record of 91-58-1 (.607). The honor gives ASU its 11th Pac-10 Coach of the Year award.

Jed Pennell, a 165-pound redshirt freshman from Oregon State, was named the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year.

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