17th Annual Sunkist Kids/ASU International Open Slated For This Weekend

Oct. 24, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State wrestling will make its unofficial debut under first-year head coach Thom Ortiz this weekend, serving as the co-host of the 17th Annual Sunkist Kids/ASU International Open Saturday, Oct. 27 through Sunday, Oct. 28, at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Ariz., an event which will showcase elite wrestlers from around the world.

The majority of the 2001-02 ASU wrestling squad is scheduled to compete, as well as assistant coach Aaron Simpson and other former Sun Devils. The tournament features men's freestyle, men's Greco-Roman and women's freestyle competition.

Because the competition is not an NCAA event, participation for ASU wrestlers is considered 'exhibition.' Included among ASU's competitors will be two-time All-American junior Eric Larkin, the top-ranked collegiate wrestler at 141 pounds going into this season, and senior All-American David Douglas, ranked third at 133 pounds.

Last year, Simpson, a two-time All-American at ASU and now in his fourth year as an assistant coach, won the 85 kilogram men's freestyle title with a technical fall over Hidekazu Yokoyma 13-2. The highest finish for a current Sun Devil wrestler was fourth place by then-redshirt freshman Chris Knox in the 54 kilogram freestyle category.

Tournament action Saturday begins at 9 a.m. with preliminary rounds of freestyle, followed by Greco-Roman and women's competition at 1 p.m. Freestyle action continues at 4 p.m., with Greco-Roman and women's competition at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, prelims take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with all finals scheduled for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The 2001-02 wrestling season officially begins for ASU Sunday, Nov. 18, at the Missouri Open in Columbia, Mo.

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