Eric Larkin Wins 63 Kg. Freestyle Title at 17th Annual Sunkist Kids/ASU International Open
Oct. 28, 2001
TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State junior wrestler Eric Larkin captured the freestyle 63 kilogram championship title, while freshman Evan Larkin, junior Kellan Fluckiger and ASU assistant coach Aaron Simpson each earned freestyle runner-up honors as the 17th Annual Sunkist Kids/ASU International Open concluded at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Ariz., Sunday afternoon.
Larkin went 5-0 during the two-day tournament, highlighted by a close 5-4 decision over Jamill Kelly in the championship bout. His title was one of five freestyle titles captured by the United States, while Canada came away with two champions. Larkin enters the 2001-02 collegiate season ranked No.1 at 141 pounds.
Larkin's younger brother Evan came one victory short of Sunkist gold, suffering a technical fall defeat (12-2, 4:10) at the hands of Canada's Saelo Azarbayjami at 58 kilograms.
In the 85 kilogram freestyle category, Simpson, last year's winner, earned a 5-2 decision over former two-time ASU national champion Markus Mollica in the semifinals, only to fall to Randy Pugh, 4-2, in the title bout. Mollica placed fourth after losing a 4-0 decision to Brandon Eggum in the third place match.
The fourth current Sun Devil to advance to the finals was junior Kellan Fluckiger, who finished second at 130 kg. after losing by a 10-0 technical fall in 2:07 to Tolly Thompson. Also in the freestyle heavyweight category, junior Hector Torres made it to the semifinals, but suffered losses to Brian Keck (4-1) and Brad Steele (fall, 2:51).
Complete results from the 17th Annual Sunkist Kids/ASU International Open are available on www.themat.com.
ASU's official wrestling season debuts under first-year head coach Thom Ortiz, Sunday, Nov. 18 at the Missouri Open in Columbia, Mo.