Sun Devil Wrestling Releases Schedule for 2002-03 Campaign
Sept. 19, 2002
TEMPE, Ariz. - Thom Ortiz, second-year head coach for the Arizona State wrestling team, has announced the 2002-03 schedule for his team. The slate includes at least 18 duals and entrance into five individual tournaments, including the Pac-10 and NCAA Championships. Among the competitors set for dual action are perennial powers Minnesota, the two-time defending national team champion, Iowa and Oklahoma.
'We have one of the toughest schedules in the country this year,' Ortiz said. 'In dual meets, our record might not be very good, but that is what is going to take to hopefully place in the top 10 nationally at the end of the year. It is going to take a lot of hard work and we are going to take our lumps. This schedule should benefit the entire team. All the guys should be able to use the competitions to better themselves and figure out where they are at before the end of the year tournaments. We might have to face Minnesota and Iowa guys three times this year and wrestling them several times is the only way we are going to improve.'
Wells Fargo Arena will play host to some fierce competition this year with the Sunkist/ASU International Open (Oct. 18-19) opening the action. In duals, Portland State comes calling Dec. 5, one month before the Sun Devil Duals take place Jan. 5. At the duals, Minnesota, Lock Haven (19th at NCAAs a year ago), Embry-Riddle and ASU make up the teams competing. Three days later, the Sooners of Oklahoma come to town (Jan. 8). The Sun Devils' final home events of the year are duals with Cal Poly (Jan. 24) and Bakersfield (Feb. 9).
The road will be a tough place to compete this year for the Maroon and Gold. The dual season opens for ASU with a trip to Nebraska (Nov. 22), a day before competing in the Omaha Open. One week later, the Sun Devils head to Northern Iowa (Nov. 30) and Iowa (Dec. 1) before returning home for PSU. After individual invitationals at Las Vegas (Dec. 6-7) and Reno (Dec. 19), ASU will meet Embry-Riddle and Pima in Tucson for a state showdown (Dec. 28).
The start of the new year brings a return to dual action with a trip to Columbus, Ohio, for the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) National Duals, Jan. 18-19. ASU's four remaining road duals include trips to Oregon State (Jan. 31), Oregon (Feb. 2), Fresno State (Feb. 16) and Cal State Fullerton (Feb. 16). In March, the Sun Devils head to Boise, Idaho for the Pac-10 Championships (Mar. 2-3) and then to Kansas City, Mo. (Mar. 20-22) for the NCAA Championships.