Eighth-seeded Wrestling Moves Past Missouri, 19-17, at National Duals

Jan. 18, 2003

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The 2003 edition of the NWCA National Duals opened early Saturday morning in Columbus, Ohio, with the eighth-seeded Arizona State wrestling team facing Missouri in the round of 16. In the end, the Sun Devils and Tigers took the lead from one another three times, the final time giving ASU the 19-17 victory and advancing them to meet No. 1 Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals.

ASU, ranked as high as No. 5 in the nation, and MU, No. 12 in the nation, opened the dual with the Tigers taking a 17-2 technical fall over the Sun Devils' Adam Chavira (Sr., Parker, Ariz.). No. 10 Mike Simpson (So., Anaheim, Calif.) brought ASU to a tied dual at five with his 17-1 technical fall win at 133. The Sun Devils picked up their first lead when No. 4 Dana Holland (Sr., Glendale Heights, Ill.) rallied from being 7-4 down at the start of the third period, to winning the match, 9-8, and bringing the team score to 8-5.

No. 1 in the nation Eric Larkin (Sr., Tucson, Ariz.) remained perfect on the year with his 12-3 major decision at 149, putting the maroon and gold on top, 12-5. MU scored wins in the next two matches, decisions over ASU's No. 12 Rocky Smart (Sr., Pleasant Grove, Utah) at 157 and the other over No. 8 Nick Frost (Jr., Tucson, Ariz.) at 165, to pull to 12-11 in the team race. No. 9 Curtis Owen (Sr., Coeur D'Alene, Idaho) won his bout at 174 before ASU's Ron Renzi (Jr., Burke, Va.) and Ryan Bader (Fr., Verdi, Nev.) lost decisions at 184 and 197, respectively.

Trailing 17-16, No. 4 Kellan Fluckiger (Sr., Preston, Idaho) took the mat and went up 4-0 in the third period before his opponent scored twice, making the match 4-2 in favor of the Sun Devil big man and giving ASU the 19-17 win.

The Sun Devils return to the mats at 1 p.m. EST to face No. 1 seed and top-ranked Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals of the national tournament. ASU will return home Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. when they play host to Cal Poly in Pac-10 action.

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