No. 6 Sun Devil Wrestling Heads To Oregon This Weekend
Jan. 29, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz.- Ranked No. 6 in the latest national polls and sporting an 9-5 overall record (2-0 Pac-10), the Arizona State wrestling team will remain in conference action this weekend with a pair of Pac-10 duals in the Great Northwest. ASU travels to Oregon State (7-7, 5-1 Pac-10) for an 7:30 p.m. (PST) meeting with the Beavers in Corvallis, Ore., before taking on the Oregon Ducks (5-6, 4-0 Pac-10) at 2 p.m. (PST) in Eugene, Ore., Sunday.
Arizona State is on a 15-dual winning streak against Pac-10 opponents dating back to the 1999-2000 season. Since that year, the Sun Devils have gone 4-0 (1999-00), 4-0 (2000-01), 6-0 (2001-02) and are 2-0 this year. The last time ASU lost a conference dual was in the 1998-99 season when the Sun Devils left Corvallis, Ore., with a 23-19 setback at the hands of Oregon State.
LARKIN'S SENIOR CAMPAIGN
Eric Larkin has maintained his perfect record so far this year and enters the weekend in Oregon with a 20-0 mark in 2003. With his wins, he has built a career record of 109-12 and moved higher on several school record lists. His winning percentage of 90 ranks fourth all-time in school history.
Larkin's 109 wins ranks him 12th all-time and just two away from equalling the 11th-ranked grappler on the list: Aaron Simpson. The current ASU assistant accumulated 110 wins in his career from 1995-98.
Larkin also is 17th in career dual win with 43 and is No. 6 with 29 career falls.
Since heading into the Las Vegas Invitational (Dec. 6-7) with a 5-3 record on the year and ranked No. 18 in the nation, Holland has gone 22-2, won the tournament titles at the Las Vegas Invite and the Reno Tournament of Champions and finished second at the highly competitive Midlands. He also has surged toward the top of the rankings, coming in this week at No. 5.
While Eric Larkin has climbed into the all-time records book in four categories, one other Sun Devil is making a charge toward a solid spot on the ledger. Heavyweight Kellan Fluckiger has amassed a career record of 87-43 and sits tied for 24th on the wins list with Tom Kolopus (1982-85). Fluckiger also needs 13 more wins in this, his senior season, to break the 100-win plateau, joining the 20 other Sun Devil greats to reach the milestone.
400 AND COUNTING...
On Jan. 5 at the Sun Devil Duals, Arizona State defeated Lock Haven, 21-16, to secure the 400th win in the history of the program.
Since then, ASU has defeated nationally ranked opponents in No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 9 Michigan, No. 17 Missouri and No. 20 Boise State. The Sun Devils all-time record currently is 406-216-13.
IN THE RANKINGS
The national pollsters have slotted the Sun Devils in the Top 10. The NWCA coaches poll (Jan. 22) has the Sun Devils as the No. 9 team in Division I. InterMat has ASU at No. 6 while The Wrestling Mall places the Sun Devils at No. 10.
ASU PROBABLE STARTERS
125 - Adam Chavira or Aaron Suzuki
133 - #9 Mike Simpson
141 - #5 Dana Holland or Evan Larkin
149 - #1 Eric Larkin
157 - #13 Rocky Smart, Mike Smith or Patrick Williams
165 - #8 Nick Frost
174 - #8 Curtis Owen
184 - Ron Renzi
197 - Ryan Bader
285 - #4 Kellan Fluckiger
SCOUTING: OREGON STATE
The Beavers are 7-7 overall this year with a 5-1 mark in the Pac-10 Conference. OSU is 0-6 in duals with teams that are ranked in the Top 20 in the nation with its seventh loss coming at the hands of intrastate rival Oregon. The Beavers are led by No. 12 Andy Bowlby (heavyweight). Bowlby is 21-4 on the year and has scored a team-high 10 pins.
SERIES HISTORY: OREGON STATE
Arizona State is 15-10-0 in its series with Oregon State ... the Sun Devils have won the last three meetings overall ... in the last dual, ASU won 25-10 in Tempe ... ASU vs. OSU: in Tempe: 7-5-0 ... in Corvallis: 4-4-0 ... neutral: 4-1-0.
The Ducks are 5-6 on the year with four of their wins coming against Pac-10 foes (4-0 in conference). Webster leads the way for UO from his 174 position by compiling a 19-3 overall record in 2002-03.
SERIES HISTORY: OREGON
Arizona State is 17-2-0 all-time against Oregon ... the Sun Devils have dominated the series, winning the last 17 in a row dating back to the 1975-76 season ... in the last dual, in Tempe, the Sun Devils downed the Ducks, 30-11 ... ASU vs. UO: in Tempe: 13-2-0 ... in Eugene: 12-4-0 ... neutral: 1-1-0.
LAST TIME OUT: CAL POLY
The Sun Devils remained perfect in the Pac-10 with a 32-9 defeat of visiting Cal Poly Jan. 24. ASU won seven of the 10 matches in the dual including pins from Eric Larkin (149) and Nick Frost (165). The Sun Devils added to their totals with technical fall wins from Curtis Owen (174) and heavyweight Kellan Fluckiger, both by a 15-0 score. Dana Holland (141) added a major decision win with decision victories going to Mike Simpson (133) and Ryan Bader (197). Bader's win came over defending Pac-10 champion David Schenk.
HEAD COACH THOM ORTIZ
Former Sun Devil standout Thom Ortiz, a three-time All-American, national runner-up and three-time conference champion, returns for his second year at the helm of the Arizona State program. After compiling a 9-5 record a year ago, the team went on to place second at the Pac-10 Championships and 12th at the NCAA meet. The fifth head coach in the 41-year history of the program, Ortiz knows what it takes to make the Sun Devils a prominent team. He was a member of ASU squads that won three conference team titles, one NCAA championship and two national runner-up finishes. His career coaching record is 18-10-0 (8-0 Pac-10).
WELLS FARGO ARENA
Wells Fargo Arena is the home of Sun Devil wrestling, as well as men's and women's basketball, women's volleyball and women's gymnastics. The arena was completed in 1974 with the ability to seat a capacity of crowd of more than 14,000 and has seen its far share of top competition. The annual Sunkist Kids/ASU International Open has been staged inside WFA and the Sun Devil wrestlers also called the facility home on their way to the 1988 NCAA title. In all, some of the elite teams in the nation have visited the arena. That list includes Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Minnesota, Iowa and Iowa State.
Since the Sun Devils began competing in WFA in the 1974-75 season, ASU holds an all-time mark of 140-48-2 (.746). The Sun Devils also compiled five seasons with a perfect mark at home: 1975-76 (8-0), 1984-85 (8-0), 1987-88 (4-0), 1988-89 (6-0) and 1992-93 (5-0).
WARMING UP FOR
Three duals remain on the schedule for the Sun Devils as they prepare for the 2003 Pac-10 Championships, March 2-3, at Boise State. ASU's last home dual of the year, in which the team will honor its seniors and alumni, will be Feb. 9 against Cal State Bakersfield at 2 p.m.