Oregon Wrestling Falls Short in Upset Attempt

Feb. 2, 2003

EUGENE - The Oregon wrestling team lost to No. 6 Arizona State, 21-20, at McArthur Court on Sunday. The Ducks (5-8, 4-2) took a quick 10-0 lead, but Oregon was only able to win one more match the rest of the way.

'We competed a lot better tonight,' head coach Chuck Kearney said. 'Our kids wrestled hard.'

Things could not have started much better for the Ducks. Martin Mitchell pinned his opponent at the 1:11 mark at 125, then Jason Harless scored a major decision against the No. 11-ranked wrestler in the country at 133 to get the 10-0 lead.

'It's always good when you're first out to get something to fire up the team,' Mitchell said. 'I knew this was an opponent I could get some bonus points on for the team.'

Senior Casey Hunt took the momentum from the previous two matches and almost upset No. 4 Dana Holland at 141. Hunt lost the match, 4-3, with both wrestlers having several near takedowns.

The Sun Devils began to take some momentum back at 149 with No. 1 Eric Larkin pinning Skyler Woods at the 2:17 mark. Larkin has yet to lose this season while it was Woods' first dual at 149 this season.

Arizona State won the next three matches, all by decision, to take a commanding 18-10 lead going into the final three matches of the dual.

Freshman Tony Rolen scored four points for Oregon with a major decision at 184, 13-2, against Ron Renzi, drawing the team score to 18-14. Rolen nearly pinned Renzi in both the first and third periods, but could not quite finish off the fall.

Ryan Bader of Arizona State held off Elias Soto, 4-0, to clinch the victory for the Sun Devils. Neil Phillips won by forfeit at heavyweight to make the final score, 21-20.

The Ducks travel to face Cal Bakersfield and Cal Poly on the road Wednesday. Oregon will then take on Menlo College and Fresno State Friday in Fresno, Calif.

FINAL RESULTS
125 Martin Mitchell (O) fall Jeremy Mendoza (A), 1:11
133 Jason Harless (O) major No. 11 Mike Simpson (A), 12-3
141 No. 4 Dana Holland (A) dec. Casey Hunt (O), 4-3
149 No. 1 Eric Larkin (A) fall Skyler Woods (O), 2:17
157 Chris Smith (A) dec. Chet McBee (O), 3-1
165 No. 8 Nick Frost (A) dec. Luke Larwin (O), 6-2
174 No. 8 Curtis Owen (A) dec. No. 7 Shane Webster (O), 10-4
184 Tony Rolen (O) major Ron Renzi (A), 13-2
197 Ryan Bader (A) dec. Elias Soto (O), 4-0
285 Neil Phillips wins by forfeit

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