2002-2003 Pac-10 Wrestling Awards
April 2, 2003
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -
ARIZONA STATE senior Eric Larkin, was named Wrestler of the Year, ASU head coach Thom Ortiz was tabbed Coach of the Year, while CAL POLY freshman Ryan Halsey was named Newcomer of the Year, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today.
Larkin, a 149-pound senior from Tucson, Ariz., was selected by the coaches as Pac-10 Wrestler of the Year for the third consecutive year. He compiled a 34-0 season record and won the his fourth Conference title before qualifying for the NCAA Championships, where he won the National title at 149 pounds and was named Outstanding Wrestler of the NCAA Tournament. Larkin also garnered his fourth All-America honor, becoming only the fourth Sun Devil to do so. It is the third Wrestler of the Year award for Larkin, ASU's fourth straight award and 13th overall for its wrestling program. Larkin amassed a 123-12 career record in his four years at Arizona State.
Ortiz won his first Pac-10 Championship, as ASU finished with an overall record of 12-7 (5-1 in Pac-10) in his second season at Arizona State. The Sun Devils also finished 5th at the NCAA Championships, their best finish since 1995. Three of Ortiz's pupils placed at the NCAA's this season: Curtis Owen, 4th (174), Kellan Fluckiger, 5th (Hwt) and Larkin, 1st (149). It is the first time that Ortiz has been honored with this award, 13th overall for the Arizona State wrestling program.
Halsey, a 184-pounder from Oceanside, Calif., wins the Newcomer of the Year award. He was tied for the lead on the team in wins with a 29-10 record, and led the Mustangs with six pins. Halsey won the Pac-10 title at 184 and advanced to the NCAA Championships where he went 2-2. Halsey is the seventh Mustang to win a Conference title in the last six years and the first to win the Newcomer of the Year honor.