Ryan Bader Wins Missouri Open to Pace ASU Wrestling in Season Opener
Nov. 23, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. - The No. 20 Arizona State wrestling team opened the 2003-04 season at the Fourth Annual Missouri Open Sunday in Columbia, Mo., with four Sun Devils placing in the event held at the Hearnes Center Field House. Ryan Bader (So., Verdi, Nev.) led the charge by winning the 197-pound bracket while teammates Brian Stith (Fr., Hampton, Va.) and Nick Frost (Sr., Tucson, Ariz.), competing at 157 and 184, respectively, each finished third. Patrick Williams (Jr., Homestead, Fla.) rounded out the placing by finishing sixth at 149.
Bader, seeded third, cruised to a 5-0 record on his way to winning the title with his toughest match ending in a 3-1 decision in the quarterfinals. Bader, the 2003 Pac-10 Champion at 197, secured the crown with his second major decision of the tournament, defeating No. 4 seed Rusty Blackmon of Oklahoma State, 10-2.
At 184, Frost compiled a 4-1 record on his way to placing third in the first action of his senior campaign. Frost, the 2003 Pac-10 Champion at 165, defeated two foes twice each in the tournament for his four wins while his lone loss came to top-seed Brian Glynn of Illinois in a 4-1 decision. He defeated Ian Semelroth and No. 5 seed Matt Pell, both of Missouri, in the first two rounds of the championship bracket before defeating each in the same order in the consolations to take third.
While one Sun Devil opened his final season, another began his as Stith placed third in his first official collegiate tournament. Seeded fourth in the event, Stith's lone loss came in the semifinals to the No. 1 seed Alex Tirapelli of Illinois, 1-0.
The final Sun Devil to place was Williams, who took sixth at 149. After a loss by fall in the quarterfinals to No. 3 Cal Ferry of Illinois, the sixth-seeded Williams won two more matches before dropping close decisions to top-seeded Zack Esposito of Oklahoma State (3-1) and Ferry again (2-1) in overtime.
Also competing for the Sun Devils, but not placing in the event were Christian Staylor (Fr., Chesapeake, Va.) and Aaron Suzuki (Sr., Flagstaff, Ariz.) at 125; Curtis Ray (Fr., Mesa, Ariz.) at 133; Jeremy Mendoza (So., Temecula, Calif.) at 141; James Terry (So., Tucson, Ariz.) at 165 and Cain Velasquez (So., Yuma, Ariz.) at heavyweight. Both Staylor and Velasquez needed just one more win to earn a placement in the Top 6.
Several newcomers to the program also competed over the weekend with three placing at the California Open in Fullerton, Calif. Patrick Pitsch (Fr., Spanaway, Wash.) took first at 165 while Pat Payne (Fr., Poway, Calif.) and Jason Hackett (Fr., Columbus, Ohio) each took third at 149 and 184, respectively.
In the freshmen/sophomore competition, Jason Trulson (Fr., Fountain Hills, Ariz.) competed at 174 pounds and placed second in the event. Trulson won his first match by a 3-1 decision before earning a berth in the finals after his semifinal opponent was disqualified. In the finals, Brent Parkey of Oklahoma State defeated Trulson, 4-1, for the tournament title.
Next up for the Sun Devils is their home opener as No. 4 Iowa pays a visit to Wells Fargo Arena at 2 p.m. Sunday.