ASU Wrestling Finishes Second at Reno Event Behind Six Place Winners
Dec. 20, 2004
TEMPE, Ariz. - In the final event of the 2004 calender year for the No. 18 Arizona State University wrestling team, the Sun Devils accumulated 103 points to finish second to top-ranked Oklahoma State (163.5 points) at the 10th Reno Tournament of Champions held at the Livestock Event Center in Reno, Nev., Sunday. Twelve members of the team took to the mats with half of the entrants placing among the Top 6 in their respective weight classes, including three runners-up and one third-place finisher.
Two of the Sun Devils' top finishers both had tough tasks ahead of them in the finals as they faced the top-ranked competitor in their weight classes. At 157, No. 15 Brian Stith (So., Hampton, Va.) moved through the lower half of the bracket to reach the finals where he took the top-ranked and defending NCAA Champion Matt Gentry of Stanford to double overtime. With the score tied at one following the one-minute sudden victory period, Stith chose down and could not escape. Gentry had his turn and escaped to win the match.
Heavyweight Cain Velasquez (Jr., Yuma, Ariz.), ranked seventh in the nation, battled top-ranked Steve Mocco of Oklahoma State in the finals where the Cowboy's big man won, 6-1. Velasquez marched quickly through the bracket on his way to the final as he won a 20-7 technical fall, two pin falls and one 7-0 decision before meeting Mocco. The third finalist was C.B. Dollaway (Jr., Mt. Gilead, Ohio) at 184. The ninth-ranked Sun Devil also moved quickly through his side of the bracket to the finals before he met conference foe Ryan Halsey of Cal Poly. In the last bout, Halsey scored a takedown and then pinned Dollaway to win the title.
Patrick Williams (Sr., Homestead, Fla.) went 4-2 at 149 to finish in fourth place while Ryan Bader (Jr., Reno, Nev.), who returned to his hometown for the tournament, went 5-1 to finish third at 197. ASU's final placer was Patrick Pitsch (Fr., Spanaway, Wash.) at 165. He went 2-1 before an injury forced him from competition, relegating him to sixth place in the tournament.
In the team running, the Cowboys ran away with the title, outdistancing the Sun Devils by 60.5 points. Fresno State placed third with 96 points, followed by Pac-10 teams Oregon (87) and Cal State Fullerton (82).
Following the winter break, the team returns to the road to face Fresno State in Fresno, Calif., January 4.
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