Arizona State Captures 15th Pacific-10 Conference Wrestling Title

Feb. 28, 2005

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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Arizona State 157-pounder Brian Stith and285-pounder Cain Velasquez both won individual titles and led the SunDevils to the 2005 Pacific-10 Conference Wrestling Championships onMonday night in Cal Poly's Mott Gym.

Stith upset defending NCAA 157-pound champion Matt Gentry of Stanford3-1, scoring a takedown with six seconds left to raise his season recordto 29-9. Stith avenged a pair of earlier losses to Gentry this season.

He wrestled well and it was a huge win for our team,' Arizona State headcoach Thom Ortiz said of Stith. 'I hope we can take that momentum intothe nationals. Both Stith and Gentry are great wrestlers.'

Velasquez earned a 9-3 victory over unseeded Allen Kennett of PortlandState as Arizona State won the Pac-10 team title for the 15th time, onebehind Oregon State's 16. The Sun Devils have won 14 titles in the last21 years.

'It feels great,' Ortiz said. ' Before the season, we were ranked sixth. Nowwe're champions. It feels great. We had a lot of young guys step up thisseason and it really made a difference.'

Eight of the nine top seeds in the championship finals were winners.Lone loss by a top seed was Gentry.

The finals featured just one near fall and 10 decisions. There was onemajor decision -- Oregon 184-pounder Shane Webster earning a 15-5win over C.B. Dollaway of Arizona State. Webster earned the lonenear-fall of the night -- a three-pointer midway through the second period.

Cal Poly, in first place after the first of four sessions, settled for fifthplace but did produce one champion -- 125-pounder Vic Moreno. The 2004NCAA All-American earned a 9-2 victory over Efren Ceballos of Cal StateBakersfield.

'Vic is on a roll right now,' said Cal Poly head coach John Azevedo. 'Hewrestled great in this tournament and dominated Ceballos in the finals.'

Moreno is Cal Poly's 16th Pac-10 champion and improved to 17-3 on theyear. He was sixth at 125 pounds in the NCAA finals a year ago.

Arizona State scored 106 points to win the team title, followed by BoiseState with 93 and Oregon with 88.

Boise State's lone Pac-10 champion was Ben Cherrington (149) with a7-2 decision over Eddie Dahlen of Portland State.

Oregon Had three champions -- Webster, 165-pounder Joey Bracamonteand 197-pounder Scott Barker. Bracamonte was a 6-5 winner over MattEllis of Oregon State while Barker shut out Ryan Bader of Arizona State3-0.

Other champions were Cal State Bakersfield 133-pounder Matt Sanchez,Cal State Fullerton 141-pounder Juan Mora and Titan 174-pounderLeonel Sanchez.

Matt Sanchez beat Scott Jorgensen of Boise State 9-6, Mora was a 6-1winner over Steve Esparza of Cal Poly and Sanchez edged JeremyLarson of Oregon State 4-2.

Meanwhile, Boise State and UC Davis each earned three consolationtitles earlier Monday.

The trio from Boise State are 125-pounder Andrew Hochstrasser,197-pounder Casey Phelps and 285-pounder Eric Smith. UC Davis'three consolation champions are 133-pounder Derek Moore,141-pounder Jeff Bristol and 184-pounder Brandon Bear.

The other four consolation champions are from four different schools.They are 149-pounder Anthony Baza of Cal State Bakersfield,157-pounder Tony Hook of Oregon State, 165-pounder Pat Pitsch ofArizona State and 174-pounder Imad Kharbush of Stanford.

Top three finishers in each of the 10 weight classes qualify for the NCAADivision I National Championships, set for March 17-19 in St. Louis, MO.An additional 10 wild cards will be selected following the championshipfinals.

Final team scores:
1. Arizona State 106
2. Boise State 93
3. Oregon 88
4. UC Davis 82
5. Cal Poly 81
6. Oregon State 74
7. Cal State Bakersfield 67
8. Cal State Fullerton 52.5
9. Stanford 48.5
10. Portland State 26.

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