ASU Wrestling Captures 15th Pac-10 Championship, Add Two Individual Crowns

Feb. 28, 2005

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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Last year, the Arizona State University wrestling team finished tied for fifth in the Pac-10 Championships with 85 points and its lowest finish in the conference event in program history. This year, the Sun Devils stepped back on top of the podium as champions for the 15th time as they secured the crown at the 2005 event that was hosted by Cal Poly inside Mott Gym in San Luis Obispo, Calif., Sunday and Monday.

Nine members of the team placed among the Top 6 in the event, including two individual champions, to help the team amass 106.0 points enroute to the crown. Boise State, the 2004 champion, finished in second place with 93 points while Oregon took third with 88 points. UC Davis (82) and host Cal Poly (74) rounded out the Top 5.

The evening started off in emotional fashion for the Sun Devils as Brian Stith (So., Hampton, Va.), who entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed and ranked No. 13 in the nation at 157, scored a 3-1 upset of No. 1 seed and No. 2 in the nation Matt Gentry of Stanford. After a scoreless first period, Gentry started down and escaped for the early 1-0 lead. From there, Stith opened the third period with an escape of his own to tie the bout at one.

As the clock counted down and no scoring was recorded, each man stepped up the action until Stith, with only six seconds remaining in the match, finished off a shot on the edge of the mat to pick up the two points and the win. Stith, who went 0-2 in the conference event last year, handed Gentry just his second loss on the year and avenged three earlier losses to the defending national champion. For his efforts, Stith was selected by the conference coaches as the Outstanding Wrestler of the Championships.

In the final bout of the tournament, No. 1 Cain Velasquez (Jr., Yuma, Ariz.) met surprise finalist Allen Kennett of Portland State and the two big men mixed it up throughout the bout. In the end, a very aggressive Velasquez recorded four takedowns and would go on to win the heavyweight crown, 9-3. The victory also extended Velasquez' winning streak to 18 bouts in a row, all of which have come in the 2005 calender year.

At 184, No. 2 C.B. Dollaway (Jr., Mt. Gilead, Ohio) faced No. 1 Shane Webster of Oregon and could not get his offense started as he Webster connected on several takedowns to record a 15-5 major decision. That was followed by another ASU-UO bout as No. 1 Scott Barker upended No. 2 Ryan Bader (Jr., Reno, Nev.), the defending two-time champion at 197, with a 3-0 decision.

Those Sun Devils that have qualified for the NCAA Championships will head to St. Louis, Mo., for the 2005 event to be held at the Savvis Center March 17-19. The Top 8 finishers at each weight class will earn All-America honors.

2005 Pac-10 Wrestling Championships
Mott Gym • San Luis Obispo, Calif.
ASU's Session 4 Results ONLY

(number proceeding wrestler is tournament seed)

157 • No. 2 Brian Stith (3-0, 2005 Pac-10 Champion)
Championship Final
- #2 Stith dec. #1 Matt Gentry (SU), 3-1

184 • No. 2 C.B. Dollaway (2-1, 2005 Runner-up)
Championship Final
- #1 Shane Webster (UO) major #2 Dollaway, 15-5

197 • No. 2 Ryan Bader (2-1, 2005 Runner-up)
Championship Final
- #1 Scott Barker (UO) dec. #2 Bader, 3-0

285 • No. 1 Cain Velasquez (4-0, 2005 Pac-10 Champion)
Championship Final
- #1 Velasquez dec. Allen Kennett (PSU), 9-3

1. Arizona State - 104.0

2. Boise State - 93.0
3. Oregon - 88.0
4. UC Davis - 82.0
5. Cal Poly - 81.0
6. Oregon State - 74.0
7. CS Bakersfield - 67.0
8. CS Fullerton - 52.5
9. Stanford - 48.5
10. Portland State - 26.0