Larkin Wins Sunkist/ASU International Open; Two Others Second
Oct. 22, 2005
TEMPE, Ariz. - The final day of the 21st Sunkist Kids/Arizona State University International Open came to a close Saturday afternoon with a trio of former Sun Devil All-Americans reaching the finals of their respective weight classes at the longest running international open in the United States being held Oct. 21-22 at Wells Fargo Arena. Eric Larkin won the 66kg event while Aaron Simpson and Kellan Fluckiger placed second at 84kg and 120kg, respectively.
Larkin, the 2003 NCAA Champion and Dan Hodge Award winner, defeated Cliff Moore, 2-1, 6-3, to win the event held on his former home mat. Simpson, who also is an assistant coach with Larkin this season at ASU, dropped a tough 7-1, 5-3 decision to Andy Hrovat (NYAC) in the finals of his tournament. Kellan Fluckiger, a former heavyweight student-athlete and coach with the Sun Devils, fell to Pat Cummings (NYAC), 1-0, 2-0, in the final bout.
Current Sun Devils also competed in the tournament with five competing on the day. Jeremy Mendoza placed fifth at 55kg after falling to Henry Cejudo (Sunkist Kids), 1-0, 4-0. Teammate Alex Contreras, who defeated Mendoza in the consolation quarterfinals, lost a 7-0, 3-0 decision to Matt Azevedo (Sunkist Kids) in the third place bout to finish fourth in the event, the highest finish for a current Sun Devil this year.
Ryan Bader finished sixth at 96kg following a pair of close loses on the day, first dropping a 1-0, 2-1 decision to Steve Snijders of Canada before Mike Neufeld (Canada) handed down a 2-0, 4-3 decision in the fifth-place bout. C.B. Dollaway, competing at 84kg, did not place in the event as he was pinned by Greg Parker in the consolation fifth round. Quinton Pruett, the lone Sun Devil to compete in the Greco-Roman event, fell in the consolation third round at 96kg after Phillip Johnson of the US Army scored a 7-0, 6-0 technical fall.
The 2005 collegiate season gets underway for the Sun Devils in three weeks as the team heads to Portland, Ore., Nov. 12 for the Portland State Duals. ASU will face Pacific at 10 a.m. before meeting Southern Oregon at 11:30 a.m. The final dual of the day will see the Sun Devils and host Vikings meet at 1 p.m. in a Pac-10 Conference contest.