Sun Devil Wrestlers Both Present & Past Earn National Rankings

Nov. 3, 2005

TEMPE, Ariz. - The start of the 2005-06 season for the Arizona State University wrestling team is set to begin next week and both the team and several of its individual wrestlers have earned national rankings from several publications. Six of the team's current members carry a position in the Top 20 individual rankings while the team appears in the Top 10 in three of the four polls released.

As a team, the Sun Devils enter the season ranked No. 10 according to the USA Today/National Wrestling Coaches Association Top 20 Preseason poll that was released Oct. 27. The Wrestling Mall has ASU ranked ninth in the national while Wrestling International Magazine has the team at 10th. Amateur Wrestling News places ASU 11th in its poll.

Individually, returning All-American Cain Velasquez (heavyweight) leads the team as he is ranked No. 4 in all four individual polls, including the NWCA/InterMat Top 20 rankings. According to the rankings from the coaches' association, returning All-American Brian Stith (157) will begin the year at No. 6, Jeremy Mendoza (125) will be ninth, C.B. Dollaway (184) and Ryan Bader (197) will be 10th and Patrick Pitsch (165) will be 11th.

In other rankings, Mendoza received his highest ranking of No. 9 from both NWCA and AWN. Stith was selected sixth by three of the four publications with TWM picking him fourth. Pitsch and Dollaway joined Stith by receiving their highest rankings from TWM at ninth while Bader's highest selection came at No. 6 from AWN.

Outside the ranks of collegiate wrestling, TheMat.com released it's U.S. Senior Freestyle rankings Nov. 2 with three current Sun Devils earning a place in the Top 10 while four other former grapplers also ranking among the nation's elite. On the current roster, Alex Contreras and Mendoza are eighth and ninth, respectively at 55kg (121 pounds) while Velasquez is fifth at 120kg (264.5 pounds). Assistant coaches Eric Larkin and Aaron Simpson are ranked fifth at 66kg (145.5 pounds) and 84kg (185 pounds), respectively, while Kellan Fluckiger also is fifth at 120kg (264.5 pounds). Danny Felix rounds out the ASU connection in the national rankings coming in at No. 8 at 60kg (132 pounds).

The Sun Devils open their 2005-06 campaign next weekend, Nov. 12, as they travel to Portland, Ore., and Portland State University for the 2005 Portland State Duals. ASU will meet Pacific (Ore.) at 10 a.m. before facing Southern Oregon at 11:30 p.m. The action concludes Saturday with the Sun Devils and host Vikings meeting at 1 p.m. for a Pac-10 Conference dual.

2005 Collegiate National Rankings
Jeremy Mendoza (9-9-10-11)
Brian Stith (6-6-4-6)
Patrick Pitsch (11-12-9-10)
C.B. Dollaway (10-9-10-9)
Ryan Bader (10-6-7-7)
Cain Velasquez (4-4-4-4)
* rankings are (NWCA - AWN - TWM - WIN)

2005 National Team Rankings
USA Today/NWCA - 10th
Amateur Wrestling News - 11th
The Wrestling Mall - 9th
Wrestling International Magazine - 10th

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