Four ASU Wrestlers Advance at NCAA Championships

March 16, 2006

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - The first day of competition at the 2006 NCAA Wrestling Championships came to a close Thursday evening inside the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Okla., with four of Arizona State University's six competitors still in contention for national titles while two others have a tough up-hill climb to attain All-America status. As a team, the Sun Devils have collected 19.5 points and stand 10th overall following the first day of competition while Oklahoma State leads with 36.5.

The four remaining in contention, No. 10 Brian Stith (157), No. 10 C.B. Dollaway (184), No. 8 Ryan Bader (197) and No. 4 Cain Velasquez (285), advanced to the quarterfinals and, if they win that bout Friday morning, they guarantee themselves a place in the Top 8 and All-America honors.

Stith punched his way to the quarterfinals by defeating a familiar foe, Tony Hook of Oregon State, with a 2-1 tie breaker decision. After both wrestlers earned one point escapes in regulation and did not score in the overtime session, Hook chose down first with Stith riding him the entire 30 seconds. With the positions reversed, Stith quickly escaped to take the victory, 2-1. He now will meet up with Andrew Flanagan of Harvard, who upset No. 2 C.P. Schlatter of Minnesota.

Dollaway won his first bout of the day to earn a rematch against No. 7 Kurt Backes of Iowa State and, for the second time this season, earned a victory over the Cyclone grappler, this time winning the bout, 8-6. A senior, Dollaway now faces No. 2 Roger Kish of Minnesota, who Dollaway also has defeated this year, taking a 3-0 decision in his first bout of the 2005-06 season.

Bader also met a familiar foe as the eighth-seeded Sun Devil took on ninth-seeded Tyrone Byrd of Illinois and scored a 6-0 decision. After a scoreless first, Bader picked up five points in the second period to put the bout in his favor with one riding time point making for the final margin. Bader no will meet unseeded Chris Weidman of Hofstra who took down No. 1 Wynn Michalak in the previous round.

The final quarterfinalist for the Sun Devils is fourth-seeded Velasquez who had a very short first day. After pinning his first foe of the day, Joel Edwards of Penn State, in 1:06, he followed that with a pin of Paul Weibel of Lehigh in 1:08. Velasquez will now face unseeded Kirk Nail of Ohio State in the next round.

After opening the day with a victory, No. 7 Jeremy Mendoza was bounced to the 125 pound consolation bracket as he suffered a 4-2 defeat at the hands of No. 10 Paul Donahoe of Nebraska in the second round. The loss puts Mendoza in a very tough position as he needs three wins in a row to earn his first All-America honor. What makes the position more difficult is he meets No. 4 Kyle Ott of Illinois in his next bout.

No. 10 Patrick Pitsch nearly went 0-for-2 in the tournament at 165 as he lost his opening round bout, 10-4, before needing a little magic in his elimination bout to remain in the tournament. Trailing 7-3 with 20 seconds remaining in the match, Pitsch took his foe, Jason Cardillo of Slippery Rock, directly to his back and earned five points (two for the takedown and three near fall points) to go ahead, 8-7. He is now in a similar position as Mendoza as fourth-seeded Nick Baima of Northern Iowa is his next opponent in the elimination rounds.

In the history books, Bader's two wins on the day gave him a 118 wins in his career, tying him with Head Coach Thom Ortiz for eighth on the all-time lists at ASU. On a season basis, Velasquez now has 36 wins to move into a tie for 16th on the single-season ledger while his two wins by fall gave him 16 for the season, the eighth-most in a single season. He also moved into a tie for sixth on the all-time career falls list with Steve Blackford as both recorded 31 falls in their respective careers.

Action continues Friday and Saturday at the national championships.

2006 NCAA Wrestling Championships
Arizona State Results ONLY

Session II
125 - #7 Jeremy Mendoza (1-1)
Champ Second
- #10 Paul Donahoe (Nebraska) dec. #7 Mendoza, 4-2
Conso Third - #7 Mendoza vs. #4 Kyle Ott (Illinois)

157 - #10 Brian Stith (2-0)
Champ Second
- #10 Stith dec. Tony Hook (Oregon State), 2-1 tb
Champ Quarter - #10 Stith vs. Andrew Flanagan (Harvard)

165 - #10 Patrick Pitsch (1-1)
Conso First
- #10 Pitsch dec. Jason Cardillo (Slippery Rock), 8-7
Conso Second - #10 Pitsch vs. #4 Nick Baima (Northern Iowa)

184 - #10 C.B. Dollaway (2-0)
Champ Second
- #10 Dollaway dec. #7 Kurt Backes (Iowa State), 8-6
Champ Quarter - #10 Dollaway vs. #2 Roger Kish (Minnesota)

197 - #8 Ryan Bader (2-0)
Champ Second
- #8 Bader dec. #9 Tyrone Byrd (Illinois), 6-0
Champ Quarter - #8 Bader vs. Chris Weidman (Hofstra)

285 - #4 Cain Velasquez (2-0)
Champ Second
- #4 Velasquez pinned Paul Weibel (Lehigh), 1:08
Champ Quarter - #4 Velasquez vs. Kirk Nail (Ohio State)

Team Standings (Following Session II)
1. Oklahoma State (36.5)
2. Oklahoma (24.5)
3. Edinboro (22.5)
3. Hofstra (22.5)
5. Michigan (22.0)
5. Nebraska (22.0)
5. Minnesota (22.0)
8. Iowa (21.5)
9. Penn State (20.5)
10. Arizona State (19.5)

2006 NCAA Wrestling Championships
Arizona State Results ONLY

ALL BOUTS WRESTLED
125 - #7 Jeremy Mendoza (1-1)
Champ First
- #7 Mendoza dec. Justin Staylor (Virginia Tech), 5-0
Champ Second - #10 Paul Donahoe (Nebraska) dec. #7 Mendoza, 4-2
Conso Third - #7 Mendoza vs. #4 Kyle Ott (Illinois)

157 - #10 Brian Stith (2-0)
Champ First
- #10 Stith dec. Jacob Yost (UT-Chattanooga), 7-1
Champ Second - #10 Stith dec. Tony Hook (Oregon State), 2-1 tb
Champ Quarter - #10 Stith vs. Andrew Flanagan (Harvard)

165 - #10 Patrick Pitsch (1-1)
Champ First
- Daniel Thompson (The Citadel) dec. #10 Pitsch, 10-4
Conso First - #10 Pitsch dec. Jason Cardillo (Slippery Rock), 8-7
Conso Second - #10 Pitsch vs. #4 Nick Baima (Northern Iowa)

184 - #10 C.B. Dollaway (2-0)
Champ First
- #10 Dollaway majors Rusty Blackmon (Oklahoma State), 14-3
Champ Second - #10 Dollaway dec. #7 Kurt Backes (Iowa State), 8-6
Champ Quarter - #10 Dollaway vs. #2 Roger Kish (Minnesota)

197 - #8 Ryan Bader (2-0)
Champ First
- #8 Bader pinned Brenden McLean (Air Force), 2:18
Champ Second - #8 Bader dec. #9 Tyrone Byrd (Illinois), 6-0
Champ Quarter - #8 Bader vs. Chris Weidman (Hofstra)

285 - #4 Cain Velasquez (2-0)
Champ First
- #4 Velasquez pinned Joel Edwards (Penn State), 1:06
Champ Second - #4 Velasquez pinned Paul Weibel (Lehigh), 1:08
Champ Quarter - #4 Velasquez vs. Kirk Nail (Ohio State)

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