Wrestling Wins 450th Dual with 31-16 Defeat of Liberty

Jan. 13, 2007

HAMPTON, Va. - Facing elimination and a nine-point deficit with four bouts remaining, the Arizona State University wrestling team pinned down a victory in the consolation bracket of the 27th Virginia Duals Saturday in Hampton, Va., as the Sun Devils recorded three falls in the final four bouts to take a 31-16 decision over Liberty. The win not only improved the Sun Devils' record to 4-7 on the year, but it also gave the program its 450th win, moving ASU's all-time varsity record to 450-251-12. The Flames slipped to 8-6 with the loss.

For the third dual in a row, John Espinoza staked the Sun Devils to an early 3-0 lead as he won a 5-2 decision at 125 pounds. Then, just like the past two duals, the lead was taken from as the Sun Devils absorbed a decision loss at 133 and 141 before losing by major decision at 149.

Trailing, 10-3, No. 6 Brian Stith stepped onto the mats and cut into the deficit as he scored a 14-3 major decision over Shaun Smith at 157 pounds to bring ASU to within three points (10-7). Following a loss by fall at 165 pounds and trailing, 16-7, the Sun Devils stepped up and made short work of Liberty.

ASU pulled to within three points once again (16-13) as Alex Pavlenko pinned Jonathan Campbell in 3:20 of the 174 pound bout. Greg Gifford then gave the Sun Devils the lead for good after pinning his 184-pound foe, Chris Daggett, in 3:52. The icing on the cake came one bout later as Jason Trulson pinned Josh Moore just 15 seconds into the 197 pound bout. The dual ended with Thor Moen winning the heavyweight bout by forfeit.

Trulson's pin in 15 seconds was the fastest for a Sun Devil since Ron Renzi tied the school record at the Las Vegas Invitational during the 2003 season with his pin of Marshall Marquardt of Dana College in seven seconds. Renzi and Dave Severn share the fastest fall distinction after 'The Beast' set the standard during a 1976 dual with Mark Erickson of New Mexico.

Stith, two wins removed from his 100th career victory, moved into a tie for 14th on the all-time duals win list in school history, recording the 48th of his time in Tempe. Stith joins current assistant coach Eric Larkin (1999-03) and Tom Kolopus (1982-85) on the list.

The Sun Devils will now face eighth-seeded Bloomsburg at 4 p.m. ET Saturday with the winner advancing to a 6 p.m. dual and the loser advancing to an 8:30 p.m. dual for seventh place in the event.

2007 Virginia Duals - Consolation Second Round
January 13, 2007 - Hampton, Va.

#5-seed Arizona State vs. Liberty
125 - John Espinoza (ASU) decision Christian Smith (LU), 5-2
133 - Sam Walters (LU) decision Angel Alegre (ASU), 4-0
141 - Tim Harner (LU) decision Robert Galvan (ASU), 9-4
149 - Aaron Kelley (LU) major Chris Remsen (ASU), 16-7
157 - #6 Brian Stith (ASU) major Shaun Smith (LU), 14-3
165 - Chad Potter (LU) pinned Cameron Smith (ASU), 3:20
174 - Alex Pavlenko (ASU) pinned Jonathan Campbell (LU), 2:01
184 - Greg Gifford (ASU) pinned Chris Daggett (LU), 3:53
197 - Jason Trulson (ASU) pinned Josh Moore (LU), 0:15
285 - Thor Moen (ASU) won by forfeit
Arizona State (4-7) defeat Liberty (8-6), 31-16

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