ASU's Schavrien Wins FILA Junior National Title; Five Others Place
April 19, 2007
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The Arizona State University wrestling program was well represented in several USA Wrestling competitions held the weekend of April 4-7 in Las Vegas as both current and former Sun Devils took to the mats in freestyle, Greco-Roman and sombo wrestling. In all, 13 Sun Devils competed in tournament action with the goal of moving closer to qualifying for several world championship teams.
Four current Sun Devils competed in the FILA Junior National Championships with Todd Schavrien winning the 60kg (132.25 pound) freestyle national title, defeating teammate Shawn Jones, 1-0, 4-0, in the championship final. Chris Drouin placed third at 63kg (138) with his 0-1, 3-2, 5-0 defeat of Adin Duenas of Titan WC in the medal round while Anthony Robles finished sixth at 55kg (121) after an injury forced him out of the tournament.
All four Sun Devils have qualified for the 2007 FILA Junior World Team Training Camp and Team Trials, set for Colorado Springs, Colo., May 20-26 with the winner of those trials advancing to a challenge series. The winner of the challenge series will represent the United States at the 2007 FILA Junior World Championships in Beijing, China, August 20-27. By virtue of his national title, Schavrien will not have to compete in the trials tournament and will await the winner in the challenge series.
Seven Sun Devils competed in the freestyle portion of the U.S. Senior National Championships with two former wrestlers placing among the Top 8. Eric Larkin, a current ASU assistant coach and former NCAA Champion, advanced to the semifinals of the 66kg (145.5) weight class before an injury forced him out to finish sixth. Also finishing sixth in the tournament was Danny Felix as the former All-American went 3-3 at 60kg (132). Volunteer assistant coach Travis Koppenhafer competed at the 74kg (163) weight class and fell one win shy of placing in the Top 8.
Both Felix and Koppenhafer advanced the championship bracket after placing in the Top 8 of the qualifying tournament where four other current Sun Devils fell. Both John Espinoza (66kg) and Jake Cranford (84kg) fell one win shy of reaching the championship bracket while Angel Alegre (60kg) and Orlando Jimenez (60kg) also competed.
Kenny Lester (current) and Jeff Funicello (former) both competed in the trials of the sombo division, which is a form of jacket wrestling based on Russian martial arts without the use of weapons, and placed in the Top 3. Lester finished third at the 120kg (264.5) weight division while Funicello took runner-up honors. Funicello will now compete in team trials to try and secure a position on the world team.
Next up for the Sun Devils will be the 2007 University Nationals that will be held April 19-22 in Akron, Ohio. Eight Sun Devils are slated to compete, including Randal Aleman, Jake Cranford, Chris Drouin, John Espinoza, Kenny Lester, Matt Lopez and Thor Moen in freestyle and Josh Santobianco in Greco-Roman. The Top 2 finishers at each Olympic weight class will be invited to compete in the 2007 U.S. World Team Trials (June 8-10) and also could be part of a summer international touring team.
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