Wrestling Closes Out 2008 Dual Season Hosting Stanford

Feb. 14, 2008

Sun Devil Mat Notes (pdf)

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State University wrestling team (9-7, 2-4 Pac-10) will close out its 2007-08 regular season this Sunday at home as the Sun Devils are set to play host to Stanford (12-4, 5-3 Pac-10) at noon inside Wells Fargo Arena. The dual will be the final contest of the season before the teams travels to Eugene, Ore., on March 2-3 for the 2008 Pac-10 Championships hosted by Oregon.

A trio of wrestlers will be on hand for the final home event of their collegiate careers as it will be Senior Day for Patrick Pitsch (165), Rick Renzi (174) and Jason Trulson (197). The program will honor its seniors during the dual Sunday.

Arizona State holds a perfect 7-0 record in the all-time series with Stanford after winning 23-20 last year in Palo Alto. The last time the two teams meet in Tempe came in the final dual of the 2005-06 season with the Sun Devils taking a 30-15 decision.

Individually in the InterMat/NWCA/NWMA rankings (February 13), a pair of rookie Sun Devils are listed among the national Top 20 with Anthony Robles is ranked No. 16 at 125 pounds while Brent Chriswell is ranked No. 15 at 184 pounds. Stanford is not ranked as a team, but has a pair of ranked wrestlers as well, including No. 6 Tanner Gardner (125) and No. 10 Josh Zupancic (157).

Both Sun Devils ranked nationally are freshmen, which is rare this time of year. At 125 pounds, Anthony Robles is one of four rookies ranked in the Top 20 and is third among those freshmen at No. 16 behind No. 12 James Nicholson (Old Dominion) and No. 15 Tyler Clark (Iowa State) while just ahead of No. 17 Joey Fio (Oklahoma), who he pinned two weeks ago. The other weight class ASU has a ranked rookie is at 184 pounds where No. 15 Brent Chriswell and No. 8 Kirk Smith (Boise State) are the lone freshmen in the poll. The duo could face one another at the Pac-10 Championships next month.

If the probable starting lineups prevail this weekend, then one battle of Top 20 opponents will take place with the bout occurring at 125 pounds as No. 16 Anthony Robles is set to face No. 6 Tanner Gardner for the Cardinal.

Three weight classes will feature bouts pitting a pair of Pac-10 Top 6 foes against one another, just two weeks before seedings will be made in the Pac-10 Championships. The biggest battle will come at 125 pounds with No. 2 Anthony Robles meetings SU's No. 1 Tanner Gardner. The other two bouts include No. 3 Brent Chriswell against No. 4 Zack Giesen at 184 pounds and No. 1 Jason Trulson against No. 4 Jake Johnson at 197.

Last weekend, the Sun Devils had a tall task ahead of them as they played host to No. 1 Iowa and No. 9 Iowa State in home duals. Had it not been for wins each night at 165 pounds from Patrick Pitsch, the Sun Devils would have been shut out of the winning column individually. Against Iowa, Pitsch battled and took the dual to over time tied at one before scoring a takedown with 13 seconds remaining in the extra session for the 3-1 win. Then, on Sunday, Pitsch faced No. 6 Jon Reader of ISU and scored a 4-3 upset of the Cyclone wrestler.

Overall this season, 13 rookies have made their debuts and have accounted for 82 of the teams 146 victories, including 51-of-80 dual wins and 24-of-33 Pac-10 wins. The freshmen have won 14 (of 21) major decisions, five (of five) technical falls, 15 (of 25) falls and nine (of 15) forfeit victories.

So far this season, Anthony Robles is 19-8 following a pair of losses to Top 20 foes last weekend at home. Of his 19 victories, 14 have produced bonus points, including five major decisions, four technical falls and fourth falls, all team-highs, as well as one win by forfeit. For the year, he has earned 75 bonus points, the most on the team, with fellow rookie Todd Schavrien second on the list with 43 bonus points.

InterMat and the NWCA have compiled a statistics database for the season with Anthony Robles ranking among some of the best in several categories, including one nationally. Among all Division I wrestlers, Robles ranks tied for 16th nationally in tech falls with four. In the Pac-10 Conference, his four tech falls rank as the third-most while his five wins by major decision rank as the 13th-most in the league.

Earlier this season, at the Reno Tournament of Champions, Patrick Pitsch (165) scored the 75th victory of his career with an 11-4 defeat of Daniel Atondo (CS Bakersfield). Jason Trulson (197) went 2-0 on the weekend with his second win, a 3-0 decision over Shaun Dee of Oregon, giving him 50 career victories.

With a victory over Stanford this weekend, Sun Devil Head Coach Thom Ortiz would record the 75th win on his coaching record, which stands at 74-49-1. Back on the mats, Rick Renzi (174) is four away from his 25th career victory.

Since Thom Ortiz took over the program in time for the 2001-02 season, Arizona State has built a 40-7-0 record against Pac-10 foes, including an 18-6 record on the road and 22-1 in Tempe.

The latest round of Pac-10 Individual Rankings were released February 13 with six Sun Devils ranked among the Top 6 in their respective weight classes, including five ranked in the Top 3. Leading the way are a pair of top-ranked Sun Devils in Patrick Pitsch (165) and Jason Trulson (197) with Anthony Robles (125) ranked second; Brent Chriswell (184) and Todd Schavrien (133) are both ranked No. 3 in their weight classes and Chris Drouin (141) is ranked sixth to round out the Sun Devils in the Top 6.

The Sun Devils have combined to win 146 bouts this year with 66 of those victories producing bonus points. Of the 66 bonus point victories, Arizona State has won 25 by fall, 21 by major decision, five by technical fall and added 13 forfeit victories and two injury defaults.

Of those 25 wins by pin-fall, only 13 have come outside of the first period this year. Brent Chriswell (184) has recorded the fastest fall of the year as he pinned UC Davis' Jon Clark in just 33 seconds of his first match with the Sun Devils. At the Keystone Classic, Arizona State recorded four wins by fall, including three in the first two minutes of a bout. Anthony Robles added another quick fall at Oklahoma, pinning Joey Fio in 1:22.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Kenny Lester turned in one of the latest falls of the season this year as he pinned Cal Poly's Jim Powers at 6:58 of the heavyweight bout, or two seconds before the end of the bout. Lester was leading the match on points and was set for the win, but a late takedown gave the Sun Devil big-man a chance for the pin, which he took.

For the fourth time since it began hosting the Sun Devil Duals in 1999 (eight Duals), Arizona State walked away with a 3-0 record on the day as it scored wins of 22-13 over Army, 42-10 over Grand Canyon and 21-17 over No. 23 Penn. The Sun Devils previously swept the Duals in 2005, 2004 and 2001. The 2004 edition, like this year's, included an upset of a ranked foe (defeated No. 2 Iowa State, 22-20) as well as a win over another Arizona school (24-17 over Embry-Riddle). Since the first Sun Devil Duals, ASU holds a 17-6 all-time record.

Arizona State faced a pair of foes for the first time over the weekend and walked away with victories, including wins of 22-13 over Army and 42-10 over Grand Canyon. The win over GCU, an Arizona school based in Phoenix, improved the Sun Devils' all-time record against Copper Canyon State teams to 54-9-0.

Three upsets took place at the Sun Devil Duals, including two individual victories and one team win for Arizona State. In the first dual of the day against Army, No. 19 Anthony Robles used his quickness to build an early lead before winning his bout at 125-pounds in a 15-4 major decision over No. 16 Fernando Martinez. In the third dual of the day, No. 18 Brent Chriswell, who had not wrestled since the finals of the Keystone Classic on November 17 -- a 7-3 loss to No. 17 Lior Zamir of Penn -- stepped onto the mat to face Zamir again, this time ranked No. 13. In a tough battle, the Sun Devil freshman picked up a reversal to open the third period and held on for a 2-1 victory. Chriswell's victory also helped the team knock-off the No. 23 Quakers, 21-17.

The win for Anthony Robles was his second upset victory of the season as he also defeated then-No. 8 Javier Maldanado of UT Chattanooga in the semifinals of the Keystone Classic in Philadelphia... Brent Chriswell's upset of No. 13 Lior Zamir not only exacted a measure of revenge for an earlier loss this season (his only loss so far this year), but is also marked the second time Chriswell has downed the No. 13-ranked wrestler at 184 pounds after also knocking off then-No. 13 Doug Umbehauer of Rider at the Keystone Classic.

Over the past several weeks, the Sun Devil wrestling team has been getting out in the community more and working with local children. On November 22, the day before Thanksgiving, the Sun Devils visited the Crossroad Youth Intervention Center in Phoenix where they interacted with the children while handing out dinner and dessert. On November 27, the wrestlers headed over to the UMOM New Day Center in Phoenix where they read to numerous children from the community.

This year, the Sun Devils have a first on their roster as Kelsey Campbell is the first woman to join the Arizona State program. A transfer from Pacific (Ore.), Campbell comes to Tempe after competing for the Boxers during the 2005-06 season and then representing the ASU Women's Club Team last year. During the 2006-07 season, Campbell competed in her first National Collegiate Women's Wrestling Championships and won the 63kg (138.5) national title as an unseeded competitor. In the event, she knocked off the No. 4, No. 1 and then No. 2 seeds on her way to her first tournament title.

Kelsey Campbell is currently ranked on a pair of national women's lists, including No. 2 at 59kg in the Collegiate Women's Wrestling Association rankings. She also is ranked No. 5 in TheMat.com's U.S. Senior Women's Rankings (January 2008).

In her latest tournament action, Kelsey Campbell competed at the prestigious Dave Schultz Invitational and finished third at 59kg (130 pounds). Campbell opened the tournament with a loss to Othela Lucas, ranked No. 1 collegiately at 59kg and fourth in the U.S. women's rankings, in a 2-0, 1-0 decision. From there Campbell ripped off three wins in a row in the consolation rounds, including dominating scores of 5-0, 6-0 and 5-0, 7-1. She advanced to the third-place bout with a 1-0, 2-0 defeat of Natascha Ballas of Germany before meeting Lucas in the medal round. Campbell, who entered that bout having lost the last three matches to Lucas, won with a 0-4, 2-0, 2-1 score.

Seniors Patrick Pitsch, Rick Renzi and Jason Trulson and junior Quinton Pruett have been selected as the team's captains for the year.

Wells Fargo Arena serves as the home of Arizona State's home wrestling duals, as well as basketball (men and women), women's gymnastics and women's volleyball. Opened in the spring of 1974, the 14,198-seat arena has been the home venue of some of the Sun Devil greats with all 16 Pac-10 team titles and one of the two Western Athletic Conference crowns attained by ASU. Since its opening, 57 Sun Devils have captured 109 individual conference titles while 67 different athletes have earned a total of 98 All-America honors. The Sun Devils stand 167-54-2 all-time inside Wells Fargo Arena (205-88-2 all-time at home). With its 36-3 defeat of Utah Valley on Jan. 10, 2005, ASU recorded its 150th victory at WFA.

The dual and regular season tournament season has concluded. The Sun Devils will open their post season competitions on March 2-3 in Eugene, Ore., at the 2008 Pac-10 Wrestling Championships, hosted by Oregon. The Top 3 finishers in each weight class, along with several other wild card selections, will earn berths into the NCAA Championships later in March.

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