Four Wrestlers Claim Wins, But Team Falls to No. 9 Minnesota, 26-12

Jan. 23, 2009

TEMPE - The Arizona State University wrestling team put up another strong effort on its home mats with four individuals claiming victory, but in the end, No. 9 Minnesota won the team battle with a 26-12 score Friday night inside Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe. The loss pushed the Sun Devils to 4-5 overall on the year while the Golden Gophers improved to 10-4.

The dual opened a 141 pounds with the first of several high-intensity matches that kept the 636 fans on hand entertained. No. 6 Chris Drouin faced UM's No. 9 Mike Thorn in a rematch of the fifth-place match that Drouin won at the Las Vegas Invitational last month. This time around, Drouin scored on a pair of takedowns in the first period for a 4-1 lead before two escapes in the second put the Sun Devil ahead, 6-3, heading into the final stanza. In the third, both wrestlers scored on takedowns, including Thorn near the end of the period to make it 8-7, but Drouin reversed his foe and added the riding time bonus for the 11-7 victory.

At 149, Vicente Varela found himself trailing 2-0 early after Joe Grygelko took him down and trailed 2-1 through one before tying the match with an escape in the second. In the final period, both men were awarded a point for stalling and Grygelko escaped late to make it 4-3, but Varela had 1:14 of riding time to force sudden victory. In that one-minute overtime, Varela shot in and came around for the takedown and the 6-4 win to put ASU on top, 6-0.

But, the visitors tied the score at six each in the 157 match as Michael Swigart was pinned in 4:39 by Tyler Safratowich. The Golden Gophers took their first lead of the dual at 165 as UM's Scott Glasser scored a close 3-2 decision over Kyle DeBerry for the 9-6 team lead and then extended that lead to 12-6 when UM's Matt Everson won a 4-2 decision over Eric Starks at 174.

The Sun Devils bounced back, however, as the Jakes each won decisions to tie the score at 12 each through the 197 bout. First up, at 184, Jake Meredith found himself trailing, 7-2 through one period as he was taken down and gave up five near fall points before earning a reversal before the buzzer. Meredith closed the gap to 8-6 through two periods as he scored on a takedown and two stalling points. In the final period, Meredith rode hard on top and built up riding time while his foe, Brent Eidenschink, was hit with a two-point stalling call to tie the match at eight. Meredith, who accumulated 3:21 of riding time, earned the win, 9-8.

At 197, Jake Cranford scored a pair of takedowns in the first period to lead Gordon Bierschenk, 4-1, through one. In the second stanza, Cranford scored the only points on an escape before his opponent scored on an escape in the third for the 5-2 final.

With the team score tied, the Golden Gophers would go on to win the remaining three bouts with a pair of major decisions and a forfeit at 133. At heavyweight, UM's Ben Berhow scored a 15-5 major over Imanibom Etukeren before the 125 pound match saw David Prado fall in his collegiate debut to No. 7 Zach Sanders, 14-5.

The Sun Devils will close out the month of January with their fourth home dual in a row next weekend as they welcome the Mustangs of Cal Poly to Wells Fargo Arena for a 7 p.m. dual on Saturday, January 31.

#9 Minnesota (10-4) defeats Arizona State (4-5), 26-12
Sunday, January 18, 2009 - at Wells Fargo Arena - Tempe
- #6 Chris Drouin (AS) dec. #9 Mike Thorn, 11-7
149 - Vicente Varela (AS) dec. Joe Grygelko, 6-4 sv
157 - Tyler Safratowich (MN) pinned Michael Swigart, 4:39
165 - Scott Glasser (MN) dec. Kyle DeBerry, 3-2
174 - Matt Everson (MN) dec. Eric Starks, 4-2
184 - Jake Meredith (AS) dec. Brent Eidenschink, 9-8
197 - Jake Cranford (AS) dec. Gordon Bierschenk, 5-2
285 - Ben Berhow (MN) major Imanibom Etukeren, 15-5
125 - #7 Zach Sanders (MN) major David Prado, 14-5
133 - #6 Jayson Ness (MN) won by forfeit
Referee: Jim Ramirez • Attendance: 636

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