ASU Wrestling Splits Match Results, but Sun Devils Fall to CSUF, 20-18

Feb. 14, 2009

TEMPE - The Arizona State University wrestling team won five of the 10 matches contested, but it was not enough to prevail in the team race as the visiting Titans of CS Fullerton escaped from Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe with a 20-18 dual victory in Pac-10 action Saturday afternoon. The results of the dual, the final regular season action for both teams, pushed the Sun Devils to a 5-8 overall record and 3-4 mark in the Pac-10 this season while the Titans improved to 11-6 and 5-3 in the league.

Heading into the dual, the Sun Devils and Titans had met in four individual matches earlier this year at the Reno Tournament of Champions with both sides winning two matches each. Today's dual opened at 184 pounds with ASU's Jake Meredith looking to avenge a loss to Tim Hawkins in Reno and succeeded in that quest as he scored a 3-0 decision to stake the Sun Devils to an early 3-0 lead.

That lead did not last long as Jake Cranford took the 197 match into overtime tied at 3-3 with John Drake, but the Titan scored a takedown mid-way through the extra session to take the 5-3 win and tie the team race. One match later, Imanibom Etukeren dropped a 5-0 decision to Kurt Klimek at heavyweight to put CSUF on top, 6-3.

The Sun Devils reclaimed the lead at 125 pounds as No. 12 Anthony Robles dominated Andre Gonzalez in a 15-0 technical fall. Robles opened with an early takedown and then turned his opponent for three points four different times in the first period to build a 14-0 lead before Gonzalez allowed Robles to escape two seconds into the second period to end the match. Leading 8-6, the Sun Devils lost the lead at 133 as No. 13 TJ Dillashaw won a 16-0 technical fall over David Prado to put the visitors on top, 11-8.

At 141 pounds, No. 6 Chris Drouin gave up a takedown in the first period to Adin Duenas and fought his way back to score a takedown late in the third period to take a 5-3 lead before Duenas escaped at the buzzer to make it a 5-4 final for Drouin. The Sun Devil ends his dual season with a 12-1 dual record with 10 of those wins coming by major decision or better.

Tied at 11-11, the 149 match proved to be the pivotal result as Vicente Varela scored an early takedown, but CSUF's Teddy Astorga eventually caught Varela and stuck him in 2:54 to put six points on the Titans's side and give the hosts a 17-11 lead. Steven DeLeFuente gave the Titans a 20-11 lead after 157 as he scored a 5-1 decision over Michael Swigart.

Needing wins with bonus points, the Sun Devils went to work and Kyle DeBerry scored an 8-2 decision at 165 pounds over Brian Stills to cut the deficit to six (20-14) with match remaining. The final match, also a rematch from earlier this year, saw Eric Starks, fresh off his upset of No. 11 Kyle Bressler of Oregon State on the road last week, take on Todd Noel, who won the earlier match in Reno, 2-1. Starks, who was looking for the pin to tie the team score, scored early on a takedown and worked tirelessly for turns, but could not get a pin and instead had to settle for the 12-2 major decision and ASU falling, 20-18.

The Sun Devils will be off from competition until March 1-2 when they head to Fullerton for the 2009 Pac-10 Wrestling Championships. New this year, only the conference winner at each weight class will earn an automatic berth into the national meet with the rest of the field filled out by the NCAA selection committee.

CS Fullerton (11-6, 5-3 Pac-10) defeats Arizona State (5-8, 3-4 Pac-10), 20-18
Saturday, February 14, 2009 - Wells Fargo Arena (Tempe)
184 - Jake Meredith (AS) dec. Tim Hawkins, 3-0
197 - John Drake (CF) dec. Jake Cranford, 5-3 sv
285 - Kurt Klimek (CF) dec. Imanibom Etukeren, 5-0
125 - #12 Anthony Robles (AS) tech fall Andre Gonzalez, 15-0 (3:02)
133 - #13 TJ Dillashaw (CF) tech fall David Prado, 16-0 (4:55)
141 - #6 Chris Drouin (AS) dec. Adin Duenas, 5-4
149 - Teddy Astorga (CF) pinned Vicente Varela, 2:54
157 - Steven DeLeFuente (CF) dec. Michael Swigart, 5-1
165 - Kyle DeBerry (AS) dec. Brian Stills, 8-2
174 - Eric Starks (AS) major Todd Noel, 12-2
Referee: Cody Olson; Attend: 327

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