Larkin Leads ASU Wrestling to Fourth-Place Finish at Las Vegas Invite

Dec. 2, 2000

PRIMM, Nev. - Sophomore All-American Eric Larkin won six straight matches to capture the 141 pound championship title, leading the 10th-ranked Arizona State wrestling squad to a fourth-place finish at the 19th annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational at the Desert Star Arena in Primm, Nev. Saturday.

Larkin was untouchable throughout the two-day tournament, winning his first match by technical fall over Ryan Montanez of Air Force (19-3, 6:15) and taking his second bout by pinning North Carolina's Jonathon Williams at 4:38. He then went on to win his next four matches by major decision, including a 11-3 victory over Sean Gray of Virginia in the championship bout.

The Sun Devils finished only behind Illinois (156 points), Nebraska (113.5 points) and Lehigh (105.5 points). ASU ended the two-day affair with 89.5 points, while Pac-10 opponents Oregon State (fifth, 88.5), Oregon (seventh, 83.5) and Boise State (eighth, 78.5) rounded out top-10 team finishers.

Senior All-American Steve Blackford (165) won his first four matches (including by a fall and major decision), while junior David Douglas (148) won his first three (including by a fall, technical fall and major decision) until semifinal defeats sent them both to the consolation bracket. Then in their fifth-round bouts, Blackford lost via a medical forfeit, and Douglas fell in a close 3-2 match to Shawn Kegal of Buffalo.

Sophomore Rocky Smart was the fourth ASU wrestler to advance to quarterfinals in the championship bracket with three straight wins, only to suffer his first loss of the tournament to Kirk White of Boise State, 3-2. Smart tallied a victory in the fourth wrestle-back, but ended his tournament action with a loss in the fifth wrestle-back round.

The Sun Devils will take the next two weeks off, before returning to the mat Wednesday, Dec. 20 at the Reno Invitational.

Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite, Primm, Nev. - ASU Results

125 Pounds - Jeff Charlebois (2-2)
Matt Strawser (N. Dakota State) dec. Jeff Charlebois (ASU), 5-4
Jeff Charlebois (ASU) pinned Matt Holt (Pacific Lutheran), 2:38
Jeff Charlebois (ASU) dec. Anthony Guillen (Western State), 6-5
Jose Leon (Boston U) dec. Jeff Charlebois (ASU), 10-5

133 Pounds - David Douglas (3-2)
David Douglas (ASU) major dec. Bryson Vasquez (N. Colorado), 17-4
David Douglas (ASU) pinned Sean Doyle (Cornell), 1:11
David Douglas (ASU) tech. fall Mike Messina (Boston U), 17-2
Todd Beckerman (Nebraska) dec. David Douglas (ASU), 5-2
Shawn Kegal (Buffalo) dec. David Douglas (ASU), 3-2 (Fifth-place bout)

141 Pounds - Eric Larkin (1st place, 6-0)
Eric Larkin (ASU) tech. fall Ryan Montanez (Air Force), 19-3, 6:15
Eric Larkin (ASU) pinned Jonathon Williams (N.C. State), 4:38
Eric Larkin (ASU) major dec. Jake Theilbar (N. Dakota State), 16-3
Eric Larkin (ASU) major dec. Dave Dies (Brown), 17-8
Eric Larkin (ASU) major dec. Donnie DeFilippis (George Mason), 15-7
Eric Larkin (ASU) major dec. Sean Gray (Virginia), 11-3 (Championship)

149 Pounds - Dana Holland (4-2)
Gabe Webster (Cornell) dec. Dana Holland (ASU), 5-3
Dana Holland (ASU) pinned Josh Sternberg (UC Davis), 5:41
Dana Holland (ASU) dec. Travis Koppenhafer (Adams State), 17-10
Dana Holland (ASU) dec. Jim Mederios (Fresno State), 14-11
Dana Holland (ASU) pinned Clint Frease (Brown), 1:00
Malik Eliot (Boston U) dec. Dana Holland (ASU), 9-4

157 Pounds - Rocky Smart (4-2)
Rocky Smart (ASU) tech. fall Shane McChesney (Clarion), 17-2, 6:02
Rocky Smart (ASU) dec. Andy Tieben (Cornell), 8-7
Rocky Smart (ASU) dec. Ryan Berger (Illinois), 3-2
Kirk White (BSU) dec. Rocky Smart (ASU), 3-2
Rocky Smart (ASU) dec. Eugene Harris (Oregon), 6-4
Shaun Shapert (Edinboro) dec. Rocky Smart (ASU), 3-2

165 Pounds - Steve Blackford (4-2)
Steve Blackford (ASU) dec. Tom McMath (W. Virginia), 3-2
Steve Blackford (ASU) dec. Grady Wolf (N. Dakota State), 13-11
Steve Blackford (ASU) pinned Johnny Clark (Ohio State), 4:55
Steve Blackford (ASU) major dec. Charles Martelli (Michigan), 10-2
Matt Lackey (Illinois) dec. Steve Blackford (ASU), 6-3
Scott Garin (N.C. State) medical forfeit Steve Blackford (ASU) (Fifth-place bout)

174 Pounds - Curtis Owen (3-2)
Curtis Owen (ASU) dec. Mike Mellor (Fresno State), 12-5
Curtis Owen (ASU) tech. fall Nick Webster (George Mason), 18-3, 7:00
Ati Connor (Nebraska) dec. Curtis Owen (ASU), 7-3
Curtis Owen (ASU) tech. fall Jeff Anderson (Columbia), 17-1, 3:44
Terry Parham (Air Force) pinned Curtis Owen (ASU), 5:56

184 Pounds - R.D. Pursell (4-2)
Kyle Smith (Michigan) dec. R.D. Pursell (ASU), 3-2
R.D. Pursell (ASU) major dec. Miguel Garcia (San Francisco), 14-3
R.D. Pursell (ASU) tech. fall Jon Foster (West Virginia), 18-3, 7:00
R.D. Pursell (ASU) medical forfeit Charles McTorry (Nebraska)
R.D. Pursell (ASU) dec. Jason Rossotti (Fresno State), 10-4
Francis Volpe (Harvard) pinned R.D. Pursell (ASU), 2:06

197 Pounds - Andy Swanson (1-2)
Pat Quirk (Illinois) major dec. Andy Swanson (ASU), 10-1
Andy Swanson (ASU) dec. Gilbert Jones (Mo. Valley), 7-4
Wes Cummings (Virginia) tech. fall Andy Swanson (ASU), 17-2, 7:00

HWT - Kellan Fluckiger (1-2)
Kellan Fluckiger (ASU) major dec. Chad Troxler (Fullerton), 11-0
John Lockhart (Illinois) dec, Kellan Fluckiger (ASU), 3-1
Brad Steele (Wyoming) dec. Kellan Fluckiger (ASU), 3-2

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