ASU Wrestling Wins Pac-10 Championship Title!

Feb. 26, 2001

EUGENE, Ore. -- Arizona State's 11th-ranked wrestling squad won its third Pacific-10 Conference title in the last five years, led by individual conference title winners junior David Douglas, sophomore Eric Larkin, senior Steve Blackford and sophomore Kellan Fluckiger at the University of Oregon's McArthur Court Monday night.

The Sun Devils finished the two-day tournament in first place with 123.50 points, followed by defending champion Boise State in second with 110.50 points. Rounding out the top four teams were Oregon State in third with 109.5 points and host Oregon with 103.5 points.

Not only did the Sun Devils come away with a team title and four individual titles, but eight ASU wrestlers earned qualifying berths to the NCAA Championships held March 15-17 in Iowa City, Iowa. ASU also advanced a total of five wrestlers to the championship matches in their respective weight classes, as junior Dana Holland earned runner-up honors at 149 pounds.

'Our goal coming into this tournament was to win a Pac-10 title and qualify eight wrestlers,' ASU head coach Lee Roy Smith said. 'These guys really pulled together and wrestled up to their potential. It's great to be back atop the conference again. Having five wrestlers advance to the finals was big in a tournament like this. That was where we were able to separate ourselves from the rest of the field.'

Additional NCAA qualifiers for ASU were sophomore Rocky Smart and junior Curtis Owen who battled back from second round losses to post third-place finishes at 157 pounds and 174 pounds, respectively, while senior R.D. Pursell placed fourth at 184 pounds.

Larkin and Blackford took home their second career conference titles Monday. Larkin earned a 12-8 decision over Oregon State's Shane Cunanan in the 141 championship, while Blackford successfully defended his title at 165 pounds with a 9-0 major decision over UC Davis' Burt Pierson.

Douglas earned his first career Pac-10 title thanks to an injury default by Oregon's Brian Walton. Fluckiger also picked up his first conference title, upsetting 10th-ranked Jason Cooley of Oregon State, 8-5.

Holland nearly upset Cedric Haymon of Cal Poly in the title match at 149 pounds, but Haymon's takedown in the last 20 seconds of the match gave him a slim 4-2 victory. Smart earned his third place finish by posting a 14-2 major decision over Cal State Bakersfield's Elizar Ceballos in the semifinal consolation and got past Oregon's Eugene Harris via default in the third place match.

Owen was sparked by his second round loss and went on to post two technical fall victories over Chris Carlino of Cal State Bakersfield and Adrian Garcia of UC Davis to finish third at 174 pounds. Pursell took care of his consolation semifinal opponent Isaac Weber of Oregon State by a 3-2 decision but fell to Cash Edward of Boise State in the third place match 5-2.

The Sun Devils will return to home to prepare for the NCAA Championships hosted by the University of Iowa, March 15-17 in Iowa City.

Pacific-10 Championships - FINAL RESULTS
February 25-26, 2001, Eugene, Ore., McArthur Court

125 Pounds
Shaun Williams (Oregon) major dec. Chris Knox (ASU), 19-7
Brian Gilliland (CS Fullerton) major dec. Chris Knox (ASU), 12-4

133 Pounds
David Douglas (ASU) dec. Nate Ybarra (Cal Poly), 8-3
David Douglas (ASU) dec. Charlie Griggs (Boise State), 4-0
Championship Match: David Douglas (ASU) injury default Brian Watson (Oregon)

141 Pounds
Eric Larkin (ASU) pinned Dallen Phillips (UC Davis), 2:29
Eric Larkin (ASU) dec. Gabe Vigil (Boise State), 6-1
Championship Match: Eric Larkin (ASU) dec. Shane Cunanan (Oregon State), 12-8

149 Pounds
Dana Holland (ASU) disqualification Casey Horn (Oregon State)
Dana Holland (ASU) dec. Tony Overstake (Oregon), 9-7
Championship Match: Cedric Haymon (Cal Poly) dec. Dana Holland (ASU), 4-3

157 Pounds
Rocky Smart (ASU) pinned Isaiah Camp (Stanford), 2:24
Eric Jorgensen (Oregon State) dec. Rocky Smart (ASU), 5-2
Consolation Semifinal: Rocky Smart (ASU) major dec. Elizar Ceballos (CS Bakersfield), 14-2
Third Place: Rocky Smart (ASU) def. Eugene Harris (Oregon)

165 Pounds
Steve Blackford (ASU) pinned Leonel Sanchez (CS Fullerton), 2:33
Steve Blackford (ASU) dec. Ian Nelms (CS Bakersfield), 7-6
Championship Match: Steve Blackford (ASU) major dec. Burt Pierson (UC Davis), 9-0

174 Pounds
Curtis Owen (ASU) dec. Quinn Collett (Portland State), 7-4
Nathan Coy (Oregon State) dec. Curtis Owen (ASU), 8-7
Consolation Semifinal: Curtis Owen (ASU) tech. fall Chris Carlino (CS Bakersfield), 5:30
Third Place: Curtis Owen (ASU) tech. fall Adrian Garcia (UC Davis), 5:23

184 Pounds
R.D. Pursell (ASU) dec. Harold Penson (Stanford), 3-2
Doug Lee (Oregon) dec. R.D. Pursell (ASU), 5-1
Consolation Semifinal: R.D. Pursell (ASU) dec. Isaac Weber (Oregon State), 3-2
Third Place: Cash Edward (Boise State) dec. R.D. Pursell (ASU), 5-2

197 Pounds
Rusty Cook (Boise State) pinned Mike Marshall (ASU), 1:51
David Schenk (Cal Poly) pinned Mike Marshall (ASU), 1:45

Kellan Fluckiger (ASU) dec. Mike Maben (UC Davis), 5-4
Kellan Fluckiger (ASU) major dec. John Devine (CS Bakersfield), 11-0
Championship Match: Kellan Fluckiger (ASU) dec. Jason Cooley (Oregon State), 8-5

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