Larkin Wins Title And Outstanding Wrestler Honor As ASU Finishes Third At Pac-10 Championships

March 3, 2002

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CORVALLIS, Ore. - Junior All-American Eric Larkin won the 141-pound title, while senior Erik Gladish and junior Kellan Fluckiger earned runner-up finishes at 197 pounds and heavyweight, respectively, leading the No. 13 Arizona State wrestling squad to a third place finish at the 2002 Pac-10 Wrestling Championships that concluded at Oregon State's Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore., Sunday night. Larkin was also honored as the Pac-10 tournament's Outstanding Wrestler.

With the top-four finishers in each weight class at the Pac-10 Championships earning automatic berths to the NCAA Championships, senior All-American David Douglas and sophomore Nick Frost will be joining Larkin, Gladish and Fluckiger at nationals. Douglas and Frost each placed third at 133 and 165 pounds, respectively. Junior Rocky Smart earned one of the three at-large berths granted at the conclusion of the tournament and will round out the group of six Sun Devils traveling to Albany, N.Y. March 21-23.

ASU, the top-ranked Pac-10 team all season and the defending champion, finished the two-day tournament with 103.5 points. The 2002 Pac-10 team title went to Boise State with 123 points, followed by Oregon (115.5), ASU (103.5), Oregon State (83.5), Cal Poly (72.5), UC Davis (56), Stanford (50.5), Cal State Bakersfield (43), Portland State (31.5) and Cal State Fullerton (29). The Sun Devils finished third for the first time since 1999.

Also earning places for ASU were freshman Mike Simpson (sixth at 125), freshman Evan Larkin (sixth at 149), junior Rocky Smart (fifth at 157) and freshman Will Carr (fifth at 184).

Larkin, the No. 1 seed at 141 pounds, won his third career Pac-10 title with an 11-1 major decision over Oregon's Brian Watson in the championship match, after cruising past his quarterfinal and semifinal matches yesterday. Larkin will be making his third straight NCAA appearance, with hopes of earning his third All-America honors and first national title.

Gladish, the No. 1 seed at 197 pounds, missed his first Pac-10 title by the smallest of margins, losing a close 8-7 match to Cal Poly's David Schenk, the No. 3 seed, in the championship bout. Gladish picked up wins yesterday over Boise State's Jacob McGinnis (6-2) and Oregon's Jake Leair (9-2). He will be making his second appearance at the NCAA Championships.

Like Gladish, Fluckiger came just inches away from his second Pac-10 title, losing 2-1 to Oregon State's Jason Cooley in the heavyweight title bout. The No. 1 seed, Fluckiger had an easy time with his two opponents yesterday, earning a 20-4 technical over Portland State's Eric Mustoe and a 10-0 major decision over Boise State's Boe Rushton. Fluckiger will be making his second appearance at the NCAA Championships.

Senior All-American David Douglas rebounded from a first session upset loss yesterday, to finish third at 133 pounds with a 9-4 decision over UC Davis' Urijah Faber. Douglas, who is ranked third in the nation and won the 2001 Pac-10 title at 133, will be making his third appearance at the NCAA Championships.

Sophomore Nick Frost also earned a trip to nationals with his third-place finish at 165 pounds, winning a 12-7 decision over Cal State Fullerton's Chris Carlino. Frost, who was unseeded at the Pac-10 Tournament, will be making his first appearance at the NCAA Championships.

Junior Rocky Smart, nationally ranked at 157 pounds all season, just missed an automatic berth to nationals with his fifth-place finish, but did secure an at-large berth. The No. 1 seed at 157, Smart was upset in the first session yesterday, before being upset again in the wrestleback semis by third-seed Levi Weikel-Magden from Stanford (4-1). Smart won the fifth-place bout with an 11-1 major decision over Cal State Fullerton's Leo Sanchez.

ASU had another nationally ranked wrestler, Mike Simpson, fail to finish among the top-four in his weight class. Simpson, ranked 13th by InterMat at 125 pounds, was the No. 2 seed in the Pac-10 tournament and finished sixth. Simpson was upset by third-seed and eventual champion Shaun Williams of Oregon in the semifinals, before falling in the wrestleback semis (6-3 to Stanford's Nathan Peterson) and in the fifth-place match (14-7 major decision to CS Bakersfield's Matt Sanchez).

The Sun Devils will now return home to prepare for the NCAA Championships held at the Pepsi Arena in Albany, N.Y., Thursday, March 21, through Saturday, March 23.

2002 Pac-10 Wrestling Championships
Gill Coliseum, Oregon State, Corvallis, Ore., March 2, 2002

Team Scores: 1. Boise State 123 points, 2. Oregon 115.5, 3. Arizona State 103.5, 4. Oregon State 83.5, 5. Cal Poly 72.5, 6. California-Davis 56, 7. Stanford 50.5, 8. California State-Bakersfield 43, 9. Portland State 31.5, 10. Cal State Fullerton, 29.

Arizona State Individual Results
125 Pounds
Quarterfinals: (2) Mike Simpson (ASU) major dec. Robert Valenzuela (CS Fullerton), 10-1
Semifinals: (3) Shaun Williams (Oregon) major dec. (2) Mike Simpson (ASU), 15-4
Wrestleback Semifinals: Nathan Peterson (Stanford) dec. (2) Mike Simpson (ASU), 5-2 tb
Fifth-Place Final: (4) Matt Sanchez (CS Bakersfield) major dec. (2) Mike Simpson (ASU), 14-6

133 Pounds
Quarterfinals: Jesse Brock (Boise State) dec. (1) David Douglas (ASU), 5-4
Wrestleback Quarterfinals: (1) David Douglas (ASU) fall Nathaniel Ybarra (Cal Poly), 5:24
Wrestleback Semifinals: (1) David Douglas (ASU) dec. (2) Jason Harless (Oregon), 8-1
Third-Place Final: (1) David Douglas (ASU) dec. (4) Urijah Faber (UC Davis), 9-4

141 Pounds
Quarterfinals: (1) Eric Larkin (ASU) major dec. Juan Mora (CS Fullerton), 9-1
Semifinals: (1) Eric Larkin (ASU) dec. (4) Gabe Vigil (Boise State), 8-3
Championship Match: (1) Eric Larkin (ASU) major dec. Brian Watson (Oregon), 11-1

149 Pounds
Prelims: Jordan Barich (Oregon State) dec. Evan Larkin (ASU), 9-8
Wrestleback Prelims: Evan Larkin (ASU) major dec. Jeff Silva (CS Fullerton), 11-2
Wrestleback Quarters: Evan Larkin (ASU) dec. Cooper Fouch (UC Davis), 9-5
Wrestleback Semifinals: (3) Thomas Juarez (CS Bakersfield) fall Evan Larkin (ASU), 1:57
Fifth-Place Final: Matt Cox (Cal Poly) fall Evan Larkin (ASU), 4:24

157 Pounds
Quarterfinals: Jeremiah Jarvis (UC Davis) fall (1) Rocky Smart (ASU), 6:51 SV
Wrestleback Quarterfinals: (1) Rocky Smart (ASU) dec. Robb Maxwell (Cal Poly), 2-1
Wrestleback Semifinals: (3) Levi Weikel-Magden (Stanford) dec. (1) Rocky Smart (ASU), 4-1
Fifth-Place Final: (1) Rocky Smart (ASU) major decision Leo Sanchez (CS Fullerton), 11-1

165 PoundsQuarterfinals: Nick Frost (ASU) major dec. (4) Brody Barrios (Cal Poly), 11-3
Semifinals: (1) Eugene Harris (Oregon) dec. Nick Frost (ASU), 3-2
Wrestleback Semifinals: Nick Frost (ASU) fall Jed Pennell (Oregon State), 3:41
Third-Place Final: Nick Frost (ASU) dec. (3) Chris Carlino (CS Fullerton), 12-7

174 Pounds
Quarterfinals: (1) Nathan Coy (Oregon State) fall Chris Petrie (ASU), 5:58
Wrestleback Prelim: Mike Font (UC Davis) dec. Chris Petrie (ASU), 15-8

184 Pounds
Prelim: Will Carr (ASU) major dec. Scott O'Rear (Cal State Bakersfield), 19-8
Quarterfinals: (2) Isaac Weber (Oregon State) dec. Will Carr (ASU), 10-3
Wrestleback Prelim: Will Carr (ASU) dec. Steffan Weiner (UC Davis), 5-1
Wrestleback Quarterfinal: Will Carr (ASU) dec. Elias Soto (Oregon), 3-1 SV
Wrestleback Semifinal: Rowdy Lundegreen (CS Fullerton) dec. Will Carr (ASU), 8-3
Fifth-Place Final: Will Carr (ASU) win by forfeit

197 Pounds
Quarterfinals: (1) Erik Gladish (ASU) dec. Jacob McGinnis (Boise State), 6-2
Semifinals: (1) Erik Gladish (ASU) dec. Jake Leair (Oregon), 9-2
Championship Match: (3) David Schenk (Cal Poly) dec. (1) Erik Gladish (ASU), 8-7

Quarterfinals: (1) Kellan Fluckiger (ASU) tech. fall Eric Mustoe (Portland State), 6:31, 20-4
Semifinals: (1) Kellan Fluckiger (ASU) dec. Boe Rushton (Boise State), 10-0
Championship Match: (2) Jason Cooley (Oregon State) dec. (1) Kellan Fluckiger (ASU), 2-1

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