Wrestling Tied For 12th After First Day Of NCAA Championships; Three Advance To Quarterfinals

March 21, 2002

ALBANY, N.Y. - With three wrestlers advancing to tomorrow's quarterfinals and three still alive in the consolation brackets, Arizona State is tied for 12th after the first day of competition at the 2002 NCAA Wrestling Championships held at the Pepsi Arena in Albany, N.Y., Thursday.

Senior David Douglas (133), junior Eric Larkin (141) and junior Kellan Fluckiger (HWT) won both their first and second session bouts in the championship brackets of the their respective weight classes and will wrestle tomorrow morning in the championship quarterfinals. All three are still in the running for national titles.

ASU has three other wrestlers alive in the consolation brackets in junior Rocky Smart (157), sophomore Nick Frost (165) and senior Erik Gladish (197). Smart and Gladish lost in their opening round matches, but rebounded with wins in the evening consolation bouts. Frost did the opposite, winning his opening round match but falling in the second round.

ASU's 15 points after day one ties it for 14th with Edinboro. Leading the team race is Oklahoma (37.50), followed by defending champion Minnesota (35.5) and Iowa (31). Michigan (25.5) and Iowa State (25) round out the top five teams.

Douglas, the fifth seed at 133 pounds, earned a 12-5 decision over Virginia Tech's David Hoffman in the opening round. He followed that with a 5-1 decision over unseeded Marat Tomaev of Penn State later in Thursday night's second round. Douglas will face fourth-seeded Kevin Black from Wisconsin in the quarterfinals Friday morning.

Larkin, the second seed at 141 pounds, took one step closer to his national title hopes with an 8-4 decision over Maryland's Brandon York in the first round and a pin of Boise State's Gabe Vigil in two minutes, 30 seconds in the second round. Larkin is set to face unseeded J.P. Reese from Missouri in the quarterfinals tomorrow.

The 10th-seed at heavyweight, Fluckiger earned a 5-0 decision over Jack Leffler of Central Michigan in the opening match before avenging his Pac-10 final loss to Oregon State's Jason Cooley with a 5-1 decision in the second round. Cooley was the No. 7 seed at heavyweight. Fluckiger will have his hands full in the quarterfinals Friday, drawing No. 2 seed Steve Mocco from Iowa.

Frost picked up the most dominating win of the first session for ASU, pinning Oscar Santiago from Purdue in 6 minutes, 49 seconds. In the second round, Frost met the No. 3 seed in Oklahoma State's Tyrone Lewis. Lewis earned the 14-5 major decision, sending Frost to the consolation bracket to face Northern Iowa's Nate Lawrenz.

Smart drew the No. 8 seed in his opening bout at 157 pounds and suffered a 4-0 decision loss to Iowa's Matt Anderson. In the consolation bracket, he bounced back with a 3-1 decision over Hofstra's Paul Siemon. Smart will face Clarion's Jeremy Ritz in the second round of wrestlebacks.

Gladish suffered an 11-7 upset to Pittsburgh's David Sandberg in the opening round, but like Smart, rebounded with a consolation round win. Gladish's 12-5 decision over Penn State's Pete Mielnik kept him alive in the tournament. He will face Drexel's Chris Jones in wrestleback action tomorrow morning.

The 2002 NCAA Wrestling Championships continue tomorrow at the Pepsi Arena in Albany with the third session scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. MT, and the fourth session to follow at 3:30 p.m. MT.

2002 NCAA Wrestling Championships
Pepsi Arena, Albany, NY., March 21-23, 2002
Arizona State Results - SESSION I
133: (5) David Douglas (ASU) dec. David Hoffman (Virginia Tech), 12-5
141: (2) Eric Larkin (ASU) dec. Brandon York (Maryland), 8-4
157: (8) Matt Anderson (Iowa) dec. Rocky Smart (ASU), 4-0
165: Nick Frost (ASU) fall Oscar Santiage (Purdue), 6:49
197: David Sandberg (Pittsburgh) dec. (9) Erik Gladish (ASU), 11-7
HWT: (10) Kellan Fluckiger (ASU) dec. Jack Leffler (Central Michigan), 5-0

133: (5) David Douglas (ASU) dec. Marat Tomaev (Penn State), 5-1
141: (2) Eric Larkin (ASU) fall Gabe Vigil (Boise State), 2:30
165: (3) Tyrone Lewis (Oklahoma State) major dec. Nick Frost (ASU), 14-5
HWT: (10) Kellan Fluckiger (ASU) dec. (7) Jason Cooley (Oregon State), 5-1

157: Rocky Smart (ASU) dec. Paul Siemon (Hofstra), 3-1
197: (9) Erik Gladish (ASU) dec. Pete Mielnik (Penn State), 12-5

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