Larkin Advances to Semifinals; ASU In 12th After Third Session of NCAA Wrestling Championships

March 22, 2002

ALBANY, N.Y. - Junior Eric Larkin won his Friday morning quarterfinal match to advance to tonight's semifinals and was the lone Arizona State wrestler remaining in the championship bracket as the third session of the 2002 NCAA Wrestling Championships wrapped up at the Pepsi Arena in Albany, N.Y., Friday afternoon. ASU remains in 12th place in the team race with 25.5 points. The fourth session begins later today at 3:30 p.m. MT.

ASU began the day with three wrestlers in the championship bracket, but quarterfinal losses by senior David Douglas (133) and junior Kellan Fluckiger (HWT) sent them to the consolation rounds. Junior Rocky Smart (157) stayed alive in the consolation bracket with two wins today, but sophomore Nick Frost (165) and senior Erik Gladish (197) were eliminated from competition with their second losses of the tournament.

Defending champion Minnesota leads the team race with 85.5 points, followed by Oklahoma (69.5), Oklahoma State (59.5), Iowa (57) and Iowa State (52.5).

Larkin, the No. 2 seed at 141 pounds, earned his third win of the tournament and second by bonus points with a 13-2 major decision over J.P. Reese of Missouri. Larkin will face Oklahoma's Nate Parker Friday night for a chance to wrestle under the lights of the NCAA finals tomorrow. Parker handed Larkin one of his four losses of the season in ASU's dual with the Sooners Feb. 21.

Douglas, the No. 5 seed at 133 pounds, was unable to get past No. 4 seed Kevin Black from Wisconsin in the quarterfinals. Black's 10-5 decision sent Douglas to face Urjiah Faber from UC Davis in the consolation fourth round tonight.

Fluckiger, the No. 10 seed at HWT, drew No. 2 seed Steve Mocco from Iowa in Friday morning's quarterfinals. Fluckiger kept it close but Mocco ended up with the 5-1 decision. Fluckiger will face Dawid Rechul of Havard in the consolation fourth round.

Smart remained alive in the consolation bracket with second and third round wins. Smart earned a 9-2 decision over Jeremy Reitz from Clarion and a 7-4 decision over Rider's Derek Jenkins. He will face Northern Illinois' Scott Owen in the consolation fourth round later today.

Frost picked up his second win of tournament with a 13-2 major decision over Nate Lawrenz from Northern Iowa, but was eliminated with a close 8-7 decision by Pierre Pryor from North Carolina State.

Gladish's ASU career came to an end today, suffering a tight 5-4 loss to Drexel's Chris Jones in the consolation second round this morning.

The fourth session of the 2002 NCAA Wrestling Championships begins at 3:30 p.m. MT, with four ASU wrestlers still in contention for All-America honors.

2002 NCAA Wrestling Championships
Pepsi Arena, Albany, NY., March 21-23, 2002
Arizona State Results - SESSION III

133: (4) Kevin Black (Wisconsin) dec. (5) David Douglas (ASU), 10-5
141: (2) Eric Larkin (ASU) major dec. J.P. Reese (Missouri), 13-2
HWT: (2) Steve Mocco (Iowa) dec. (10) Kellan Fluckiger (ASU), 5-1

157: Rocky Smart (ASU) dec. Jeremy Reitz (Clarion), 9-2
165: Nick Frost (ASU) major dec. Nate Lawrenz (Northern Iowa), 13-2
197: Chris Jones (Drexel) dec. (9) Erik Gladish (ASU), 5-4

157: Rocky Smart (ASU) dec. Derek Jenkins (Rider), 7-4
165: Pierre Pryor (North Carolina State) dec. Nick Frost (ASU), 8-7

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