Larkin Takes Runner-up Honors at Sunkist International

Oct. 19, 2002

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TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State wrestler Eric Larkin (Tucson, Ariz.) made his way through a tough weight class at the 18th Annual Sunkist Kids/ASU International Open over the weekend to finish as the runner-up to former Illinois standout Adam Tirapelle. Larkin fell in the final, 7-2. Larkin defeated Jose DeAnda in the semifinals in an 11-1 technical fall to reach the last match of the tournament.

Also competing on the last day of the meet were three former Sun Devils. In the same weight class, ASU assistant Aaron Simpson emerged victorious in the finals over three-time All-American Sun Devil Steve Blackford. The two training partners fought an intense match before Blackford injured his knee and Simpson won the match, 4-0.

Another former great, national champion Marcus Mollica, lost to Blackford in the semifinals before falling in the bronze medal match to Randy Pugh, 2-2 in overtime.

With the Sun Devil season slated to begin in Lincoln, Neb., Nov. 22, against the No. 8 Huskers of Nebraska, ASU has just five weeks left to prepare. Wrestle-offs are slated for early November to determine who will represent the Maroon and Gold in the opening duals of the year.

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