ASU Wrestlers Ranked in Preseason Pac-10 Individual Rankings
Nov. 11, 2002
TEMPE, Ariz. - The Pac-10 wrestling coaches released their preseason individual rankings over the weekend with eight Sun Devil wrestlers selected to the Top 6. Arizona State, ranked as high as No. 12 in the preseason national team rankings, leads the conference with four of its wrestlers being selected as the No. 1 competitor in their respective weights. Another five team members also were chosen among the Top 6 in the conference.
ASU's top-ranked wrestlers include Eric Larkin (Sr., Tucson, Ariz.) at 149-pounds, Nick Frost (Jr., Tucson, Ariz.) at 165, Curtis Owen (Sr., Coeur D'Alene, Idaho) at 174, and Kellan Fluckiger (Sr., Preston, Idaho) at heavyweight. Larkin, a three-time All-American and national runner-up a year ago at 141, is currently ranked No. 3 in the national polls after moving up in weight from a year ago. Owen and Fluckiger also hold Top 8 national rankings in the their respective weight classes while Frost enters the season No. 11 nationally.
Mike Simpson (So., Anaheim, Calif.), a year after competing at 125 for the Sun Devils, moves up in weight to 133 and has been selected by the Pac-10 coaches as the No. 5 wrestler at his weight. At 141, the coaches placed Dana Holland (Sr., Glendale Heights, Ill.) and Evan Larkin (So., Tucson, Ariz.) at No. 4. Both Sun Devils will be fighting for a starting spot in the coming week, prior to ASU's season-opening road trip to No. 13 Nebraska.
Rocky Smart (Sr., Pleasant Grove, Utah), the fifth member of the ASU team chosen in the Top 3 of any weight class, was voted as the No. 2 wrestler at 157. The lone ASU freshman selected to the Top 6 is Ryan Bader (Fr., Verdi, Nev.) at 197. After redshirting last year, Bader was selected No. 5 in the poll.
The Sun Devils open their season Friday, Nov. 22 with a road trip to No. 13 Nebraska before heading to Omaha, Neb., for the Nebraska-Omaha Open, Nov. 23.
2002-03 Pac-10 Preseason Individual Rankings
125 - No ASU wrestler selected.
133 - Mike Simpson, No. 5
141 - Dana Holland or Evan Larkin, No. 4
149 - Eric Larkin, No. 1
157 - Rocky Smart, No. 2
165 - Nick Frost, No. 1
174 - Curtis Owen, No. 1
184 - No ASU wrestler selected.
197 - Ryan Bader, No.
285 - Kellan Fluckiger, No. 1