Sun Devil Wrestling Inks Trio to National Letters of Intent

Nov. 22, 2002

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State wrestling team has signed three recruits to national letters of intent, Thom Ortiz, ASU head coach, announced Friday. Two high school seniors, Alex Contreras of Phoenix, Ariz., and Patrick Pitsch of Tacoma, Wash., will join junior college transfer Cain Velasquez of Yuma, Ariz., as members of the 2003-04 Sun Devil squad.

'We signed three talented wrestlers,' Ortiz said. 'We expect them to come in and compete for us and do great things for this program. We feel they can help us bring our program back to the level and tradition it had in the late 1980s and early 1990s.'

Contreras is senior at Westview High School in Phoenix and currently competes at 112 pounds. An Arizona state champion as a junior and runner-up as a senior (he lost to current Sun Devil John Espinoza), Contreras is slated to wrestle at 125 for ASU. Contreras placed fifth at the FILA Cadet Nationals in Fargo, N.D., in 2001 and also finished the year as the national runner-up at the Junior National Greco-Roman Championships.

Pitsch is in his final year at Tacoma's Spanaway Lake High School and is currently ranks in the Top 5 nationally among 152 pound wrestlers. Ranked No. 1 in the state of Washington, Pitsch was an All-American twice in 2000 as he finished fourth nationally in the Cadet Nationals Greco-Roman and freestyle events. Last year, he won the West region Greco-Roman and freestyle events in Las Vegas, Nev., and earned Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament honors. Pitsch is slated to compete at 157 pounds for the Sun Devils.

Velasquez is currently wrestling in his second year with Iowa Central junior college following two state championships competing for Kofa High School in Yuma, Ariz. Last year for ICC, Velasquez won the national NJCAA heavyweight title and helped his team to the national championship. In the final match of the tournament, he defeated Neosho's Dean Taylor, 2-1, to win his title and give ICC the needed points to defeat NCC, 136-130, for the title. Velasquez will remain at heavyweight when he arrives in Tempe next year.

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.

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