No. 7 Wrestling Plays Host to No. 4 Oklahoma

Jan. 6, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz.- The No. 7 Arizona State wrestling team (4-3, 1-0 Pac-10), after going 2-1 at the Sun Devil Duals Sunday, get no rest as they prepare for No. 4 Oklahoma. The Sun Devils and Sooners will meet at 7 p.m. inside Wells Fargo Arena Wednesday.

Aside from the perfect record Eric Larkin holds at 149 (15-0), no one on the team has been on a bigger winning streak than Dana Holland at 141. Heading into the Las Vegas Invitational (Dec. 6-7), Holland was 5-3 on the year. He also was ranked No. 18 in the nation. Since his trip to the City of Lights, Holland has gone 16-2, won the tournament titles at the Las Vegas Invite and the Reno Tournament of Champions and finished second at the highly competitive Midlands. He also has surged toward the top of the rankings, coming in this week at No. 4.

Eric Larkin has shined this year at 149 and has parlayed that into the No. 1 ranking in the national polls. Larkin stands 15-0 on the year, which raises his career mark to 104-12-0 and places him in a tie for 14th on the all-time ASU wins list. He is currently tied with Glenn McMinn, Sr. (1964-67) and Jim Gressley (1984-89) and needs one more win to tie for No. 13 on the all-time list with Eddie Urbano (1982-85) at 105 wins.

Larkin also is a perfect 6-0 in dual matches this year, bringing his career total to 38-6. That is good enough to tie him for 20th on the all-time list with Townsend Saunders (1988-90), one of the current ASU assistant coaches. Larkin is on pace to win 15 duals this year and, if that holds, he would move into 14th at the end of his career with 47.

With their 21-16 win over Lock Haven Sunday, the Sun Devils secured the 400th win in the history of the program. ASU also defeated Embry-Riddle (46-0) before losing to No. 3 Minnesota (26-13), bring the all-time Sun Devil record to 401-214-13.

1 - vs. Los Angeles St.; 40-0 (1/11/63)
25 - Arizona; 27-3 (3/5/65)
50 - Arizona; 33-4 (2/29/68)
75 - vs. San Jose St.; 28-9 (11/27/74)
100 - vs. Washington; 30-8 (1/7/77)
125 - Western State; 36-8 (1/8/79)
150 - at Portland State; 30-9 (2/12/81)
175 - CS Fullerton; 34-12 (11/18/83)
200 - vs. Michigan; 28-15 (1/5/84)
225 - vs. West Virginia; 34-9 (1/10/87)
250 - at Fresno State; 26-10 (11/25/88)
275 - vs. Purdue; 24-15 (1/26/90)
300 - CS Fullerton; 25-12 (11/27/92)
325 - vs. Pittsburgh; 18-12 (1/20/96)
350 - vs. Augsburg; 26-13 (1/18/98)
375 - Fresno State; 24-11 (1/29/00)
400- Lock Haven; 21-16 (1/5/03)

On Dec. 18, released the first individual rankings based on the input of collegiate coaches rather than that of the poll administrators. Starting in January, the poll will be release biweekly, giving the nation one of the more concise rankings around.

In its first installment, ASU had members ranked in the Top 15 at four weights. Eric Larkin (149) leads the way at No. 1, followed by No. 4 Dana Holland (141), No. 5 Kellan Fluckiger (heavyweight) and No. 12 Curtis Owen (174). Also making the 'others' area (those receiving votes not in the Top 15) were Nick Frost (No. 16 at 165) and Mike Simpson (No. 19 at 133).

As a team, the Sun Devils remained at No. 10 in The Wrestling Mall's polls while InterMat bumped ASU up from No. 18 to No. 15. The National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA), releasing a poll once a month, placed the Sun Devils at No. 7.

Individually, Eric Larkin moved up from No. 3 to No. 1 in all polls while Dana Holland made the largest leap, going from No. 18 to No. 4. Curtis Owen improved from No. 12 to No. 9 and Kellan Fluckiger rose one to No. 5. Nick Frost stayed at No. 16.

A newcomer to the polls, Mike Simpson was placed in the Top 20 by two rankings, taking his highest spot at No. 18.

Ninth-year head coach Jack Spates and his Sooners are 4-2 on the year after going 2-1 at the Lone Star Duals over the weekend. OU's only losses this year were to intrastate rival No. 1 Oklahoma State (23-16) and No. 15 Cornell (21-15). The loss to the Big Red also occured this weekend.

Leading the team this year are two undefeated wrestlers; Witt Durden and Teyon Ware. Durden is 10-0 at 133 while Ware is a perfect 4-0 at 141.

This year's dual marks the 33rd meeting in the series...OU leads 18-13-1...the Sooners have won six in a row....the series is a tale of four the beginning, OU won eight of the first nine matches...ASU then won eight of nine with a tie mixed in...the teams then split eight matches before OU won the last six...the last meeting was a 38-6 decision for OU in Norman last year...ASU vs OU at Tempe: OU: 4-9-1...neutral: 1-3-0.

There are three interesting matchups when Oklahoma and Arizona State meet Wednesday. Each team boasts a No. 1 ranked wrestler (Eric Larkin at 149 for ASU and Josh Lambrecht at 184 for OU), one of which will have to contend with an All-American rematch. The three matches to watch will be at 141, 174 and heavyweight.

149: No. 1 Eric Larkin against Nate Parker. Larkin went 1-1 against Parker a year ago, avenging an earlier loss with a 10-4 decision in the NCAA semifinals.

174: No. 4 Robbie Waller against No. 9 Curtis Owen.

285: No. 3 Leonce Crump against No. 5 Kellan Fluckiger. Fluckiger lost the only match last year, falling 9-1 to Crump.

125 - Adam Chavira or Jeremy Mendoza
133 - #19 Mike Simpson
141 - #4 Dana Holland or Evan Larkin
149 - #1 Eric Larkin
157 - Rocky Smart or Mike Smith
165 - #16 Nick Frost
174 - #9 Curtis Owen
184 - Ron Renzi
197 - Ryan Bader
285 - #5 Kellan Fluckiger

Arizona State played host to the Sun Devil Duals and went 2-1 on the day. The Sun Devils scored wins over Lock Haven (21-16) and Embry-Riddle (46-0) before dropping a 26-13 decision to No. 3 Minnesota. The win over LHU also marked the 400th in the history of ASU wrestling.

ASU returns to action Jan. 18-19 when it returns to Columbus, Ohio, and Ohio State University for the 2003 NWCA Cliff Keen National Duals. The Sun Devils' opponents will be determined the week of the event.

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