Senior Wrestlers Lead No. 11 Sun Devils to 28-18 Defeat of Bakersfield
Feb. 9, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. - The senior class of 2003 went out in style Sunday as the No. 11 Arizona State wrestling team defeated Pac-10 opponent Cal State Bakersfield, 28-18, in front of 566 fans at Wells Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils took and early lead that they never relinquished and totaled three wins by technical fall and another by fall to build bonus points towards the win. ASU is now 11-6 on the year (4-1 Pac-10) while CSUB slipped to 6-7 (3-4 Pac-10).
Adam Chavira (Sr., Parker, Ariz.), Dana Holland (Sr., Glendale Heights, Ill.), Eric Larkin (Sr., Tucson, Ariz.), Rocky Smart (Sr., Pleasant Grove, Utah), Curtis Owen (Sr., Coeur D'Alene, Idaho) and Kellan Fluckiger (Sr., Preston, Idaho) saw their final dual at home with five of the competitors taking to the mats. Smart was the only senior unable to compete today.
The dual started at 165 where No. 8 Nick Frost (Jr., Tucson, Ariz.) staked the Sun Devils to a 5-0 lead after scoring a 22-7 technical fall over Christian Arellano. Owen followed at 174 with a 16-6 major decision that pushed the ASU advantage to 9-0. Ron Renzi (Jr., Burke, Va.) came up at 184 and took the early lead, but was unable to hold on, dropping a 9-6 decision and making the team score 9-3.
Ryan Bader (Fr., Verdi, Nev.) came out on fire in the 197 bout and ended the match just under five minutes in after building a 15-0 lead to win by technical fall. No. 4 Fluckiger followed Bader with a tech fall of his own, 21-5, over Chad Traxler. Fluckiger had to battle, however, after nearly getting pinned at the end of the second. He was ahead 12-0 before a reversal almost stuck him on the mat, forcing him to fight off the pinning attempt for 15 seconds.
After a small break to honor the program's alumni in attendance, Chavira faced No. 13 Erfren Ceballos. Unfortunately for the Sun Devil senior, his match was cut short as the nationally ranked Ceballos pinned him at 2:16. With the score at 19-9, the Roadrunners added another six points as Matt Sanchez pinned Aaron Suzuki (Jr., Flagstaff, Ariz.), who was wrestling up a weight, at 2:24.
No. 5 Holland ended the CSUB momentum with a 12-9 decision at 141, holding on to three-point leads at the end of each period for his 12th win in a row. Larkin, undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the nation, made short work of his opponent by pinning him at 2:20 to give ASU the 28-15 lead. Chris Smith (Fr., Gilbert, Ariz.) came in at 157 and took a 2-1 lead into the second period, but was unable to hold the advantage. He lost, 8-3, setting the final score at 28-18 for the Sun Devils.
The final duals of the 2003 season take place next weekend when ASU travels to Fresno State and Cal State Fullerton. The Sun Devils and Bulldogs meet at Noon Feb. 16 before ASU heads south to Fullerton to meet the Titans at 7:30 p.m.