No. 11 Sun Devil Wrestling Heads to Virginia Duals

Jan. 7, 2004

Weekly Notes in pdf Format

TEMPE, Ariz. - Fresh off a 3-0 weekend that included an upset of No. 2 Iowa State, the No. 11 Arizona State wrestling team will head to Hampton, Va., for the 2004 Virginia Duals, Friday and Saturday. The Sun Devils' opponents will be determined at a coaches meeting Thursday when teams are seeded and placed in the bracket.

On the current Arizona State roster, five Sun Devils hail from the state of Virginia with three of them heading back to their home state to compete this weekend with Ron Renzi, who is from Burke, Va. (2 hours north) and Christian Staylor, of Chesapeake, Va. (30 minutes south) both returning close to their hometowns. Brian Stith will be the closest to his hometown as he is from the host city for the event, Hampton.

Ryan Bader continued his strong season over the weekend with a trio of wins (decision, major and tech fall) to improve to 16-2 on the season. Prior to that, he suffered his second loss of the year in a 4-1 decision to No. 1 Damion Hahn of Minnesota. Heading into the Virginia Duals, Bader has moved up one spot in the national rankings to No. 2

Arizona State's three heavy wrestlers, Nick Frost at 184, Ryan Bader at 197 and Cain Velasquez at heavyweight, each recorded 3-0 records over the weekend at the Sun Devil Duals to lead the team to three wins. Velasquez had the most dominant day with all three of his matches ending with him scoring 17 or more points to earn a major and two tech falls. Frost and Bader each won by decision, major and tech fall.

Heading into the final dual of the day Sunday, the No. 11 Sun Devils scored a 22-20 upset of previously undefeated No. 2 Iowa State and former ASU coach Bobby Douglas. The win for the Devils snapped 11-dual losing streak to the Cylcones.

The three wins Arizona State picked up at the 2004 Sun Devil Duals Sunday not only extended two streaks, but snapped also snapped two more. The victories over Embry-Riddle and Stanford kept the Devils undefeated all-time against both schools, 5-0 and 4-0, respectively. The win over No. 2 Iowa State ended the Cyclones' 11-match winning streak over the Sun Devils while also handing ISU its first loss in 10 duals this year.

The Sun Devils are a combined 29-15-2 all-time against their possible opponents this weekend. Arizona State holds an advantage in the series with eight of the 15 teams entered including Wyoming (10-6-0), Lock Haven (4-0-0), Rider (1-0-0), Wisconsin (1-0-0), Lehigh (2-1-0), Cleveland State (2-0-0), North Carolina (2-0-1) and Purdue (3-0-0). Only team teams have the lead over ASU; Edinboro (0-1-0) and Nebraska (4-7-1) while the Sun Devils could five schools (Old Dominion, Kent State, Citadel, Virginia and American) they have never met.

As entrants in the meet, the Sun Devils hold an all-time mark of 13-7-2. Both ties came in the semifinals with ASU advancing to the final on criteria.

The 2004 Virginia Duals will mark the sixth time Arizona State has competed in the event (twice when it was named the National Team Championships). In their five previous trips, the Sun Devils have placed each time, finishing as the runners-up three times with one third and one eight place finish. During the 1987 event, ASU finished 2-3 for eighth place while earning the 225th win in program history with a 34-9 drubbing of West Virginia. The following year, ASU dropped a 20-19 decision to Iowa State in the final to start a string of three second-place finishes in a row. The 1989 and 1990 meets ended with Oklahoma State defeating ASU in the finals. In its most-recent competition, ASU went 4-1 to place third in 1997 by defeating Oregon State (23-10) in the consolation finals. The Sun Devils' lone loss came to Edinboro in their only meeting ever.

USA Wrestling has announced a trio of people with ties to Arizona State will coach the USA Olympic Wrestling teams in Athens in 2004. Zeke Jones will share duties guiding the men's freestyle team while Townsend Saunders and his wife Tricia will guide the women's freestyle team.

InterMat was the only service to release an updated national team poll since Dec. 16 with its posting Jan. 6. In that poll, the Sun Devils remained 10th overall.

Ryan Bader (197) again leads the way individually for the Sun Devils as he has climbed to No. 2 in both polls (Amateur Wrestling News and InterMat). Three others are ranked in the Top 10 including Cain Velasquez (HWT) and Nick Frost (184), both eighth, and Mike Simpson (133) is 10th. Also in the rankings are No. 12 Patrick Williams (149) and No. 13 Brian Stith (157). According to InterMat, Frost, Bader, Velasquez and Williams hold identical ranks as AWN, while Simpson is eighth and Christian Staylor (125) earned his first national ranking, coming in at No. 18.

Eight of 10 Sun Devils are ranked in the Top 5 of the latest Pac-10 Individual Rankings, released by the Arizona State coaching staff Jan. 6. Patrick Williams (149), Ryan Bader (197) and Cain Velasquez (HWT) are No. 1 in the respective weights with Christian Staylor (125), Mike Simpson (133), Brian Stith (157), Ron Renzi (174) and Nick Frost (184) are all ranked No. 2 in their respective weights.

Though the week started off on a sour note, it ended with jubilation as the Sun Devils went 3-1 in duals. The week started with a tough 20-15 loss at No. 10 Minnesota before returning home to play host to the Sun Devil Duals. There, Arizona State scored wins over Embry-Riddle (32-12), Stanford (24-17) and previously undefeated and No. 2 in the nation Iowa State, 22-20.

Conference foes Oregon State and Cal State Fullerton come calling next time out for Arizona State. The Sun Devils and Beavers square off at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16 inside Wells Fargo Arena before the Titans invade WFA for a 6 p.m. dual Jan. 17.

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