Five ASU Wrestlers Remain in the Hunt for Pac-10 Gold Following Session I

Feb. 29, 2004

Tournament Central

TEMPE, Ariz. - Five wrestlers competing for the Arizona State wrestling team advanced through the quaterfinals and into the semifinals of the 2004 Pac-10 Wrestling Championships during the first of four sessions of competition at Wells Fargo Arena Sunday. The remaining four Sun Devils will now have to battle through the consolation brackets in an attempt to finish third and earn the final automatic qualifying spot at their respective weights.

In the team race, Boise State holds a slight edge over Stanford for the lead, 44-42.5, with four teams within 13 points of the lead. Oregon State (36.0), Cal State Fullerton (34.0) and Arizona State (33.5) round out the Top 5 standings with Cal Poly coming sixth with 31.5 points.

Patrick Williams (Jr., Homestead, Fla.) and Ryan Bader (So., Verdi, Nev.), seeded No. 1 at 149 and 197, respectively, moved through the quarterfinals with convincing wins as Williams scored a 9-3 decision over Cyle Hartzell of Oregon while Bader handed Jed Lowe (Oregon State) an 11-0 major decision. Williams will next face unseeded Brett Gordon of CS Fullerton while Bader will take on No. 5 Landon Seefeldt of CSF. Ron Renzi (Sr., Burke, Va.), seeded No. 2 at 174, was the lone Sun Devil to wrestle two matches on the day, winning his pigtail match in a 9-0 major decision over Joe Brady of Cal Poly before taking a 9-4 decision over Chet McBee of Oregon. Renzi will meet No. 3 Imad Kharbush of Stanford in the semifinals.

No. 3 Nick Frost (Sr., Tucson, Ariz.) recorded the highest scoring victory of the day for the Sun Devils with his 20-4 technical fall over No. 6 seed Ian Murphy of Cal State Fullerton. Frost will face unseeded Casey Phelps of Boise State in a battle for the finals. Clifford Starks (Jr., Phoenix, Ariz.), seeded third at heayweight, scored a 6-0 decision over Matthew Fitu of CSF to advance to the semifinals where he will meet No. 2 Jamie Rakevich of Oregon State.

At 125, No. 3 Christian Staylor (Fr., Chesapeake, Va.) dropped a 4-2 decision to No. 5 Tanner Gardner of Stanford in the quarterfinals and will now face the winner of Portland State's Zac Enoch or Boise State's Clint Wolfley. Mike Simpson (Jr., Anaheim, Calif.), seeded No. 3 at 133 and the defending champion at that weight, lost a 5-2 decision to No. 6 Paul Gross of Stanford in the quarterfinals and will now face CSF's Chris Sanchez in the consolation first round.

At 141, Jeremy Mendoza (So., Temecula, Calif.) lost an 8-3 decision to No. 2 Jesse Brock and slipped into the consolations where he and Oregon's Johnny Lugo will meet. The final Sun Devil in the competition is Brian Stith (Fr., Hampton, Va.) at 157. Stith dropped a 5-0 decision to undefeated and top-seeded Matt Gentry of Stanford in the opening round. He will now face the winner of the No. 4 Joey Bracamonte (Oregon) and Keith Kroeger (Cal Poly).

Action continues tonight with Session 2 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with the semifinals and two rounds of consolations.

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