Mendoza and Stith Capture Reno Titles to Lead ASU Wrestlers

Dec. 18, 2005

RENO, Nev. - Three members of the Arizona State University wrestling team advanced to the finals of the Reno Tournament of Champions Sunday in Reno, Nev., with a pair of Sun Devils claiming individual championships to pace the team. ASU's final team place and point total were not available. Oklahoma State won the team title for the ninth time in 10 years with 194.5 points while Central Michigan (123), Northwestern (118.5), Penn State (97) and Oregon (83.5) rounded out the Top 5 teams.

Jeremy Mendoza, seeded third at 125 pounds, went 6-0 on his way to winning the crown at the lightest weight class. After opening the day with a pin, Mendoza added two major decisions and two decisions to reach the finals. After scoring an 11-0 major decision over No. 2 seed John Valez of Northwestern in the semifinals, Mendoza met up with No. 1 seed Coleman Scott of OSU in what would become a non-scoring affair. Although neither recorded a point in the bout, Mendoza did accumulate enough riding time to earn the point and win, 1-0.

Also claiming a crown for the Sun Devils was returning All-American Brian Stith at 157 pounds. The top seed in his weight class, Stith cruised into the quarterfinals with one fall and two major decisions before winning a pair of decisions to reach the finals. In the championship bout, Stith took on OSU's Kevin Ward, the third seed, and scored a takedown with 30 seconds remaining on the clock to take a 3-2 victory. Overall on the day, Stith faced three Pac-10 foes, winning one each by fall, major decision and decision.

The third Sun Devil individual to reach the finals was heavyweight Cain Velasquez, the second seed in the event. Velasquez opened the day with an 18-1 technical fall before pinning his second round foe in 2:44. After two more victories, including an 11-1 major decision over the third seeded Dustin Fox of Northwestern, Velasquez met two-time defending national champion Steve Mocco of OSU in the finals. In the championship bout, Mocco picked up two takedowns to record a 5-3 decision and handing Velasquez just his second loss of the season in 20 matches.

Also competing for the Sun Devils on the day were Adam Hickey (0-2 at 133), Jason Robbins (1-2 at 141), Brandon Schad (1-2 at 149), Mark LeBeau (0-2 at 149), Kevin Gaughan (1-2 at 157), Alex Pavlenko (1-2 at 174) and Jamie Robbins (0-2 at 174). Patrick Pitsch (165) and Chris Remsen (174) were slated to compete, but did not take part in the tournament as they both forfeited a pair of bouts.

Following the holiday break, the Sun Devils will once again take to the road as they return to dual competition when they travel to Minneapolis, Minn., to face the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Jan. 4. ASU also will place host to UC Davis and Iowa State on Jan. 8 inside Wells Fargo Arena for the Sun Devil Duals.

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