Trio of Sun Devil Wrestlers Claim Pac-10 Titles as Team Finishes Fifth

Feb. 25, 2007

Final Brackets (pdf)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Arizona State University wrestling team had three individuals claim titles, the most of any conference team, and another place third as the 2007 Pac-10 Wrestling Championships came to a close Sunday evening inside the Icardo Center in Bakersfield, Calif. As a team, the Sun Devils scored 76.5 points to place fifth while Oregon State's 110 points won the title, edging out host CS Bakersfield (105) and UC Davis (96.5) for the win.

The final session opened with John Espinoza, the third-seeded wrestler at 125 pounds, facing fifth-seeded Marcos Orozco (UCD) for third place. Despite hanging tough, the Aggie scored an 8-6 decision over Espinoza, forcing his fate for a berth into the national tournament into the hands of the conference's head coaches as they award one of nine wild card berths (which will be announced later tonight).

In the 157 pounds final, top-seeded Brian Stith competed in his third final in a row and walked away with his second career title as he controlled the pace and built an early lead into a 7-4 victory over Josh Zupancic (Stanford). Stith will now advance to the NCAA meet where he was the national runner-up one year ago while earning his second All-America honor.

One bout later, second-seeded Patrick Pitsch looked to defend his crown at 165 pounds while taking on top-seeded Dustin Noack (UCD). Pitsch was successful in his bid as a takedown secured his back-to-back crown and an appearance in the national meet.

At 184 pounds, top-seeded Greg Gifford faced third-seeded Zack Giessen (SU) in the finals of his first Pac-10 tournament and scored a 5-0 victory to close out his conference collegiate career with a win. The 2006 West Region Champion with Fresno State, Gifford will now look to earn his first All-America honor at the NCAA meet in two weeks.

The final Sun Devil to take to the mats was third-seeded Jason Trulson at 197 pounds and he did not disappoint the maroon and gold fans in the stands as he dominated OSU's fifth-seeded Travis Gardner in a 13-1 major decision. Trulson, who will make his first national appearance in two weeks, jumped to an early lead and picked up back points to easily win the bout.

Stith, Pitsch, Gifford and Trulson all will compete at the 2007 NCAA Wrestling Championships at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich., March 15-17.

2007 Pac-10 Wrestling Championships - Session IV Results Only
Icardo Center - Bakersfield, Calif.
Number before wrestler indicates tournament seed
125 - #3 John Espinoza (2-2, Fourth Place)
Third Place - #5 Marcos Orozco (UCD) decision #3 Espinoza, 8-6

157 - #1 Brian Stith (3-0, 2007 Pac-10 Champion)
Final - #1 Stith decision #2 Josh Zupancic (SU), 7-4

165 - #2 Patrick Pitsch (3-0, 2007 Pac-10 Champion)
Finals - #2 Pitsch decision #1 Dustin Noack (UCD), 3-2

184 - #1 Greg Gifford (3-0, 2007 Pac-10 Champion)
Final - #1 Gifford decision #3 Zack Giessen (SU), 5-0

197 - #3 Jason Trulson (3-1, Third Place)
Third Place - #3 Trulson major #5 Travis Gardner (OSU), 13-1

Final Team Standings
1. Oregon State (110)
2. CS Bakersfield (105)
3. UC Davis (96.5)
4. Cal Poly (84)
5. Arizona State (76.5)
6. Stanford (72)
7. CS Fullerton (69.5)
8. Oregon (62)
9. Boise State (58.5)
10. Portland State (5.5)

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