Sun Devil Wrestlers Bounced from NCAA Championships

March 16, 2007

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - The 2006-07 season for the Arizona State University wrestling team came to a sudden end Friday night at the 2007 NCAA Wrestling Championships inside the Palace of Auburn Hills as all four Sun Devils fell and were eliminated from the championships in Auburn Hills, Mich. The Sun Devils are currently tied for 33rd place in the team standings with 12.5 points while Iowa State (83.5) leads Minnesota (80.0) for the team title.

No. 2 Brian Stith (157) was the lone Sun Devil to not record a win on the day as he was upset twice, both by close margins. Stith opened the day taking on No. 7 Craig Henning of Wisconsin and dropped a 3-2 decision in the quarterfinals. Needing to win his consolation bout to assure himself of All-America honors, Stith again fell, this time in a 3-1 decision in sudden victory to Ryan Hluschak of Drexel.

Patrick Pitsch, seeded No. 11 in 165, opened his day with his second win by fall in a row, this time pinning Justin Fraga of Purdue in 2:14 before defeating Tyler Safratowicz of Minnesota, 7-4. For the second year in a row, Pitsch needed to win his next bout to claim All-America honors and, unfortunately for the junior, he fell one win shy again, this time dropping a 13-8 decision to No. 7 Deonte Penn of Edinboro.

Greg Gifford (184), just like Stith, saw his college career come to an end in the consolation bracket as he fell to No. 10 Louis Caputto of Harvard, 13-6. Prior to that match, Gifford defeated Shawn Vincent of Northern Colorado, 9-3. Jason Trulson (197) opened with a 7-3 defeat of Travis Gardner of Oregon State to advance before falling to No. 12 Dallas Herbst of Wisconsin, 13-0.

With the results of Friday's competition, the Sun Devil program saw its All-America streak snapped as the program has had at least one All-America in each of the last 31 years heading into the 2007 event.

2007 NCAA Wrestling Championships - Friday Results
Palace of Auburn Hills - Auburn Hills, Mich.
Number before wrestler indicates tournament seed
157 - #2 Brian Stith (2-2, Did Not Place)
Quarterfinals - #7 Craig Henning (Wisconsin) decision #2 Stith, 3-2
Conso Fifth - Ryan Hluschak (Drexel) decision #2 Stith, 3-1 sv1

165 - #11 Patrick Pitsch (3-2, Did Not Place)
Conso Third - #11 Pitsch pinned Justin Fraga (Purdue), 2:14
Conso Fourth - #11 Pitsch decision Tyler Safratowicz (Minnesota), 7-4
Conso Fifth - #7 Deonte Penn (Edinboro) decision #11 Pitsch, 13-8

184 - Greg Gifford (2-2, Did Not Place)
Conso Third - Gifford decision Shawn Vincent (Northern Colorado), 9-3
Conso Fourth - #10 Louis Caputto (Harvard) decision Gifford, 13-6

197 - Jason Trulson (2-2, Did Not Place)
Conso Third - Trulson decision Travis Gardner (Oregon State), 7-3
Conso Fourth - #12 Dallas Herbst (Wisconsin) major Trulson, 13-0

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