ASU Wrestling Set to Face #16 Cal Poly, #2 Iowa State

Feb. 3, 2010

Sun Devil Mat Notes (pdf)

TEMPE - The Arizona State University wrestling team (8-5-0, 3-1-0 Pac-10) will compete in a pair of duals against nationally ranked teams weekend as the Sun Devils hit the road for a conference competition at No. 16 Cal Poly (6-3-0, 3-1-0 Pac-10) at 6:30 p.m. PT on Friday night in San Luis Obispo before returning home on Sunday to take on No. 2 Iowa State at noon MT. The Sun Devils and Cyclones (10-2-0, 2-0-0 Big XII) will meet inside Wells Fargo Arena on Sunday afternoon in Tempe.

Originally scheduled to start at 2 p.m. on Sunday, the dual with No. 2 Iowa State has instead been moved ahead to start at Noon to afford fans time to come and support the Sun Devils before watching the Super Bowl.

Former Sun Devil Kelsey Campbell recently competed at the Ivan Yarygin Memorial International in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, over the weekend and brought home the gold medal at 59kg (130 pounds) in an annual event widely considered one of the toughest in the world. Campbell, a 2009 U.S. National Champion and runner-up at the 2009 World Team Trials, went 4-0 in the freestyle tournament and defeated Natalya Smimova (Russia), 0-1, 1-0, 1-0, in the championship match. For her outstanding effort, she was also named this week's Athlete of the Week (Jan. 26-Feb. 1).

For the third time this season, the Sun Devils will taking the mats against an opponent from the Big XII as they face Iowa State on Sunday. The dual with the Cyclones would have been the fourth of the year for the Sun Devils had the dual with Nebraska taken place two weeks ago.

For the first time this season, the Sun Devils are not among the Top 25 team in the NWCA/USA Today Division I Team Coaches Poll that was released on Tuesday, but they are one of four teams receiving votes, placing them just outside the Top 25. Both ASU's opponents this weekend are nationally ranked in the poll and are among seven teams the Sun Devils have/will face this season: No. 2 Iowa State, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Oklahoma State, No. 8 (tie) Oklahoma, No. 13 Wisconsin, No. 16 Cal Poly and No. 20 Oregon State.

Three Sun Devils are currently ranked nationally this week with Anthony Robles leading the way as he remained No. 3 at 125 pounds according to Amateur Wrestling News. The same ranking service has heavyweight Erik Nye at No. 14 and Chris Drouin at No. 18 (141).

The NCAA released its first set of Top 33 rankings on January 17 which begins the process of selecting the 33 student-athletes that will compete in each weight class at the national championship event in March. The rankings are based upon the vote of coaches in each of the qualifying conference/regional tournaments and will be combined with a wrestler's winning percentage and RPI to determine the number of qualifiers to the national tournament from each qualifying tournament (if three are in the Top 33 from the Pac-10 at 125 before the Pac-10 Championships, then the conference will send three to the NCAA Championships at that weight class). In the first release of the rankings, ASU has four individuals ranked in the Top 33, including No. 4 Anthony Robles (125), No. 12 Chris Drouin (141), No. 18 Erik Nye (285) and No. 23 Ben Ashmore (133).

UC Davis, the host of the 2010 Pac-10 Conference Wrestling Championships, has begun releasing rankings for the conference and, in the February 3 release, Anthony Robles continues to be the top-ranked wrestler at 125 pounds to lead the way for the Sun Devils. One other Sun Devil is ranked in the Top 3 as heavyweight Erik Nye is No. 3 this week while three others rank fourth in their weight classes: Vicente Varela (149), Kyle DeBerry (165) and Eric Starks (174). Ben Ashmore (133), Te Edwards (157) and Jake Meredith (184) are all ranked fifth while Chris Drouin (141) is sixth and Michael Hawkins (197) is eighth.

In his third year of competition for the Sun Devils, Anthony Robles have found great success against foes in the Pac-10 Conference as he has built a 28-3 all-time record, including a 6-0 mark this year, while standing 17-0 all-time (4-0 this year) in duals. Of those 28 wins, 26 have produced bonus points, including five major decisions, 11 technical falls, eight falls and two forfeit wins. His only two wins not to produce bonus points were a 7-5 decision over Marcus Orozco (UC Davis) in Robles' first collegiate match (2007-08) and an 8-3 decision over Jake Gonzales (Oregon State) last year in Corvallis. Robles also has won 19 in a row against Pac-10 foes with his last loss coming to No. 4 Tanner Gardner (Stanford), 5-3 sv, in the Round of 12 at the 2008 NCAA Championships. Gardner won 7-6 in the Pac-10 final two weeks earlier and No. 16 Boris Novachkov (Cal Poly) defeated Robles, 4-3, in the quarterfinals of the 2007 Reno Tournament of Champions for his only other loss. Robles and Novachkov will not meet this weekend as Novachkov has moved up to 133 pounds where he is ranked No. 5.

Last week, No. 3 Anthony Robles defeated No. 16 Jason Lara of Oregon State, 17-0, to win his sixth match by technical fall this year. That technical fall ties him for the sixth-most in the nation this year (among all weight classes) the most in the Pac-10. In Arizona State history, he is now tied for the most technical falls in a career with 17 and sixth for the most bonus-point victories in a career with 49, both of which were recorded by Nick Frost (2000-04).

One match at Cal Poly this weekend will see two closely ranked foes face one another as a higher ranked Sun Devil faces a Mustang one ranking below. That match will come at 165 pounds as No. 4 Kyle DeBerry faces No. 5 Steven Vasquez of CPU.

This weekend, four Sun Devils will face familiar foes at Cal Poly while three others will take on Iowa State wrestlers they have faced in the past. Here are the rematches:
Anthony Robles (125) is 2-0 against Micah Ferguson of CPU, winning both matches with 16-0 technical falls, including in the Pac-10 quarterfinals last year
Te Edwards (157) lost, 6-2, to No. 14 Chase Pami of CPU last year at home
Michael Swigart (157) lost by fall (4:06) to No. 6 Pami this year in Reno
Kyle DeBerry (165) lost a 16-7 major to No. 3 Jon Reader of ISU on the road last year
Eric Starks (174) is 1-1 against Ryan DesRoches of CPU, winning 6-4 sv last year in a home dual and losing this year, 6-3, in the Reno semifinals. Starks also has faced David Burk, dropping an 8-4 decision on the road last year
Jake Meredith (184) dropped a 6-4 sv decision last year on the road to Jerome Ward in Meredith's first collegiate dual in a Sun Devil uniform

The Mustangs enter the weekend with a 6-3-0 overall record and stand 3-1-0 in the Pac-10 with its first lost in conference action coming their last time out as they fell to Boise State, 23-13 on January 24. Cal Poly had won its previous three duals in a row after falling on the same road trip Arizona State took earlier in the season - at Oklahoma State and at Oklahoma. The Mustangs have a trio of wrestlers ranked nationally, including a pair brothers at the lower weights in No. 5 Boris Novachkov (133) and No. 7 Filip Novachkov (141). Chase Pami also is ranked No. 11 at 157 pounds.

Arizona State leads the all-time series with Cal Poly, 31-9-0, after winning the last meeting, 36-10, last year in Tempe. The last time the two teams met in California came two years ago (January 11, 2008) with the Mustangs taking a 24-17 decision which snapped the Sun Devils overall winning streak in the series at 18 in a row. Prior to last year, the Sun Devils' last loss in the series came in a 34-15 decision on January 14, 1986, at Fullerton, Calif. ASU is 14-5-0 all-time in duals with CPU in San Luis Obispo, having won 11 in a row as the visitors before last year's set back.

The Cyclones enter the weekend with a 10-2-0 overall record and a 2-0-0 mark in the Big XII after winning four in a row, including two in conference action. The last time Iowa State loss was in the finals of the NWCA National Duals to No. 1 Iowa, 19-12, the second time the Cyclones fell to the Hawkeyes this year (18-16 in Ames earlier this season). ISU has nine individuals nationally ranked in the Top 20, including seven in the Top 8 and three in the Top 3. The Cyclones are led by No. 1 Jake Varner at 197 and a pair of No. 3-ranked competitors in Jon Reader (165) and David Zabriskie (heavyweight).

Iowa State leads the all-time series with Arizona State, 22-6-0, and has won the last five meetings in a row, including a 24-11 decision last year in Ames. The last time the Sun Devils defeated the Cyclones came on January 4, 2004, when ASU slipped past No. 3 ISU, 22-20, in Tempe, a victory that halted a six-dual winning streak for the Cyclones. Overall, the Sun Devils trail the all-time series, 5-7-0, in the series when it is held in Tempe, including a 32-3 loss on February 10, 2008.

Despite posting a 3-4 record against Pac-10 foes last year, the Sun Devils still hold a strong record all-time against schools in the conference and are 3-1 so far this season. Dating back to Arizona State joining the conference for the 1978-79 season, the Sun Devils have been one of 18 different schools that called the Pac-10 home with ASU and seven others still competing (including Boise State, Cal Poly, CS Bakersfield, CS Fullerton, Oregon State, Stanford, UC Davis). As members of the Pac-10, ASU holds an 85-22-1 record. When counting in the other schools that no longer compete, ASU is 126-22-1 against 17 teams during that time.

In the 31 years the Sun Devils have competed in the Pac-10 Conference, they have won 16 championship crowns and 100 individual Pac-10 titles. When you include all 47 years the Pac-10 has sponsored a wrestling championship, the Sun Devils trail only Oregon State in both categories as the Beavers have won 17 team titles and 117 individual titles. Also since ASU joined the conference, the Sun Devils and Boise State are the only two schools to have won at least one individual title in each of the 10 current weight classes while ASU is the only school in Pac-10 history to win at least one title in each of the 19 weight classes that have been used since 1979.

Vicente Varela has continued to improve from last year and his record in the Pac-10 is another indication of his success. In conference duals last year, Varela went 2-4 and was 5-6 overall on the season when facing a Pac-10 foe. So far this year, Varela has already surpassed his win total in Pac-10 duals with a 3-1 record and is 4-2 on the year overall.

Anthony Robles continued his winning ways on Sunday afternoon in a home dual with visiting No. 21 Oregon State, but his 22nd win of the season was not enough as the No. 24 Arizona State University wrestling team dropped a Pac-10 dual to the visiting Beavers, 35-5, inside Wells Fargo Arena. The loss, which snapped the Sun Devils’ win streak at four in a row, pushed ASU to 8-5-0 on the season and 3-1-0 in the Pac-10 while the Beavers, winners of 15 in a row, improved to 16-1-0 and 4-1 in the conference. Robles, in the final match of the team dual, won his eighth match in a row and moved to 22-2 on the year as he won a 17-0 technical fall over No. 16 Jason Lara. With the win, Robles moved into a tie with Nick Frost (2000-04) for the most tech falls in program history with 17 in his career and also tied him with Frost for the sixth-most bonus-point victories with the 49th of his career. Prior to Robles’ win, the Sun Devils lost nine matches in a row with the Beavers scoring bonus points in four of those matches, including two by fall and two by major decision. OSU jumped out to a 4-0 team lead as Ben Ashmore dropped an 11-0 major decision to No. 16 Kelly Kubec at 133 pounds. Then, the visitors extended their lead to 10-0 as Mike Mangrum pinned ASU’s No. 15 Chris Drouin in 5:41. The Sun Devils kept it close in the next three matches, but OSU came out on top with a trio of wins by decision. At 149, Vicente Varela pushed No. 14 RJ Pena to a close match, but fell, 5-2, before Te Edwards gave No. 12 Keegan Davis a tough match before falling, 10-6. The final win of those three game at 165 with Kyle DeBerry falling in a 10-4 decision to Dan Braschetta. From there, OSU added six more points at 174 pounds as Eric Starks was pinned by No. 13 Colby Covington in 5:45 before Jake Meredith lost a 7-2 decision at 184 to Ty Vinson. The final two wins for the visitors was Chad Henke score a 16-5 defeat of ASU’s Michael Hawkins at 197 before No. 13 Erik Nye fell to No. 15 Clayton Jack, 7-1, at heavyweight.

For the third year in a row, the Sun Devils will wrestled two schools hailing from the state of Arizona, which, prior to the 2007-08 season, had not happened since 1981 when ASU won, 34-12, at Arizona and 43-6 at home against Northern Arizona. The Sun Devils won both meetings this year, including a 39-16 victory over Grand Canyon and 41-4 over Embry-Riddle. The dual with ERAU was to be in Prescott, but moved to Tempe because Nebraska was unable to come to Tempe. Has ASU traveled to face the Eagles, it would have been the program's second road dual against another Arizona school since 1993. In that 16 year span, the Sun Devils wrestled another Arizona school 13 times (13-0), defeating Embry-Riddle 10 times and Grand Canyon three times. Overall, the Sun Devils stand 57-9-0 all-time against teams from the state of Arizona, including 10-0-0 against ERAU and 3-0-0 against GCU, the lone remaining programs in the state.

At the Lone Star Duals (January 16), the Sun Devils won three duals in convincing fashion to not only snap a two-dual losing streak by starting a three-dual winning streak, but also bringing the program's all-time win total to 475. The milestone win came in the final of the three duals as Arizona State won 7-of-10 weight classes to score a 27-15 defeat of Utah Valley. The last time the team recorded a milestone victory was No. 450, a 31-16 defeat of Liberty at the Virginia Duals on January 13, 2007. With the recent win over Embry-Riddle, the Sun Devils are now 476-273-13 all-time as a varsity program.

With the Sun Devils' 41-4 defeat of Embry-Riddle, the team moved to 8-4-0 on the year and pushed head coach Shawn Charles into a tie for third for the most wins in a debut season of coaching the program. Lee Roy Smith (1992-93) leads the way with 12 wins (ASU would have to sweep its remaining four duals for Charles to tie) while both Ted Bredehoft (1962-63) and Thom Ortiz (2001-02) are tied for second with nine wins in their first season. Charles is currently tied with his collegiate coach, Bobby Douglas, who's team won eight duals in 1974-75.

The 41 points put up by the Sun Devils were the most since a 41-6 win at Grand Canyon on January 3, 2009, and came with seven wins by the Sun Devils that produced bonus points, including five that scored six points each for the team. Arizona State won by fall four times, including Anthony Robles at 125 (1:51), Ben Ashmore at 141 (1:50), Eric Starks at 184 (4:18) and Erik Nye at heavyweight (1:13) while Michael Hawkins won at 197 by forfeit. Vicente Varela and Kyle DeBerry added wins by major decision at 157 and 184, respectively, while Jake Hannaford added three more team points with his decision win at 149.

Looking at the results from the Embry-Riddle dual, you can notice that most of the Sun Devils moved up one weight, which was done to help ERAU as they were a late replacement for the dual that night. Competing outside of their normal weights (but still making weight at their normal weight classes) were Ben Ashmore (up to 141 from 133), Vicente Varela (up to 157 from 149), Te Edwards (up to 165 from 157), Kyle DeBerry (up to 174 from 165) and Eric Starks (up to 184 from 174).

The Sun Devils in the four lightest weight classes have opened the 2010 calendar year a very strong showing as the group of Robles (125), Ashmore (133), Drouin (141) and Varela (149) have combined to go 22-8 while leading the team to a 5-3 dual record. Robles led the way with a perfect 8-0 record while Ashmore and Varela each have gone 5-3 and Drouin 4-3 overall. Of those 22 combined wins, the four men have won 17 with bonus points, including seven by fall, two by technical fall and eight by major decision. One of the decision victories was huge as well as Drouin knocked off then-undefeated and No. 1 Reese Humphrey (Ohio State), 3-1 in sudden victory, at the National Duals. Also, when looking at the six losses, four came to foes ranked in the national Top 8, including both losses for Varlea, who dropped matches to the No. 2 and No. 3 wrestlers at 149 at the NWCA National Duals.

At the NWCA National Duals, Chris Drouin did something that no one else had done this year and that was defeat Reese Humphrey of Ohio State, who entered the match at 141 pounds as the top-ranked wrestler in the nation and undefeated at 18-0. Despite pushing the action throughout the match, Drouin’s lone score came in the third period on an escape just as Humphrey had done in the second period. With a distinct advantage in shots and offensive moves, Drouin continued to push, but no scoring took place and the match went into overtime. In the one-minute period, Drouin again stalked Humphrey and eventually blasted through on a double-leg attempt and finished the shot with two points for the takedown and a 3-1 win.

Four individuals have signed National Letters of Intent to continue their education and compete for the wrestling program at Arizona State upon completion of their high school careers. The soon-to-be Sun Devils include Louis Trujillo of Rio Rancho, N.M.; Nathan Hoffer of Anchorage, Alaska; Joel Smith of Collins Hill, Ga.; and local product Shane McGough of Scottsdale. According to InterMat, three of those signees are ranked among the Top 100 recruits this season, including Trujillo, who enters his senior season ranked as the No. 27 recruit and No. 4 at 135 pounds. Hoffer is the No. 66 recruit and No. 5 at 140 pounds while Smith is the No. 82 recruit and No. 9 at 140 pounds. McGough, although not ranked among the Top 100 recruits, enters the season ranked No. 9 nationally at 130 pounds and is one of the top wrestlers in the state.

With four strong recruits signed, head coach Shawn Charles' 2010 recruiting class is already being lauded as one of the best in the nation as InterMat has pegged it as the No. 10 class in the nation following the early signing period. The schools ahead of the Sun Devils include No. 1 Iowa, No. 2 Northwestern, No. 3 Iowa State, No. 4 Penn State, No. 5 Cornell, No. 6 Cal Poly, No. 7 Minnesota, No. 8 Missouri and No. 9 Ohio State.

Here are some other things happening involving former members of the program:
• In the world of mixed martial arts (MMA), four former Sun Devil wrestlers have found out who, when and where their next fights will be in the UFC with three making the trip to Australia for the UFC's first event 'down under'. On February 20, in Sydney, Australia, three Sun Devils will fight in UFC 110 with Cain Velasquez (7-0) and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-5-1) fighting in the main event. Ryan Bader (11-0) will meet Keith Jardine (14-7-1) in a light heavyweight fight while C.B. Dollaway also will fight (his fight details will be announced later). Recently (January 11), Aaron Simpson remained undefeated (7-0) as he won a split decision with Tom Lawlor (6-2) at UFC Fight Night in Fairfax, Va.

Are you a social net-worker that wants to get connected to the Sun Devils? Well, we have two ways you can do that! If you are on Twitter, request to follow our program by going to for our latest tweets. If you are on Facebook, type Sun Devil Wrestling into the search box and join our fan page, which will have updates and photos throughout the year. And be sure to check back throughout the season to find out about special happenings, including auctions for seats on the ASU bench and other great deals.

While the social network sites are a great way to get updates on us, another way for future Sun Devils, their coaches, our alumni and all friends of the program can stay in touch with us is by filling out the form on the wrestling page of On that page, under the headlines, are links to filling out a recruiting questionnaire as well as a questionnaire for our alumni to reconnect and for others to also become part of the program. Make sure you fill out the form to stay up-to-date on the program.

Next week, the Sun Devils will take on the Stanford Cardinal at 2 p.m. on Sunday, marking the final competition of the regular season for ASU. The program's seniors also will be recognized at halftime of the dual.

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