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Pac-10 Championships await wrestling

February 24, 2011

Sun Devil Tournament Notes and Statistics (pdf)

The Arizona State University wrestling team will travel to Corvallis, Ore., this weekend to compete in the 2011 Pac-10 Wrestling Championships that will be hosted by Oregon State on Sunday inside Gill Coliseum. The Pac-10 event serves as the qualifying tournament into the NCAA Wrestling Championships that will be held March 17-19 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa.

• The Pac-10s will be streamed live on the web for free (
• The Pac-10 Championships will feature seven teams in a one-day tourney
• Wrestle-offs determined the final two Sun Devils that are heading to Pac-10s
• Three starters are returning to the mat this week after recovering from injury
• Robles has been moved to No. 1 in several national ranking releases
• NCAA Coaches’ Rankings: five Devils in second release of Top 33 standings
• Recap: ASU finished fourth at the 2010 Pac-10 Championships (1 champion)
• Robles has 28 wins (26 with bonus points), including 21 tech fall wins
• Robles’ tech fall total leads the nation by seven
• Robles looking to become 14th Sun Devil to win three or more Pac-10 titles
• Last time Sun Devil won third Pac-10 title came in 2008 (Pitsch, 165)
• Cooper has a big turnaround year at heavyweight
• Notes on Pac-10 starters for the Sun Devils

Fans that can’t make the trip to Corvallis can watch a live web cast of the Pac-10 Wrestling Championships on the Oregon State web site:

The Pac-10 Conference Championships will feature seven teams, including three tradition Pac-10 institutions and four others. The teams headed to Corvallis this weekend include Pac-10 members Arizona State, Oregon State and Stanford along with Boise State, Cal Poly, CS Bakersfield and CS Fullerton.

The 10 Sun Devils heading to the Pac-10 Championships include Anthony Robles (125), Kalin Goodsite (133), Josh Sandoval (141), Tai Fukumoto (149), Bubba Jenkins (157), Kyle DeBerry (165), Eric Starks (174), Jake Meredith (184), Luke Macchiaroli (197) and Levi Cooper (285).

While eight of the Sun Devils headed to the Championships were starters throughout the season, two that will compete Sunday earned the right by winning a pair of wrestle-off matches on Tuesday. At 141, Josh Sandoval defeated Carlos Castro with a fall in 4:52 and then a 13-3 major decision to earn the starting job. At 165, Kyle DeBerry returned from injury and defeated Te Edwards twice, 3-1 sv2 and 3-2 tb1. Sandoval has competed this season at 125, 133 and 141 for the Sun Devils in spot duty while DeBerry has not competed yet this year.

Along with DeBerry, two other Sun Devils are making the Pac-10 Championships their return to the mat as both Bubba Jenkins (157) and Eric Starks (174) will be in the line up on Sunday. Both Jenkins and Starks sustained injuries around the same time (following the Virginia Duals in mid-January) and will return this weekend.

The Sun Devils are not receiving votes in the NWCA/USA Today Coaches Top 25 poll this week. Cornell is the top-ranked team while fellow Pac-10 team Boise State (tied-#9), Oregon State (#20) and Cal Poly (#21) are the lone conference schools ranked heading into the Pac-10 Championships.

Looking at the NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll, eight of Arizona State’s opponents are currently ranked in the Top 25. Overall, ASU’s schedule includes duals with No. 2 Oklahoma State (L, 40-4), No. 8 Oklahoma (L, 32-7), No. 14 Nebraska (L, 35-8), No. 15 Iowa State (L, 33-14), No. 17 Kent State (L, 30-7), No. 19 American (L, 27-18) No. 21 Oregon State (L, 33-11) and No. 22 Cal Poly (L, 40-11).

Several weeks ago, Anthony Robles moved into the No. 1 ranking in the several national listings and remains the top-ranked wrestler this week according to Amateur Wrestling News, and while and W.I.N. Magazine have him second at 125 pounds.

For the second year in a row, the NCAA is using a new ranking system to select the number of qualifiers from each qualifying tournament and this year, the Pac-10 will have 26 automatic berths into the national meet. According to the final Coaches Panel Top 33 rankings (released February 23), five Sun Devils head to the Pac-10 Championships ranked in the Top 33, including No. 1 Anthony Robles (125), No. 4 Bubba Jenkins (157), No. 28 Eric Starks (174), No. 31 Luke Macchiaroli (197) and No. 19 Levi Cooper (heavyweight). Following the remaining qualifying tournaments next weekend, the NCAA will release a list of 48 at-large qualifiers that will be announced on March 9.

In the 32 years the Sun Devils have competed in the Pac-10 Conference, they have won 16 championship crowns and 101 individual Pac-10 titles. When you include all 48 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.

At the 2010 Pac-10 Conference Championships in Davis, Calif., Anthony Robles won his second-consecutive individual title at 125 pounds to lead the Sun Devils to a fourth-place finish. In the team standings, Oregon State captured the title with 127 points, edging out a close race in the Top 3 as Boise State was second with 125 points and Cal Poly was third with 120 points. The Sun Devils were fourth with 104.5. Along with Robles, returning placers for this season including Kyle DeBerry, the No. 4 seed at 165 who finished third overall; Eric Starks, the No. 6 seed at 174 who finished fourth and Jake Meredith, the No. 5 seed at 184 who finished fourth.

Five Sun Devils are competing in the Pac-10 Championships once again, including Anthony Robles, who is in the meet for the fourth time in his career at 125 pounds. Kyle DeBerry (165), Eric Starks (174) and Jake Meredith (184) are all making their third appearances at the Pac-10 meet for Arizona State while heavyweight Levi Cooper is making his second appearance, but his first for the Sun Devils after competing for Portland State in 2009.

Five Sun Devils headed to Oregon this week are making their debuts in the Pac-10 Championships with one competing in his fourth conference tournament. The newcomers to the conference championships include Kalin Goodsite (133), Josh Sandoval (141), Tai Fukumoto (149), Bubba Jenkins (157) and Luke Macchiaroli (197). For Jenkins, the 2011 Pac-10 Championships will be his fourth conference event after competing in the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Big Ten Conference Championships for Penn State.

So far this year, Robles has won 28 matches with 26 producing bonus points for the team, including 21 wins by technical fall. Excluding his two wins by fall, Robles has outscored his opponents 392-15 in the other 26 matches, having not been scored on in 17 of those wins, and defeating his foes by an average of 14.50 points. Looking back at the previous three seasons, Robles’ margin of victory was 5.21 as a freshman, 7.96 as a sophomore and 8.12 as a junior, more than five points less than this season. And, his 21 wins by technical fall this year are fewer than only one of his teammates’ overall wins (Levi Cooper, 22-8).

Looking over the statistics on the NWCA web site, Anthony Robles currently leads the nation (across all weight classes) with his 21 wins by technical fall. The closest to him in that category is the 14 recorded by Penn State’s David Taylor (157).

With his title in Reno, Robles not only remained undefeated on the season, but he also collected the 100th victory of his stellar career, moving to 100-23 all-time at Arizona State. Following the dual with CS Bakersfield, Robles is now 110-23 all-time and ranks 14th in career wins while his 49-6 record in dual matches gives him the 13th-most wins in a career. If Robles wins all four of his remaining duals this year, he will finish his career with a 53-6 dual record and will enter the Pac-10 Championships with 114 career victories. If that is the case, Robles would finish his career tied for 10th in dual victories with Aaron Simpson (1995-98) while standing in a tie for 12th on the overall wins list with current Assistant Coach Brian Stith (2003-07).

Robles, a three-time finalist in the Pac-10 Championships in the last three years, enters this weekend as the two-time defending 125 pound champion and is looking to become the 14th different Sun Devil with three or more Pac-10 titles in a career and the first since 2008 when Patick Pitsch won three in a row at 165. Including Arizona State’s time in the Western Athletic Conference, there have been 17 Sun Devils that have won three or more conference titles with three winning four in his career.

Sunday’s tournament will be the 11th time since Arizona State joined the Pac-10 (1979) that the state of Oregon has hosted the event and the seventh time Oregon State has served as the host. In the previous six times OSU hosted the event, the Sun Devils placed in the Top 3 all six times, including finishes of third in 1981 and 2002; second in 1983 and 1984; and won the title in 1987 and 1995. The last time the state hosted the meet was in 2008 in Eugene at Oregon where the Sun Devils placed fourth, the only time ASU has not placed in the Top 3.

Heading into this season, heavyweight Levi Cooper was starting to compete for his third Pac-10 team in as many years, starting with Portland State in 2009 (program was cut after the season) and CS Bakersfield last year (redshirted). The last time he took the mat for PSU was at the 2009 Pac-10 Championships where he finished seventh and with an 11-15 overall record. This year, Cooper currently holds a 22-8 record, has upset to national Top 15 wrestlers and is ranked among the Top 20 in four ranking services. With a 5-1 record against Pac-10 foes this year, Cooper could be the top seed at 285 pounds this weekend.

Here are how the Sun Devils have fared this season against the Conference:
125: Anthony Robles is 28-0 overall and 7-0 against Pac-10 foes with all seven wins coming by technical fall. He is 40-3 all-time against the Pac-10 with 36 wins producing bonus points (6 majors, 19 techs, 8 pins and 3 forfeits).
133: Kalin Goodsite is 17-20 overall and 6-7 against Pac-10 foes with one win by major decision. He is 0-6 against opponents at 133 pounds after dropping down from 141, where he was 16-14.
141: Josh Sandoval is 2-6 overall and 0-2 against Pac-10 foes this year, including a 0-2 record against foes at 141. Sandoval has competed at three weights this year, including 125 and 133.
149: Tai Fukumoto is 0-17 overall and 0-5 against Pac-10 foes.
157: Bubba Jenkins is 14-2 overall and 3-1 against Pac-10 foes despite having not competed since the Virginia Duals (January 8). Jenkins’ three wins against the Pac-10 this year all came by major decision.
165: Kyle DeBerry is 0-0 overall and 0-0 against Pac-10 foes this year as he is returning to the mat for the first time in nearly one year. The last action DeBerry saw was when he won the third-place match at the 2010 Pac-10 meet.
174: Eric Starks is 15-8 overall and 3-2 against Pac-10 foes this year despite having not competed since the Virginia Duals (January 8). Starks finished second and fourth in his previous two Pac-10 events.
184: Jake Meredith is 19-14 overall and 6-2 against Pac-10 foes, including a 6-0 upset of No. 19 Brice Arand (OSU). Meredith also has split with both men to defeat him in the Pac-10 this year.
197: Luke Macchiaroli is 10-10 overall and 0-4 against Pac-10 foes this year, all coming in duals. Macchiaroli’s last four matches (and five of six) have come against Top 20 foes.
285: Levi Cooper is 22-8 overall and 5-1 against Pac-10 foes. His lone loss came in an injury default at home to Atticus Disney (CPU). He also has defeated No. 15 Clayton Jack (OSU) in the final weekend of the year.

Although the results won’t count toward their season and career records, both Anthony Robles and Bubba Jenkins dominated at the 45th NWCA All-Star Classic in Fresno, Calif., as the Sun Devil posted the only two wins by something other than a decision. First up was No. 3 Robles, who scored a 20-2 technical fall over No. 4 Zach Sanders (Minnesota) at 125 pounds. Then, Jenkins took to the mat at 157 pounds as the No. 6 Sun Devil upset No. 1 Adam Hall (Boise State) with a 12-4 major decision. Only three other matches contested saw a wrestler win by four or more points at the annual exhibition event.

Those Sun Devils that qualify will travel to the NCAA Wrestling Championships that will be held inside the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa., March 17-19.