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Three Pac-10 duals in California await ASU wrestling

January 09, 2008

TEMPE, Ariz. - Following a trio of victories at home during the Sun Devil Duals last weekend, the Arizona State University wrestling team (8-0, 2-0 Pac-10) hits the road this week for a trio of conference duals as the Sun Devils will face Cal Poly (3-3, 2-1 Pac-10) on Friday night, CS Bakersfield (1-0, 0-0) on Saturday night and CS Fullerton (5-5, 3-1) on Sunday afternoon.

It will be a long trip this weekend as the Sun Devils open their California swing with a 7 p.m. dual Friday night in San Luis Obispo before traveling to Bakersfield for a 5 p.m. contest with the Roadrunners on Saturday. The next day, at 2 p.m., the Sun Devils will face the Titans in Fullerton to close out the weekend of three duals in three days.

For the second time in three years, the Sun Devils will travel through California for a trio of duals in the same weekend with each dual taking place at a different location. During the 2005-06 season, the Sun Devils took the same travel path, but competed a little differently, en route to three wins. Arizona State opened with a 25-21 defeat of Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo on January 27. Two days later, the Sun Devils first defeated CS Bakersfield, 25-15, in the afternoon before heading to CS Fullerton later that night for a 25-18 victory.

The three-dual road trip this weekend will be the third, fourth and fifth Pac-10 duals of the season for the Sun Devils, giving them five conference duals on the road before holding one at home (January 25), the longest stretch of road conference duals to open a season in school history. The previous long streak was four in a row to open the 1978-79 season (ASU's second in the Pac-10) when it went 3-1 (lost at Oregon State, 24-11, before winning at Oregon, 23-17, at California, 47-6, and at Arizona, 29-11).

For the first time since the opening weekend of competition, the Sun Devils will face Pac-10 foes in dual competition, using the bouts to make their cases for seedings at the 2008 Pac-10 Wrestling Championships that are less than two months away.

Earlier this season, at the Reno Tournament of Champions, Patrick Pitsch (165) scored the 75th victory of his career with an 11-4 defeat of Daniel Atondo (CS Bakersfield). With two team wins this weekend on the road by the Sun Devils, Head Coach Thom Ortiz would reach the same victory milestone as he currently holds an all-time coaching record of 73-44-1. Back on the mats, a duo of Sun Devils are nearing milestone wins as well with Jason Trulson (197) needing three more victories for his 50th and Rick Renzi (174) is four away from his 25th.

By sweeping the Sun Devil Duals on Sunday, Arizona State remained undefeated on the season, moving to 8-0 this year. Already having equalled their win total from one year ago (8-11), the Sun Devils will face three tough Pac-10 tests this weekend where they will attempt to sweep the competition and move to 11-0 for only the second time in program history, joining the 1974-75 team that went 15-0-0 on the year.

For the fourth time since it began hosting the Sun Devil Duals in 1999 (eight Duals), Arizona State walked away with a 3-0 record on the day as it scored wins of 22-13 over Army, 42-10 over Grand Canyon and 21-17 over No. 23 Penn. The Sun Devils previously swept the Duals in 2005, 2004 and 2001. The 2004 edition, like this year's, included an upset of a ranked foe (defeated No. 2 Iowa State, 22-20) as well as a win over another Arizona school (24-17 over Embry-Riddle). Since the first Sun Devil Duals, ASU holds a 17-6 all-time record.

Arizona State faced a pair of foes for the first time over the weekend and walked away with victories, including wins of 22-13 over Army and 42-10 over Grand Canyon. The win over GCU, an Arizona school based in Phoenix, improved the Sun Devils' all-time record against Copper Canyon State teams to 54-9-0.

Three upsets took place at the Sun Devil Duals, including two individual victories and one team win for Arizona State. In the first dual of the day against Army, No. 19 Anthony Robles used his quickness to build an early lead before winning his bout at 125-pounds in a 15-4 major decision over No. 16 Fernando Martinez. In the third dual of the day, No. 18 Brent Chriswell, who had not wrestled since the finals of the Keystone Classic on November 17 -- a 7-3 loss to No. 17 Lior Zamir of Penn -- stepped onto the mat to face Zamir again, this time ranked No. 13. In a tough battle, the Sun Devil freshman picked up a reversal to open the third period and held on for a 2-1 victory. Chriswell's victory also helped the team knock-off the No. 23 Quakers, 21-17.

The win for Anthony Robles was his second upset victory of the season as he also defeated then-No. 8 Javier Maldanado of UT Chattanooga in the semifinals of the Keystone Classic in Philadelphia... Brent Chriswell's upset of No. 13 Lior Zamir not only exacted a measure of revenge for an earlier loss this season (his only loss so far this year), but is also marked the second time Chriswell has downed the No. 13-ranked wrestler at 184 pounds after also knocking off then-No. 13 Doug Umbehauer of Rider at the Keystone Classic.

Arizona State carries an all-time combined record of 66-15-1 against its three opponents this weekend, including a 31-7 record against Cal Poly, 20-7-1 against CS Bakersfield and 15-1 against CS Fullerton.

The Sun Devils faced all three of this weekend's opponents last year, winning twice and falling once as all three duals were held in Tempe. The Sun Devils dropped a 30-14 decision to the Titans of CSUF -- their first loss in the all-time series with CSUF -- before winning the next two duals, a narrow 19-18 defeat of the CSUB Roadrunners and a 26-18 defeat of the CPU Mustangs.

Since Thom Ortiz took over the program in time for the 2001-02 season, Arizona State has built a 40-4-0 record against Pac-10 foes, including an 18-3 record on the road and 22-1 in Tempe. Under Ortiz, the Sun Devils are 16-2 against this weekend's foes, including 7-1 at their respective home venues.

With its 8-0 start, the Sun Devils are receiving votes in the national rankings this week, according to the USA Today/NWCA/InterMat Top 25 rankings (January 8). Individually in the InterMat/NWCA/NWMA rankings, three Sun Devils are listed among the Top 20 in their respective weight classes, including No. 12 Patrick Pitsch (165), No. 15 Brent Chriswell (184) and No. 16 Anthony Robles (125).

The third round of Pac-10 Individual Rankings were released December 11 with five Sun Devils ranked among the Top 6 in their respective weight classes. Leading the way are a pair of top-ranked Sun Devils in Patrick Pitsch (165) and Jason Trulson (197) with Anthony RoblesBrent Chriswell (184) is fifth; and Todd Schavrien (133) is ranked sixth. (125) ranked third;

The Sun Devils have combined to win 121 bouts this year with 52 of those victories producing bonus points. Of the 52 bonus point victories, Arizona State has won 20 by fall, 15 by major decision, four by technical fall and added 12 forfeit victories and one injury default.

Of those 20 wins by pin-fall, only 10 have come outside of the first period this year. Brent Chriswell (184) has recorded the fastest fall of the year as he pinned UC Davis' Jon Clark in just 33 seconds of his first match with the Sun Devils. At the Keystone Classic, Arizona State recorded four wins by fall, including three in the first two minutes of a bout.

Six Sun Devils competed in the first home bouts of their careers with five winning their matches against Embry-Riddle (November 25). Redshirt freshmen Anthony Robles (125), Todd Schavrien (133), Chris Drouin (141), Jerrad Trulson (149) and Imanibom Etukeren (285) each won their debuts while Jalonn Wilkins (157) dropped a close decision. Wilkins is scheduled to compete in Reno this weekend at 149 pounds and could score his first collegiate win.

Through the first half of the season, 22 wrestlers have competed for Arizona State with more than half (13) seeing their first collegiate duals as redshirt freshmen. The group has combined to go 65-51 with 31 victories earning the team bonus points. Of those 31 wins, 10 (of the team's 20) have been by fall, nine (of 15) by major decision, four (of four) by technical fall and eight (of 13) by forfeit/injury default.

In the dual with Embry-Riddle, Jason Trulson opened the dual with a pin of Justin Masotti in 3:32 of the 197 bout before younger brother Jerrad Trulson won a 6-4 decision at 149 pounds over Trace Billet. The victories by the brothers marked the first time since the 2002-03 season that a pair of brothers competed in the same dual with each winning a bout. The last time it happened was on January 5, 2003, when Chris Smith pinned his opponent from ERAU at 5:29 of the 141 bout and was followed by brother Mike Smith winning a 7-1 decision at 157. One month earlier, on December 5, 2002, brothers Evan Larkin and Eric Larkin each won forfeits against Portland State at 141 and 149, respectively.

Over the past several weeks, the Sun Devil wrestling team has been getting out in the community more and working with local children. On November 22, the day before Thanksgiving, the Sun Devils visited the Crossroad Youth Intervention Center in Phoenix where they interacted with the children while handing out dinner and dessert. On November 27, the wrestlers headed over to the UMOM New Day Center in Phoenix where they read to numerous children from the community.

Senior Patrick Pitsch, ranked No. 3 in the NWCA/InterMat individual rankings at 165 pounds, dropped a 4-0 decision to No. 2 Eric Tannenbaum of Michigan Monday evening at the NWCA All-Star Classic presented by the United States Marine Corps in Eugene, Ore. Tannenbaum scored on an escape and takedown in the second period and then a riding point in the third for the victory in the exhibition event held on the Oregon campus.

With his loss, Arizona State is now 10-13-1 all-time in the All-Star Classic. Pitsch was the 27th different Sun Devil to compete in the event.

Senior Patrick Pitsch will blog each week throughout the season, offering fans a behind the scenes look at Sun Devil wrestling. To access The Inside Trip, visit the wrestling page on

Kelsey Campbell was invited to compete in the West-Midwest Duals at Menlo College on December 2 and walked away with a clean sweep, winning all four of her bouts. Campbell opened the day with a pin of Tina Linhasmout (West Valley CC) in 51 seconds before defeating Raissa Dickinson (Simon Frasier), 3-0, 2-1. Campbell then blanked Marina Piccolotti (Oklahoma City Univ.), the No. 2-ranked women at 63kg, in a 3-0, 5-0 decision. Campbell's final bout of the day saw her defeat Deni Torgeson (Simon Frasier), 0-1, 2-0, 1-0.

This year, the Sun Devils have a first on their roster as Kelsey Campbell is the first woman to join the Arizona State program. A transfer from Pacific (Ore.), Campbell comes to Tempe after competing for the Boxers during the 2005-06 season and then representing the ASU Women's Club Team last year. During the 2006-07 season, Campbell competed in her first National Collegiate Women's Wrestling Championships and won the 63kg (138.5) national title as an unseeded competitor. In the event, she knocked off the No. 4, No. 1 and then No. 2 seeds on her way to her first tournament title.

Kelsey Campbell is currently ranked on a pair of national women's lists, including No. 2 at 59kg in the Collegiate Women's Wrestling Association rankings. She also is ranked No. 5 in's U.S. Senior Women's Rankings (May 2007).

Seniors Patrick Pitsch, Rick Renzi and Jason Trulson and junior Quinton Pruett have been selected as the team's captains for the year.

The 2007-08 season will see the Sun Devils compete in 17 duals, including nine home duals, and five tournaments. In the regular season, Arizona State will send competitors to the Keystone Classic (Philadelphia), Cliff Keen/Las Vegas Invitational and Reno Tournament of Champions, all of which come before the end of the December. Following 12 duals after the turn of the New Year, the Sun Devils will head to Eugene, Ore., for the 2007 Pac-10 Championships (March 2-3) and conclude the season at the 2007 NCAA Wrestling Championships (March 20-22).

Since becoming a varsity program in 1962, Arizona State has competed in the NCAA Championships all 45 years and scored at least one point in 40 of those tournaments, including each of the last 33 in a row. During this time, the Sun Devils have had 60 different student-athletes secure a combined total of 102 All-America honors while helping the team place in the Top 10 on 18 occasions and in the Top 5 seven times, including a NCAA title in 1988 and runner-up finishes in both 1989 and 1990.

On Saturday, January 7, 2006, the Sun Devils dedicated their new training facility in a joint celebration with the gymnastic team. The Riches Wrestling Complex, the John Spini Women's Gymnastics Training Center and the Cavanagh/Dickey Olympic Sports Plaza were dedicated and showcased as fans and over 200 supporters toured two of the premier training centers in the nation while both teams showcased their teams by holding practices. The facilities are located off Sixth Street behind the Kajikawa Football Practice Fields and beyond the outfield wall at Farrington Softball Stadium.

Wells Fargo Arena serves as the home of Arizona State's home wrestling duals, as well as basketball (men and women), women's gymnastics and women's volleyball. Opened in the spring of 1974, the 14,198-seat arena has been the home venue of some of the Sun Devil greats with all 16 Pac-10 team titles and one of the two Western Athletic Conference crowns attained by ASU. Since its opening, 57 Sun Devils have captured 109 individual conference titles while 67 different athletes have earned a total of 98 All-America honors. The Sun Devils stand 167-54-2 all-time inside Wells Fargo Arena (205-88-2 all-time at home). With its 36-3 defeat of Utah Valley on Jan. 10, 2005, ASU recorded its 150th victory at WFA.

Arizona State will take a weekend off from competition before returning to its home mats for a pair of Pac-10 duals on January 25 and 27. The Sun Devils will face Oregon State at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 25, with the dual being held at Mesa High School. Two days later, the Sun Devils and Oregon Ducks will meet in a 2 p.m. contest inside Wells Fargo Arena.