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Wrestlers conclude road dual slate at No. 17 Oklahoma

January 30, 2008

TEMPE, Ariz. - Following a home split with the Oregon schools last weekend, the Arizona State University wrestling team (9-4, 3-4 Pac-10) will step out of Pac-10 Conference action over the next two weekends, starting with a road dual at No. 17 Oklahoma this Friday night at 7 p.m. in Norman, Okla. The dual on Friday night, which will take place inside the Howard McCasland Field House, will be the final road dual of the season for the Sun Devils with three home competitions remaining on the schedule before the Pac-10 Championships (March 2-3, Eugene, Ore.) next month.

Individually in the InterMat/NWCA/NWMA rankings (January 28), a pair of rookie Sun Devils are listed among the national Top 20 with both Anthony Robles (125) and Brent Chriswell (184) ranked No. 14 in their respective weight classes.

While both Anthony Robles and Brent Chriswell are ranked No. 14 in the nation in their respective weight classes, both redshirt freshmen are the second-highest ranked freshmen in their classes this season. Robles is just behind No. 13 Dave Tomasette of Old Dominion while fellow rookie Tyler Clark of Iowa State is No. 17. Robles and Clark could meet next Sunday in Tempe when the Sun Devils and Cyclones meet in a dual. Chriswell is the second of three rookies in the Top 20 as well with only Boise State's Kirk Smith (No. 9) ranked ahead of him. The two freshmen could meet at the Pac-10 Championships later this season.

While Oklahoma has six wrestlers ranked in the national Top 20, only one is in the same weight class as a ranked Sun Devil. At 184 pounds, ASU's No. 14 Brent Chriswell is scheduled to compete against No. 7 Josh Weitzel.

Over the weekend, the Sun Devils fell to Oregon State, 27-14, at Mesa High School before rebounding for a 26-16 defeat of Oregon back inside Wells Fargo Arena. Four Sun Devils went 2-0 on the weekend, including Anthony Robles (125) with a major decision and fall; Todd Schavrien (133) with a major decision and decision; Brent Chriswell (184) with a decision and forfeit; and Jason Trulson (197) with two decisions.

Against the two Oregon schools, the Sun Devils sent eight freshmen to the mats to compete with the group posting a 7-9 record. Overall this season, 13 rookies have made their debuts and have accounted for 80 of the teams 142 victories, including 49-of-76 dual wins and 24-of-33 Pac-10 wins. The freshmen have won 14 (of 21) major decisions, five (of five) technical falls, 14 (of 24) falls and nine (of 15) forfeit victories.

So far this season, Anthony Robles is 18-6 following a sweep of two bout this weekend, including a major decision Friday against Oregon State that kept him undefeated on the mats at Mesa High School, his Alma mater. Of those 18 victories, 13 have produced bonus points, including five major decisions, four technical falls and three falls, all team-highs, as well as one win by forfeit. For the year, he has earned 69 bonus points, the most on the team, with fellow rookie Todd Schavrien second on the list with 43 bonus points.

InterMat and the NWCA have compiled a statistics database for the season with Anthony Robles ranking among some of the best in several categories, including one nationally. Among all Division I wrestlers, Robles ranks tied for 13th nationally in tech falls with four. In the Pac-10 Conference, his four tech falls rank as the second-most while his five wins by major decision rank as the 10th-most in the league.

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). Jason Trulson (197) went 2-0 on the weekend with his second win, a 3-0 decision over Shaun Dee of Oregon, giving him 50 career victories.

With an upset of No. 17 Oklahoma this weekend, Sun Devil Head Coach Thom Ortiz would record the 75th win on his coaching record, which stands at 74-48-1. Back on the mats, Rick Renzi (174) is four away from his 25th career victory.

Oklahoma leads the all-time series with Arizona State, 22-14-1, and holds an 11-3-1 advantage in the series when the dual is held in Norman. The Sun Devils have last the last four duals in a row against the Sooners, including a 29-13 decision last year in Tempe, and eight in a row on the road. The last victory for ASU in the series came on January 8, 2003, in a 21-21 criteria victory in Tempe while the last road win for the Sun Devils in the series came on January 27, 1991, in a 26-12 decision in Norman.

Since Thom Ortiz took over the program in time for the 2001-02 season, Arizona State has built a 40-7-0 record against Pac-10 foes, including an 18-6 record on the road and 22-1 in Tempe. Under Ortiz, the Sun Devils are 4-2 against Oregon State and 3-0 at home and 6-0 against Oregon with a 3-0 home record.

The fourth round of Pac-10 Individual Rankings were released January 13 with six 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 fourth; and both Todd Schavrien (133) and Chris Drouin (141) are ranked sixth. (125) ranked third;

The Sun Devils have combined to win 142 bouts this year with 65 of those victories producing bonus points. Of the 65 bonus point victories, Arizona State has won 24 by fall, 21 by major decision, five by technical fall and added 13 forfeit victories and two injury defaults.

Of those 24 wins by pin-fall, only 13 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.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Kenny Lester turned in one of the latest falls of the season this year as he pinned Cal Poly's Jim Powers at 6:58 of the heavyweight bout, or two seconds before the end of the bout. Lester was leading the match on points and was set for the win, but a late takedown gave the Sun Devil big-man a chance for the pin, which he took.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

On January 20, Kelsey Campbell competed in the Guelph Open in Canada and wrestled in six bouts, posting a 4-2 record and finishing fourth in the international event. With the women, she improved to 12-5 on the year with her final win giving her 20 career victories.

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

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.

On February 8, the Sun Devils take on No. 1 Iowa at 7:30 p.m. at Copper Canyon High School in Glendale before meeting No. 8 Iowa State on February 10 at 2 p.m. Prior to the ISU dual (from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.), Olympic Champion and ISU head coach Cael Sanderson, who went undefeated in college as a four-time NCAA champion for the Cyclones, will sign autographs for fans.