Wrestling hosts CS Fullerton
Following a busy schedule last week with one dual, one tournament and one exhibition event, the No. 20 Arizona State University wrestling team will have a much quieter slate this week as the Sun Devils will compete in one dual -- their Pac-10 opener -- against CS Fullerton on Saturday night. The Sun Devils (2-1, 0-0 Pac-10) and Titans (0-2, 0-2 Pac-10) will meet at 7 p.m. Saturday inside Wells Fargo Arena on the Tempe campus.
• ASU is currently ranked No. 20 (NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll)
• Robles (125) and Jenkins (157) both dominated the NWCA All-Star Classic
• Starks (174) won the Fullerton Open for his first collegiate title
• Ashmore (125) and Meredith (184) also reached the final at Fullerton
• ASU is 28-4-1 all-time in Pac-10 openers (12-0-1 in its last 13 openers)
• ASU is 127-23-1 all-time against Pac-10 foes (81-23-1 against current members)
FS Arizona will be on hand inside Wells Fargo Arena for all five of the Sun Devils’ home duals this season, including this Saturday for the Pac-10 opener with CS Fullerton. Scott Powell will be on the call once again this week. To watch the free web cast, visit FoxSportsArizona.com and click on the banner at the top of the page.
Fans that can’t attend the dual also will be able to view the statistics as they happen thanks to the NWCA’s Live Scorebook. Visit the schedule page on the wrestling page of thesundevils.com and click on Live Scorebook on the schedule page for ASU’s dual with CS Fullerton.
IN THE RANKINGS - TEAM
The Sun Devils remained in the Top 20 this week in the NWCA/USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll, sliding two positions to No. 20. Cornell remained the top-ranked team in the nation while fellow Pac-10 team Boise State (#6) and Oregon State (#13) are the lone conference schools ranked ahead of the Sun Devils.
Looking at the NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll, five of Arizona State’s opponents are currently ranked in the Top 25. Overall, ASU’s schedule includes duals with No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 8 Oklahoma (L, 32-7), No. 13 Oregon State, No. 14 Nebraska and No. 17 Iowa State.
IN THE RANKINGS - INDIVIDUAL
According to Amateur Wrestling News, only two individual Sun Devils carry national rankings this week, but both are highly regarded as Anthony Robles and Bubba Jenkins are among the Top 2 nationally in their weight classes. Robles remained at No. 3 in the 125-pound weight class while Jenkins moved up to No. 2 this week after upsetting No. 1 Adam Hall (Boise State) in the NWCA All-Star Classic presented by The Marines.
AHEAD OF THE PAC(-10)
Since joining the Pac-10 Conference in time for the 1978-79 season, the Sun Devils have built a 28-4-1 all-time record in their first conference dual of the season. Arizona State is 12-0-1 in its last 13 Pac-10 openers with its last loss coming during the 1996-97 season in a 21-18 set back to CS Bakersfield in Tempe. ASU has won eight of its last 10 home Pac-10 openers, but fell last time in a 35-5 decision to Oregon State (Jan. 31).
With a 4-2-0 record against Pac-10 foes last year, the Sun Devils hold a strong record all-time against schools in the conference. 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 six others still competing (including Boise State, Cal Poly, CS Bakersfield, CS Fullerton, Oregon State and Stanford). Against current members of the Pac-10, ASU holds an 81-23-1 all-time record and stands 127-23-1 all-time when including all 17 teams.
BY THE NUMBERS: PAC-10 SUCCESS
In the 32 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 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.
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.
At the Fullerton Open on Saturday, the Sun Devils sent three individuals to the finals of their respective weight classes with Eric Starks winning the title at 174 pounds, giving him his first tournament crown in his collegiate career. Starks had to battle back from an early deficit against Victor Carazo (Grand Canyon) and eventually tied the score at 6-6 to force overtime. In the extra minute of action, Starks shot in low to hook an ankle before moving his way up to secure both legs and the takedown to score two points and win the match while also avenging a 3-1 loss to Carazo in a dual last week in Phoenix.
QUICK RECAP: FULLERTON OPEN
Starks was not the only finalist on the day as both Ben Ashmore (125) and Jake Meredith (184) reached the finals and eventually placed second overall at the Fullerton Open. Other place winners for the Sun Devils included Kalin Goodsite, who was fifth at 141; Luke Ashmore, who was fourth at 149; Te Edwards, who was third at 165 and Michael Hawkins, who was sixth at heavyweight. Two members of the program that competed unattached from the team also placed as Bobby Bowman finished third overall at 174 and Joel Smith was sixth at 149.
QUICK RECAP: OKLAHOMA DUAL
Before the weekend tournament, the Sun Devils took on the No. 8 Oklahoma Sooners in their home opener in Tempe, but fell, 32-7. Anthony Robles won a meeting of Top 10 nationally-ranked wrestlers at 125 pounds as the third-ranked Sun Devil defeated No. 9 Jarrod Patterson with a 16-1 technical fall. At 157 pounds, No. 6 Bubba Jenkins hung to defeated 13th-ranked Matt Lester, 7-5, for ASU’s only other win on the night.
On the opening weekend, four different Sun Devils won by fall, including Anthony Robles, who pinned both of his opponents. In all five pins, the Sun Devil picked up the victory in the first period each time. Against Grand Canyon, Robles had the lone pin at 125 pounds, winning in 1:49. He followed that later in the day at Embry-Riddle with a fall in 1:25. Also at ERAU, Eric Starks pinned his foe in 2:40 at 174 to start a stretch of three falls in a row that saw the team’s fastest pin honor change hands twice. First, Jake Meredith stuck his foe in 1:19 of the 184 match to take the fastest pin from Robles (1:25), but, one match later at 197, Luke Macchiaroli stuck his opponent in 1:16. The leader in the fastest fall category changed again at the Fullerton Open, however, as Luke Ashmore stuck an opponent in 41 seconds.
COUNTDOWN TO 100
Heading into his senior campaign, Anthony Robles holds a career record of 89-23 and needs 11 wins to become the 23rd different Sun Devil to break the century mark. Currently ranked 27th all-time in career wins at Arizona State, Robles will need 14 wins (103 total) to break into the Top 20 as he will tie with three others for 19th place, including current head coach Shawn Charles. With his 89 wins, Robles is currently tied for 27th all-time on the ASU wins list with former Pac-10 Champion (165) Patrick Pitsch.
SCOUTING: CS FULLERTON
Head Coach Dan Hicks’ Titans are 0-2 on the year and 0-2 in the Pac-10 as they dropped a 36-14 decision at Cal Poly and a 29-11 home decision to Stanford. One CS Fullerton wrestler is nationally ranked in heavyweight Kurt Klimek, who is No. 16 this week. Klimek and ASU’s Michael Hawkins met over the weekend with Klimek winning, 3-1, in the consolation semifinal round of the Fullerton Open tournament in Fullerton, Calif.
IN THE SERIES: SUN DEVILS vs. TITANS
Arizona State holds an 18-3-0 lead in the all-time series with CS Fullerton and won the last meeting, 37-4, at Fullerton, Calif., last season (Nov. 15). Prior to that victory, the Titans had won three in a row, including two in a row at ASU. Those three wins snapped a 15-match winning streak that ASU opened the series with.
COPPER STATE COMPETITIONS
With the two wins on the opening day of the season, the Sun Devils improved to 64-9-0 all-time against teams from the state of Arizona and extended their winning streak to 44 in a row in the process. The last time Arizona State lost to a fellow Copper State school came on February 13, 1973, when visiting Arizona won, 18-17. The Sun Devils also improved to 28-6-0 all-time in road duals inside the state after winning their 19th and 20th in a row.
LIFTING THE LID
With their 29-8 victory at Grand Canyon Saturday morning, the Sun Devils improved to 35-14-0 all-time in their first dual of the season. Following a 2-0 record on the road, the Sun Devils now turn their attention to their first home dual of the year with No. 8 Oklahoma in town. The Sun Devils are 32-16-0 all-time in their first home dual of the season and have won four in a row. The dual with the Sooners will mark the third time Arizona State has faced OU in its home opener with the Sooners winning the previous two instances, 32-7 (Dec. 3, 1964) and 23-21 (Dec. 4, 1985).
Five individuals are entering their final collegiate seasons, including local standout Anthony Robles, who has earned a pair of All-American honors after a solid career at nearby Mesa High School. The remaining seniors include Ben Ashmore, Bubba Jenkins, Orlando Jimenez and Lucas Mariacher. All five will be honored before the team’s dual with Cal Poly on January 30 (2:00 p.m.)
ALL IN THE FAMILY
In the history of the program, 28 different families have supplied the Sun Devils with multiple wrestlers, including a pair of brothers this year and a second-generation Sun Devil. Brothers Ben and Luke Ashmore are the 26th set of brothers to be members of the Arizona State program while Luke Macchiaroli is the second member of his family to join the Sun Devils as his father, Tom, was with the program in the late 1970s.
ASKREN ON STAFF
Several weeks ago, head coach Shawn Charles rounded out his coaching staff with the addition of Ben Askren as an assistant coach. The 2008 Olympian and two-time NCAA finalist (at Missouri), who served as the program’s Director of Operations last year, will assist with day-to-day operations once again while also working with technique on the mat with the Sun Devils. He joins Brian Stith (fourth year) as the program’s assistant coaches this season.
Two weeks ago, 17 members of the program entered the Embry-Riddle Collegiate Championships in Prescott as unattached competitors with 12 returning the Valley of the Sun with Top 5 finishes. Three Sun Devils reached the final and placed second, including Josh Sandoval (125), Kevin Radford (184) and Levi Cooper (285). Kalin Goodsite (141) placed third while David Prado (133), Joel Smith (149), Kevin Maelfeyt (157), Wesley Moore (184) and Michael Hawkins (285) all finished fourth. Dalton Miller (125), Derek Felton (165) and Bobby Bowman (174) also finished fifth.
HE’S THE CHAMP
On October 23, a new UFC World Heavyweight Champion was crowned and that champion is former Sun Devil All-American Cain Velasquez. The first fighting champion of Mexican heritage, Velasquez dispatched of former champion Brock Lesnar with a first round TKO to take the belt at UFC 121 in Anaheim, Calif. Velasquez is now the is the fourth different Sun Devil wrestler to hold a belt in the UFC.
NEXT TIME OUT
Arizona State’s next competition will come December 3-4 as the Sun Devils will travel to the Cliff Keen/Las Vegas Invitational in Las Vegas, Nev. The tournament will be the first of two trips to Nevada for the team in December.