Wrestling set to host #1 Iowa, #9 Iowa State this weekend
TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State University wrestling team (9-5, 3-4 Pac-10) will play host to a pair of duals against Top 10 foes this weekend as the Sun Devils welcome No. 1 Iowa (16-1) and No. 9 Iowa State (12-4) to the Valley of the Sun for their final non-conference duals of the year. The Sun Devils and Hawkeyes will meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday night inside Copper Canyon High School in Glendale before closing out the weekend with a 2 p.m. dual against the Cyclones inside Wells Fargo Arena on Sunday.
The Friday night dual with top-ranked Iowa will be sponsored by Food City and Cigna as both companies, along with Sun Devil wrestling, will be making donations to a trio of local organizations. A donation to the Hospice of the Valley will be made on behalf of Cigna and ASU Wrestling while donations to both the Eloisa Diaz Foundation and the UMOM New Day Center will be made on behalf of Food City and ASU Wrestling.
Fans are encouraged to arrive early on Friday night at Copper Canyon High School as seating will be limited to the first 2,000 fans in attendance. Tickets for both duals this weekend (vs. Iowa and Iowa State) will be $10/$5.
HOME ON THE ROAD
The dual with Iowa at Copper Canyon High School will mark the second time the Sun Devils have held a 'home' dual outside of Wells Fargo Arena this year. The first instance came on January 25 as the Sun Devils fell to Oregon State, 27-14, at Mesa High School.
GLENDALE ROAD SHOW
Back in 2006, the Sun Devils did something similar to what will take place Friday night in that they played host to a home dual in Glendale. On February 10, 2006, the Sun Devils defeated Fresno State, 46-9, inside Raymond Kellis High School, which is located about one block north of Jobing.com Arena, the site of the Arizona high school state meet. This weekend, Arizona State and Iowa will meet at Copper Canyon High School, which is about two blocks south of Jobing.com Arena, which again will also be the site of the state high school meet this weekend.
COME EARLY AGAIN
On Sunday, fans can come early to Wells Fargo Arena to meet and receive autographs from current Iowa State coach Cael Sanderson, the 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist and undefeated four-time NCAA champion for the Cyclones.
The dual with Iowa will mark the first time since the 1998-99 season that the nation's top-ranked team has faced Arizona State in the Valley of the Sun. On January 11, 1999, Steve Blackford won by fall and Casey Strand scored a decision victory, but it was not enough as the visiting No. 1 Cowboys of Oklahoma State won the dual, 28-9.
FACING SOME OF THE BEST
While it has been some time since the No. 1 team in the nation has come to Tempe, numerous teams ranked in the Top 5 have faced the Sun Devils in the Valley. The most recent time the Sun Devils have played host to a dual against at Top 5 opponent came during the 2003-04 season when the No. 2 team visited twice and the No. 3 team once. The year opened with ASU falling to No. 3 Iowa, 24-17, before the Sun Devils knocked off No. 2 Iowa State, 22-20. The third instance was a 26-9 setback to No. 2 Nebraska.
IT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE
The upset of No. 2 Iowa State came on January 4, 2004, with the No. 11 Sun Devils picking up wins in six of 10 bouts, including victories in the opening four bouts of the day, to take a close 22-20 decision. The dual opened at 184 pounds with No. 12 Nick Frost upsetting No. 7 Kurt Backes, 6-2. From there, No. 3 Ryan Bader (197), No. 11 Cain Velasquez (285) and Christian Staylor (125) each won to put ASU ahead, 16-0. A win by current ASU coach Zach Roberson ended ASU's win streak, before Jeremy Mendoza (141) and No. 10 Brian Stith (157) each won to put ASU ahead, 22-9, with two bouts remaining. A technical fall (five points) and forfeit (six points) gave the Cyclones 11 points, but it was not enough.
IN THE SERIES - IOWA
The Hawkeyes hold an all-time advantage of 22-1-1 in the series with the Sun Devils and have won 14 duals in a row. The last non-defeat for the Sun Devils came at home during the 1989-90 season when Arizona State picked up an 18-18 tie. The last time the teams met, Iowa won the dual in Iowa City, 39-3, while the last meeting in Tempe also went to the Hawkeyes, 26-13, during the 2005-06 campaign.
IN THE SERIES - IOWA STATE
The Cyclones are 21-5-0 all-time against the Sun Devils and have won the last three meetings in a row, including a 40-0 blanking last year in Ames. The last time the two teams met in the Valley of the Sun was during the 2005-06 season with the visiting Cyclones escaping with a close 26-23 victory.
IN THE RANKINGS
Individually in the InterMat/NWCA/NWMA rankings (February 5), a pair of rookie Sun Devils are listed among the national Top 20 with Anthony Robles is ranked No. 14 at 125 pounds while Brent Chriswell is ranked No. 15 at 184 pounds. The Hawkeyes come to town with nine of ranked wrestlers while the Cyclones boast eight ranked competitors.
While Anthony Robles and Brent Chriswell are ranked No. 14 and No. 15 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. 12 James Nicholson of Old Dominion while fellow rookie Tyler Clark of Iowa State is No. 17. Robles and Clark could meet this 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. 8) ranked ahead of him. The two freshmen could meet at the Pac-10 Championships later this season (March 2-3 at Eugene, Ore.).
If the probable starting lineups prevail in both duals, then a pair of bouts will feature two Top 20 wrestlers facing one another. In the dual with Iowa, No. 14 Anthony Robles is slated to face No. 3 Charlie Falck at 125 pounds while No. 15 Brent Chriswell could face No. 8 Phil Keedy. In the dual with Iowa State, Robles could face No. 17 Tyler Clark while Chriswell is slated to meet No. 1 Jake Varner.
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 82 of the teams 144 victories, including 51-of-78 dual wins and 24-of-33 Pac-10 wins. The freshmen have won 14 (of 21) major decisions, five (of five) technical falls, 15 (of 25) falls and nine (of 15) forfeit victories.
So far this season, Anthony Robles is 19-6 following a pin at 1:22 of his bout with Oklahoma's Joey Fio last weekend in Norman. Of his 19 victories, 14 have produced bonus points, including five major decisions, four technical falls and fourth falls, all team-highs, as well as one win by forfeit. For the year, he has earned 75 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 16th nationally in tech falls with four. In the Pac-10 Conference, his four tech falls rank as the third-most while his five wins by major decision rank as the 13th-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 either opponent this weekend, Sun Devil Head Coach Thom Ortiz would record the 75th win on his coaching record, which stands at 74-49-1. Back on the mats, Rick Renzi (174) is four away from his 25th career victory.
AGAINST THE PAC-10
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 144 bouts this year with 66 of those victories producing bonus points. Of the 66 bonus point victories, Arizona State has won 25 by fall, 21 by major decision, five by technical fall and added 13 forfeit victories and two injury defaults.
Of those 25 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. Anthony Robles added another quick fall at Oklahoma, pinning Joey Fio in 1:22.
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.
HAPPY TO UPSET
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.
MORE ON THE UPSETS...
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.
IN THE COMMUNITY
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.
CAMPBELL ON THE ROSTER
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.
TOP OF HER CLASS
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 TheMat.com's U.S. Senior Women's Rankings (May 2007).
CAMPBELL TAKES FOURTH
On Jan. 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 wins.
HOME OF THE SUN DEVILS
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.
NEXT TIME OUT
Sunday, February 17, will signal the end of the regular season for the Sun Devils as they play host to the Stanford Cardinal in a 2 p.m. dual inside Wells Fargo Arena. The competition will be the final dual of the season for the Sun Devils before they head to Eugene, Ore., for the 2008 Pac-10 Wrestling Championships, March 2-3. The dual also will be the final home appearances of three seniors: Patrick Pitsch (165), Rick Renzi (174) and Jason Trulson (197).