Competed from 1997-2001
Went 138-30 overall
Was just the eighth Sun Devil to earn three All-America honors
Won at least 30 matches in each of his four years at ASU
Two-time Pac-10 Champion (2000, 2001) and two-time runner-up (1998, 1999)
2000 Pac-10 Wrestler of the Year
Earned Pac-10 All-Academic honors in 1997-98
Arizona State: Culminated his collegiate career as one of the best wrestlers in ASU history...compiled an overall record of 138-30...became just the eighth three-time All-American in ASU wrestling history, earning All-America honors in 1999 (fourth place), 2000 (third place) and 2001 (fifth place)...ranks second on ASU's career wins lists (138), second all-time in single-season victories (43 in 1999-00), third in career dual wins (62) and fifth all-time in pins (31)...compiled at least 30 wins in each of his four seasons at ASU...four-time NCAA Qualifier and two-time Pac-10 Champion. 2000-01: Compiled an overall record of 35-6 and a dual record of 13-2...earned third straight All-American honors, placing fifth in the NCAA Championships with a 6-2 record...rebounded from a first round upset to win five straight...won an 8-5 decision over No. 9 Kevin Stanley from Indiana in the fifth-place match...won second straight Pac-10 title at 165 pounds this season...pinned first opponent in the Pac-10 Championships in 2:33 (Leonel Sanchez of Cal State Fullerton)...went on to turn in a 7-6 decision over No. 15 Ian Nelms of Cal State Bakersfield and a 9-0 major decision over Burt Pierson from UC Davis for the title...led team with 35 wins, 13 dual wins and eight pins...ranked nationally in the top-five all season...opened season winning seven straight matches, before being upset by No. 14 Matt Lackey (Illinois) 6-3 at the Las Vegas Invitational...finished sixth at the Las Vegas Inv...went 4-0 to win the 165 pound title at the Reno Tournament of Champions, posting a 6-5 decision over No. 7 Ty Wilcox of Oklahoma State...tallied a 5-1 record, facing four ranked opponents, to place third at the Midlands Championships...was pinned by No. 9 Ben Shirk of Iowa in 4:26, his only loss at Midlands...went on to win nine straight matches after the upset...shut out No. 6 Robbie Waller of Oklahoma, 6-0, Jan. 12...went 3-0 in the National Duals, including a 6-2 win over No. 7 Wilcox...was upset by unranked Jed Pennell of Oregon State, 7-6 in overtime, Jan. 26, his first dual loss of the season...second dual loss came at the hands of No. 2 Joe Heskett of Iowa State, 10-8...compiled an 11-4 record against ranked opponents...team's "Most Valuable Wrestler." 1999-2000: Clinched second straight All-America honors with a third-place finish at 165 pounds at the NCAA Championships...compiled a 43-4 overall record, tying for second on the ASU all-time single season list with Eddie Urbano... 2000 Pac-10 Wrestler of the Year...after two consecutive second place finishes, took first Pac-10 title of his career, with a 5-2 decision over defending NCAA and Pac-10 champion Kirk White of Boise State...finished the season ranked second by Amateur Wrestling News and third by InterMat...ranked in the top five nationally all season...ended the season with a 16-2 dual record, ranked among the top 20 in ASU history for dual meet wins...won 20 straight matches, beginning at the California Open Nov. 20 and ending vs. No. 10 Ty Wilcox of Oklahoma State Jan. 14...then proceeded to win 12 straight matches before falling to No. 1 Joe Heskett of Iowa State in a heart-breaking 6-3 decision on Feb. 13...dominated Kirk White 13-1 at the NWCA All-Star Classic on Feb. 7...led team in technical falls (seven) and major decisions (12)...won three tournaments ( California Open, Las Vegas Invitational, and Reno Tournament of Champions) and turned in runner-up finishes at the Cowboy Open and Midlands Invitational...named the Sun Devils' "Most Outstanding Wrestler." 1998-99: Earned his first All-America honors, finishing fourth at 165 pounds at the NCAA Championships... captured second place at the Pac-10 Championships for the second straight season, falling to eventual NCAA champion Kirk White of Boise State 8-2 in the finals... turned in a 30-14 overall mark and a 14-6 dual record on the year... led the team with 11 pins... also won six matches by major decision... ranked ninth in the final Amateur Wrestling News poll and 10th in the final Intermat poll... faced 11 ranked opponents on the year... posted a 7-5 overtime victory over third-ranked Rangi Smart in ASU's dual-meet victory over BYU... took second at the Keystone Classic and fourth at the Las Vegas Invitational. 1997-98: Finished the season with a 30-6 overall record and an impressive 19-1 in dual action... finished second at the Pac-10 Championships to Cal Poly SLO's Craig Welk in a close 4-3 match... he had beaten Welk on three previous occasions... was one half of ASU's freshman one-two punch that included NCAA qualifier Quinn Foster... put together two separate win streaks of 11 matches, losing only twice in his last 24 matches before NCAAs... finished first at the California Open... placed fourth at the Midlands Invitational and at the Las Vegas Invite... named a Pac-10 All-Academic Honorable Mention... finished the season ranked in the top 10 in the polls... had a winning record against ranked opponents... went 2-2 at the NCAAs, losing to eventual national runner-up Chad Kraft of Minnesota. 1996-97: Did not compete... utilized redshirt season in the summer... won the Junior World Trials... placed fifth at the University Nationals and 16th at the worlds.
High School: A 1996 graduate of Dowling High School in Des Moines, Iowa... lettered four years in wrestling and four years in cross country... captain of the wrestling squad for three years... coached by Ron Gray... a three-time league and all-district champion... won the Iowa state title at 160... took the Iowa state title at 145 as a junior... placed second at the 1996 Freestyle Nationals (165)... third at the Junior Greco Nationals in 1996 after seventh and fifth-place finishes the previous two years.
Personal: Majoring in business/philosophy...parents are Steve and Karen Blackford... has two siblings, John and Val... born August 1, 1977, in Des Moines, Iowa... full name is Steven Allen Blackford.
Season Overall Dual Falls Tech. Falls Maj. Dec. 1997-1998 30-6 19-1 3-0 1-0 5-1 1998-1999 30-14 14-6 11-1 0-0 6-1 1999-2000 43-4 16-2 9-0 7-0 12-0 2000-2001 35-6 13-2 8-1 3-0 9-0 Career 138-30 62-11 31-2 11-0 32-2