TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State University wrestling team will close out the 2013 portion of the schedule with its trip to the 32nd Annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational on Dec. 6-7 at the Las Vegas Convention Center (Hall C4).
VIVA LAS VEGAS
The Sun Devils are set to battle some of the top talent of the country, as 12 of the 31 teams competing are ranked in the NWCA/AWN/USA Today rankings, including No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 6 Cornell, No. 8 Ohio State, No. 10 Nebraska, No. 12 Northern Iowa, No. 13 Virginia, No. 14 Virginia Tech, No. 16 Iowa State, No. 19 Purdue, No. 20 Michigan, No. 20 Oregon State, and No. 25 Boise State. ASU also has the potential to see wrestlers from two other Pac-12 Conference schools, Cal Poly and Cal State Bakersfield. The only conference school not in competition in Las Vegas will be Stanford.
LAS VEGAS INVITE HISTORY
This week’s trip to Vegas mark’s ASU’s 28th appearance in the event, including every year since 1985. In that time, the Sun Devils have won the event three times, including the 1987, 1989 and 1992 tournaments, while finishing as the runner-up twice (1988, 1997). Overall, Arizona State has placed among the Top-5 18 times and among the Top 10 on 24 different occasions.
Last season, the Sun Devils finished 13th overall with 52.0 points. Blake Stauffer (174) and Jake Meredith (197) combined for an 11-2 record overall at their respective weight classes to give ASU its two third-place finishers. Kevin Radford (184) was the other Sun Devil to place at seventh in his weight class.
Friday, Dec. 6
9:00am: Pigtail Round, Round 1, Round 2, Consolation Pigtails & Consolation Round 1
6:00pm: Quarter Finals & Consolation Round 2 & 3
Saturday, Dec. 7
9:00am: Consolation Round 4
10:00am: Semi-Finals and Consolation Round 5, Consolation Semi Finals, Consolation Finals (5th & 6th, 7th & 8th)
3:00pm: CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS 1st & 2nd and 3rd & 4th
Two weeks ago, the Sun Devils were edged in dual action by then No.21 Bloomsburg, 18-15 before seeing a successful day of competition at the Keystone Classic.
At Bloomsburg, ASU picked up wins at 125 (Carpio), 141 (Kraus), 157 (Smith), 184 (Moore), and at heavyweight (Colling). Ares Carpio is now 3-1 on the year in dual action, as is Matt Kraus, and Joel Smith. Wesley Moore picked up his first dual win at Bloomsburg, while Kyle Colling sits as ASU’s only undefeated wrestler at 4-0 on the season in dual action.
Furthermore, Colling went 4-0 at the Keystone Classic, picking up the heavyweight title with a 3-1 tiebreaker win over Indiana’s Adam Chalfant. En route to the title, Colling recorded a 15-0 tech fall victory and a pair of pins, one in 5:53 and the other in 1:57 in the semifinal match against Pittsburgh’s Mike Gregory.
Other Sun Devils to place in the tournament were Kraus, who took fifth overall, Kevin Radford took third place at 174, defeating Bloomsburg’s Mike Dessino in a 3-2 decision. Radford’s win came just two days after falling to Dessino at the dual match, in a 6-4, sudden victory decision.
Blake Stauffer was ASU’s second wrestler to place third at the Keystone Classic, this time at 184. In Stauffer’s first weekend of competition this season, he posted a 5-1 overall record, and added a tech fall victory over Pittsburgh’s Aaron Rothwell.
The final Sun Devil wrestler to place at Keystone was Ray Waters at 165, where he finished fourth overall. Waters recorded two pins and a major decision on the weekend.
HEATING UP THE POLLS
In this week’s edition of the InterMat (Dec. 3) and W.I.N. Magazine (Nov. 18) polls, the Sun Devils have moved up in rankings to T-41st and T40th, respectively.
Individually, Kevin Radford is ranked in three of the four polls in the 174 weight class. He is at No. 16 in the W.I.N. Magazine rankings, while InterMat has him at No. 20 and D1CollegeWrestling.Net has him at No. 22.
Kyle Colling (HWT) is ranked in each of the four polls this week after going 5-0 at Bloomsburg and the Keystone Classic, and is now 8-0 on the season. Colling is ranked at No. 7 by Amateur Wreslting News, No. 8 by D1CollegeWrestling.Net, No. 12 by W.I.N. Magazine, and No. 16 by InterMat.
TIME IS AN ILLUSION, TIME OFF FROM WRESTLING DOUBLY SO
Oklahoma transfer and former two-sport student-athlete Kyle Colling picked up right where he left off in his first day of full-fledged competition for the Sun Devils. After not seeing action for 18 months, Colling was one of two Sun Devils to go a perfect 3-0 in Dual action at the Chicago Quad (No. 16). On the season, Colling is the lone undefeated Sun Devil at 8-0.
So far this season, six Sun Devils have recorded high final placements in tournament action. Kyle Colling is the first ASU wrestler to pick up a tournament title in the 2013-14 season, winning the heavyweight bracket at the Keystone Classic with four wins, including a 3-1 tiebreaker decision in the championship match.
Kevin Radford has a pair of third-place finishes under his belt, the first at the Cowboy Open (Nov. 2), where he went 5-1 in the 184 weight class before finishing third at 174 at the Keystone Classic on Nov. 24.
Chace Eskam finished third at the Cowboy Open at 197, going 2-1 overall and picking up a sudden-victory win in the opening round before he came out on top with a 3-2 decision to seal his finish.
Blake Stauffer went 5-1 at the Keystone Classic to finish third at 184, with three winning decisions and one tech fall victory.
Ray Waters finished fourth overall at the Keystone Classic at 165, with a pair of pins and a 12-4 major decision win over Appalachian State’s Zac Strickland.
The final Sun Devil to place so far this season is Matt Kraus, who finished in fifth at the Keystone Classic at 141. Kraus picked up at 10-1 major decision win over Trevor Moody of Indiana en route to his finish.
SUN DEVILS DUEL IN INTERSQUAD
Prior to its season opener, the Arizona State wrestling team competed in its yearly Maroon and Yellow Intersquad match. In the 125 weight class, Ares Carpio picked up from where he left off last season, dominating Tyree Owens, 20-5.
At 133, Tyler Liberatore took an early lead over Cord Coronado with three takedowns before Carpio came back and held off the major decision with a final score of 9-4.
Freshman Jesus Calderon stepped in at 141, but was unable to overcome Paul Looper’s collegiate experience as Looper came out with the 9-2 victory.
The marquee match of the night came at 149, with Preston McCalmon taking on NCAA qualifier Nathan Hoffer. The pair fought to a tie score at the end of regulation before Hoffer came out to win the match.
At 157, Joel Smith picked up three takedowns in his defeat of Codey Combs, while Ray Waters pinned James Brundage in 37 seconds in the 165 weight class.
Josh DaSilvera defeated Chase Eskam in overtime, 3-2 in the 197, while the battle of the heavyweights came down to Kyle Colling picking up the advantage of Daniel Gusev.
In exhibition, Luke Bean wrestled Wesley Moore at the 197, with Moore picking up the win, 8-4.
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Each of the Sun Devils’ five home matches this season are scheduled back-to-back from Jan. 18 through Feb. 9. ASU will open the home slate with a tri-meet against Northern Colorado and Utah Valley on Jan. 18 before facing its first Pac-12 foe of the year, Boise State, on Jan. 24.
The Sun Devils will then take on Iowa State on Feb. 1 before taking on Pac-12 foe Stanford on Feb. 3, which will be aired on the Pac-12 Networks. ASU closes out the home schedule against Oregon State on Feb. 9, in another match that will be broadcast by the Pac-12 Networks.
DEVILS ON TV
Four of Arizona State’s meets are set to be aired by the Pac-12 Networks in 2014, starting with the conference opener against Boise State. ASU will then have back-to-back televised duals against Stanford and Oregon State.
The 2014 Pac-12 Championships, hosted by Stanford on March 2 will also be aired on the Pac-12 Networks.
ADDING MATURITY TO THE ROSTER
This season, the Sun Devil roster features a pair of graduate transfers, James Brundage and Nick Rex. Brundage, who hails from Ossining, N.Y., received a BA in sociology at Rider University, and is now completing his masters in management at ASU. Rex joins the Sun Devils from Campbell University, where he earned a degree in communications, and was team captain during the 2011-13 seasons.
Along with ASU’s two graduate students, the Sun Devils welcome Kyle Colling, a transfer from Oklahoma, Coltin Fought from North Carolina State, and Daniel Gusev from Sierra College.
Some of the most experienced returning Sun Devils come in the form of Kevin Radford and Blake Stauffer. The redshirt junior and true sophomore combined for 43 wins last season, including 25 during the Pac-12 Conference slate. Both are currently ranked in each of the four major wrestling polls.
Similar to last season’s squad, the Maroon and Gold features a passel of young newcomers this year, with five true freshman additions, and a trio of sophomores. Joining the Sun Devils this season are freshmen Kaleb Baker (Memphis, Tenn.), Jesse Calderon (Indio, Calif.), Seth Monty (Mesa, Ariz.), Matt Schneider (New Lenox, Ill.), and Mech Spraggins (Belleville, Ill.). New to the sophomore class this season are Wesley Moore (Queen Creek, Ariz.), Pablo Moreno (Yuma, Ariz.), and Kaylon Sencio (Houston, Texas).
The 2013-14 season will see a new addition to the Sun Devil squad, as Tyrel Todd was named as an assistant coach in the Summer of 2013. Todd spent the last two seasons training with the Cliff Keen Wrestling Club, where he recently competed at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. He was fourth at the 2008 Olympic trials at 84 kilograms, just missing a bid to the Beijing Olympics in the process. Following a standout career at Michigan, where Todd was a three-time All-American and 2009 Big Ten Conference Champion at 197 points, Todd served his alma mater as an assistant for the 2010 season before spending one year on the staff as an assistant at Cal Poly.