TEMPE, Ariz.—The Arizona State wrestling team (6-6, 0-1 Pac-12) is set to host No. 14 Iowa State during its annual MMA Night on Friday at 8 p.m. MT at Wells Fargo Arena.
The dual is set for an 8 p.m. MT start and will air on the Pac-12 Networks with Jason Knapp (pbp) and former Sun Devil NCAA Champion and three-time All-American Anthony Robles (color) on the call.
Updates throughout the dual will also be available on Twitter by following @ASUWrestling.
Added for this special event, ASU Zero Waste is partnering with Sun Devil Wrestling for its first ever Zero Waste match. Use the green compost and blue recycle bins at Wells Fargo Arena and divert your food waste from the landfill. Think before you throw and follow @ZeroWasteASU on Twitter during the match for more information.
For the second straight year, the Sun Devils will host numerous MMA fighters as part of MMA Night, including two-time ASU All-American Ryan Bader, 2011 NCAA Champion Bubba Jenkins, three-time All-American and former head coach Thom Ortiz, ASU Sports Hall of Fame inductee and two-time All-American Dan Severn, two-time All-American Aaron Simpson, and alumni Cliff Starks and Patrick Williams.
LIST OF MMA ATTENDEES
Ryan Bader: 2004 & 2006 NCAA All-American at ASU, No. 4 ranked UFC Light Heavyweight
Henry Cejudo: 2008 Olympic Freestyle Wrestling Gold Medalist, No. 3 ranked UFC Flyweight
Bubba Jenkins: 2011 NCAA Champion at ASU, current Bellator Featherweight
Thom Ortiz: 1988, 1989 & 1990 NCAA All-American at ASU, ASU Head Coach 2001-2009
Dan Severn: 1980 & 1981 NCAA All-American, UFC Champion and Hall of Fame member
Aaron Simpson: 1996 & 1998 NCAA All American at ASU, Former UFC Middleweight
Clifford Starks: Wrestled at ASU 2003-2005, current WSOF Middleweight
Logan Storley: 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015 NCAA All-American at Minnesota, current RFA Welterweight
Patrick Williams: Wrestled at ASU 2003-2005, current UFC Bantamweight
ARIZONA STATE PROBABLES
125: Ares Carpio (7-10, 3-6 duals) OR Mikel Perales (2-7, 1-5 duals)
133: Cord Coronado (1-6, 1-4 duals)
141: Robbie Mathers (14-9, 7-5 duals)
149: Matt Kraus (16-5, 9-1 duals) OR Christian Pagdilao (4-2, 2-0 duals)
157: Oliver Pierce (14-11, 7-5 duals)
165: Jacen Petersen (7-9, 7-5 duals) OR Preston McCalmon (3-5, 1-3 duals)
174: Anthony Anderson (1-2, 1-2 duals)
184: Blake Stauffer (10-2, 10-0 duals)
197: Josh DaSilveira (10-6, 8-4 duals)
HWT: Tanner Hall (16-7, 7-4 duals) OR Chace Eskam (9-4, 1-0 duals)
IOWA STATE PROBABLES
125: Kyle Larson (17-9, 4-4 duals)
133: Earl Hall (21-5, 8-1 duals)
141: John Meeks (7-7, 3-4 duals) or Dante Rodriguez (10-3, 2-0 duals)
149: Gabe Moreno (11-6, 5-2 duals)
157: Logan Breitenbach (8-10, 2-4 duals)
165: Tanner Weatherman (21-5, 8-1 duals)
174: Lelund Weatherspoon (17-7, 6-3 duals)
184: Dane Pestano (19-8, 6-3 duals)
197: Marcus Harrington (4-3, 3-1 duals)
HWT: Quean Smith (14-6, 3-3 duals) or Joe Scanlan (8-10, 1-2 duals)
Last week, the Cyclones went 4-0 at the Virginia Duals, upsetting No. 5 Virginia Tech, 16-14, to claim the team title. Iowa State picked up wins from Earl Hall (133), Logan Breitenbach (157), Tanner Weatherman (165), Lelund Weatherspoon (174), and Marcus Harrington (197).
LAST SEASON AGAINST IOWA STATE
The Cyclones won last season’s dual, 27-6, with Sun Devil wins coming from Oliver Pierce (157) and Blake Stauffer (184). Stauffer’s 4-2 decision win over Lelund Weatherspoon marked the 70th in his career.
LAST TIME OUT
The Sun Devils went 2-2 last week, upsetting No. 24 Old Dominion as part of the Virginia Duals. On the weekend, Oliver Pierce (157), and Josh DaSilveira (197) went 4-0 in their respective weight classes, while Matt Kraus and Christian Pagdilao posted two wins each at 149.
Kraus picked up a 3-2 upset over Old Dominion’s All-American Alex Richardson in ASU’s come-from-behind victory over the Monarchs, and ASU swept the six bouts that followed to secure the 25-11 win.
Also during the Old Dominion dual, Blake Stauffer posted his 90th career victory, moving him into the ASU career record book, the 27th wrestler in program history to do so.
IN THE RANKINGS
With the upset of Old Dominion at the Virginia Duals, the Sun Devils earned two votes toward the NWCA/USA Today rankings. ASU was also featured as a team in the WrestlingReport rankings at No. 18 and the FloWrestling Tournament rankings at No. 19.
At 149 pounds, Matt Kraus is ranked as high at No. 14 in the country (The Open Mat), and is also ranked at No. 15 by FloWrestling and InterMat, and No. 20 and AWN and WrestlingReport.
At 184 pounds, FloWrestling ranks Blake Stauffer at No. 2, while Wrestling Report has him at No. 4, and the Open Mat at No. 5. Both InterMat and AWN rank Stauffer at No. 9 in the country.
At heavyweight, Tanner Hall is ranked in the top-10 in five polls, including No. 6 by AWN, No. 8 by The Open Mat and WrestlingReport, and No. 9 by InterMat and FloWrestling.
Additionally, Robbie Mathers is ranked at No. 30 at 141 pounds by WrestlingReport, and Oliver Pierce came in ranked at No. 32 at 157 pounds by WrestlingReport.
KRAUS NAMED PAC-12 WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
Matt Kraus was named the Pac-12 Wrestler of the Week, the conference office announced on Tuesday, Jan. 12.
Kraus (16-5 overall, 9-1 duals) went 2-0 as the Sun Devils competed at the 36th Virginia Duals in Hampton, Va., upsetting All-American Alex Richardson of Old Dominion, and defeating Virginia Tech’s Sal Mastriani.
Against the then-No. 24 Monarchs, Kraus was ASU’s first scorer of the match, getting the team on the board with a 3-2 decision win over Richardson, propelling ASU to the 25-11 victory.
Kraus also got the Sun Devils on the board in the 28-12 loss to Virginia Tech, taking down Mastriani, 9-4.
STAUFFER IN THE ASU WRESTLING RECORD BOOK
Blake Stauffer appears in five categories in the Arizona State Wrestling record book, most recently moving to a tie for No. 26 all time in career overall victories with 90 with Marco Sanchez (1988-93). His 48 dual victories are a tie for No. 15 all-time. with Eric Larkin (1999-03) and Tom Kolopus (1982-85).
He is now 38-0 (19MD, 12TF, 7F) in bonus-point victories in his career, tied for No. 12 with Quin Foster (1998-02; 10MD, 1TF, 27F).
Stauffer sits at No. 11 in major decision wins with 19, and No. 4 all-time in tech falls with 12.
2015-16 TOURNAMENT PLACERS
Second Place: Tanner Hall (Midlands Championships)
Fourth Place: Matt Kraus (Las Vegas Invite)
Fourth Place: Tanner Hall (Las Vegas Invite)
Fifth Place: Chace Eskam (Reno TOC)
Seventh Place: Robbie Mathers (Las Vegas Invite)
STAUFFER WINS AT NWCA ALL-STAR CLASSIC
All-American Blake Stauffer opened his redshirt senior season with a victory at the 50th NWCA All-Star Classic on Nov. 1 at McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta, defeating Lehigh’s All-American Nate Brown in a 4-1, sudden victory decision.
For his efforts, Stauffer was named the red team’s outstanding wrestler for the classic, and is ASU’s 14th NWCA All-Star Classic winner in program history, the first since Anthony Robles and Bubba Jenkins won in 2011.
ROBLES RETURNS TO PAC-12 NETWORKS BROADCAST TEAM
Arizona State wrestling standout and 2011 NCAA Champion Anthony Robles returns for his second season as an analyst for the Pac-12 Networks, it was announced on Wednesday, Nov. 18.
Robles joins Rich Burk, Jason Knapp, and Ken Chertow, covering nine regular-season matchups around the league.
The broadcast schedule includes four in Tempe, culminating in the Pac-12 Championships finals on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 5 p.m. PT/6 p.m. MT.
Last season, along with joining the Pac-12 Networks broadcast crew, Robles joined the ESPN broadcast team in its coverage of the 2015 NCAA Wrestling Championships.
ON THE HOME SLATE
In 2016, the Sun Devils kick off the year by hosting Iowa State on Friday, January 15 at 8 p.m., followed by a rematch with West Virginia on Saturday, Jan. 23 at 11 a.m. MT. On that day, the Sun Devils will also host Pac-12 foe Stanford at 3 p.m. MT.
The final home match of the season, against Oregon State, is set for Friday, Jan. 29, at 5 p.m. MT.
JOIN THE INNER CIRCLE
Sun Devil Wrestling is just one part of a very successful wrestling community in the Valley of the Sun and is happy to opens its doors for the Sun Devil Wrestling Inner Circle Receptions. During a Sun Devil Wrestling Inner Circle Reception say hello to former NCAA National Champions and Olympic Medalists, have a conversation with wrestling coaches on the national stage, interact with former Sun Devil wrestlers along with friends and families of the program, and listen to a pre-match analysis from a current Sun Devil Wrestling coach.
While in the Sun Devil Wrestling Inner Circle Reception, enjoy beverages while having a light snack prior to heading to your seats to watch the Sun Devils in action.
Admission for two (2) is provide to Sun Devil Wrestling Inner Circle Receptions for wrestling supporters who donate $100 or more to Sun Devil Wrestling. Your donation will be used to continue the tradition of Sun Devil Wrestling and build a successful future.
The Sun Devil Wrestling Inner Circle Receptions are located in Room 116 inside Wells Fargo Arena. Doors open one hour prior to each Sun Devil Wrestling home contest.
Join here: http://www.sundevilclub.com/wrestling-inner-circle?DB_OEM_ID=30300
ASU TO HOST THE 2016 PAC-12 WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
On Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, Arizona State will host Oregon State, Stanford, Boise State, Cal Poly, and Cal State Bakersfield at the Pac-12 Wrestling Championships at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Pac-12 Conference will release ticket information at a later date.
In 2015, Blake Stauffer and Christian Pagdilao became ASU’s first conference champions since 2011 with wins at 184 pounds and 149 pounds, respectively. Their performances helped ASU to a second-place finish with 107.0 points, the Sun Devils’ best finish since winning it all in 2006.
THE 2016 NCAA WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
The 2016 NCAA Wrestling Championships are set for March 17-19 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
In 2015, ASU qualified six wrestlers, including All-American Blake Stauffer, who finished fourth overall at the 184-pound weight class. Other NCAA qualifiers returning to the 2015-16 roster include Ares Carpio (125), Matt Kraus (141), Christian Pagdilao (149), and Oliver Pierce (157).
2015 PAC-12 SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR ESKAM RETURNS FOR SIXTH SEASON
ASU’s heavyweight wrestler Chace Eskam, the 2015 Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year, has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, head coach Zeke Jones announced prior to the season.
Eskam was granted a final year to compete for the Sun Devils following the successful cancer battle that sidelined him during his sophomore year. Following his freshman season at Cal State Fullerton, Eskam transferred to Arizona State in 2011, was diagnosed with the illness in 2012, and went into remission the following year.
In 2013-14, Eskam returned to the mat at 197 pounds, winning his first bout in over a year by way of a 4-2 sudden-victory decision. Later in the season, Eskam moved up a weight class and started at heavyweight for the Sun Devils for the rest of the year.
In 2014-15, Eskam started each match for ASU at heavyweight, going 17-14, including a 4-1 mark in Pac-12 dual bouts. He also recorded three bonus-point victories on the year, and was the first wrestling conference scholar-athlete since the 2013 season.
Anthony Anderson (R-Fr./174), Sully Cauley (R-Fr./197), Alexander D’Aloisio (R-Fr./133), Austyn Harris (R-Fr./HWT), Michael Oramas (R-Fr./149), Mikel Perales (R-Fr./125), Koby Reyes (R-Fr./141), Jacen Petersen (So./165), Christian Pagdilao (R-So./149), Oliver Pierce (R-So./157), Dalton Brady (Jr./133), Jesse Calderon (Jr./133), Wes Moore (Jr./197), Ryan Nantuna (Jr./149), Ares Carpio (Sr./125), Cord Coronado (Sr./133), Matt Kraus (Sr./149), Kaylon Sencio (Sr./157), Josh DaSilveira (R-Sr./197), Preston McCalmon (R-Sr./165), Tyree Owens (R-Sr./125), Blake Stauffer (R-Sr./184), Chace Eskam (6th Year Senior/HWT)
Lance Benick (Fr./197/Fridley, Minn.), Jake Deutschlander (Fr./165/Carver, Minn.), Chance Eskam (Fr./HWT/Carlsbad, Calif.), Andy Gandara (Fr./141/Somerton, Ariz.), Tanner Hall (Fr./HWT/Meridian, Idaho), Paul Klein (Fr./133/New Orleans, La.), Josh Kramer (Fr./125, Buckeye, Ariz.), Josh Maruca (Fr./149/Murrysville, Pa.), Ted Rico (Fr./133/Queen Creek, Ariz.), Tyler Sage (Fr./141/Weston, Fla.), Josh Shields (Fr./157/Murrysville, Pa.), Conner Small (Fr./174/Issaquah, Wash.), Zach Smith (Fr./174/Wexford, Mass.), Antony Valencia (Fr./165/Bellflower, Calif.), Zahid Valencia (Fr./184/Bellflower, Calif.), Nikko Villarreal (Fr./Gilroy, Calif./Gilroy HS), Kirk Wilson (Fr./HWT/Baton Rouge, La.), Robbie Mathers (So./141)
ASU WELCOMES COUNTRY’S NO. 1-RANKED RECRUITING CLASS TO TEMPE
Arizona State’s incoming freshman class was named No. 1 in the nation, Amateur Wrestling News announced in August.
This marks the first time the Sun Devils have had the top recruiting class, per AWN, since 1988. The last time ASU was ranked was at 11 in 2010.
Announced in the fall of 2014, the ASU signees include Anthony Valencia (St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif.), Zahid Valencia (St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif.), Lance Benick (Totino-Grace HS, Fridley, Minn.), Josh Maruca (Franklin Regional HS, Murrysville, Pa.), Josh Shields (Franklin Regional HS, Murrysville, Pa.), and Nikko Villarreal (Gilroy, Gilroy, Calif.). Tanner Hall (Meridian, Meridian, Idaho) signed with the Sun Devils in the spring.
ANTHONY VALENICA TO TAKE 2015-16 TO PREP FOR RIO OLYMPIC TRIALS
In preparation for the upcoming Olympic Trials and the 2016 Rio Olympics, Anthony Valencia has decided to redshirt the upcoming competition season.
“You don’t get the chance to qualify to redshirt to focus on the Olympics very often when you’re someone as young as Anthony,” head coach Zeke Jones said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a high school senior qualify, but he meets the US Olympic Standard to take a year where he can train and compete, travel all around the country and the world, which will put him on track to reaching his ultimate, and really any athlete’s ultimate goal to be an Olympic Champion.”
Valencia reached the qualification standards while still in high school as he finished in the top-8 at the 2015 Senior World Team Trials earlier this year.
The U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials will be held in Iowa City, Iowa, in 2016. The event is scheduled for April 8-10, four months prior to the Olympic Games.
The 2016 Summer Olympics will be held Aug. 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
HEAD COACH ZEKE JONES
The seventh coach in ASU wrestling history, Zeke Jones was hired in April 2014. In his first season with the Sun Devils, Jones led ASU to a second-place finish at the Pac-12 Championships, the best finish since 2006, and coached six wrestlers to the 2015 NCAA Wrestling Championships, including All-American Blake Stauffer (184 pounds).
An Olympic silver medalist for the United States, Jones was the 1991 World Champion at 52kg, a four-time World-Cup Champion, and coached United States’ Olympians in the 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2012 Olympic Games.
A member of ASU’s 1988 NCAA Wrestling Championship team, Jones was a three-time All-American and Pac-10 Champion for the Sun Devils. A national runner-up at 118, Jones sits at No. 4 in ASU’s career record book in both overall victories (134) and dual victories (59). He also holds the school record for dual match victories in a season with 22 during the 1989-90 campaign.
THE COACHING STAFF
Joining head coach Zeke Jones on the 2015-16 coaching staff are fourth-year assistant coach Lee Pritts, second-year assistant coach Chris Pendleton, and volunteer assistant Jordan Oliver.
Pendleton previously served as an assistant coach at Wyoming for four seasons, and specialized in training the team’s upper weight classes. Pendleton was a two-time NCAA Champion and three-time All-American at Oklahoma State.
Oliver, also a two-time NCAA Champion from Oklahoma State was a four-time All-American for the Cowboys, and set the career record for pins with 54. In his second year with USA Wrestling, Oliver stands as the No. 2 wrestler at 65 kg.