Oct. 25, 2008
TEMPE, Ariz. - With over 250 fans in attendance, including several former All-Americans and NCAA Champions, the Arizona State University wrestling program held its annual Maroon and Gold Wrestle-Offs Saturday morning at the Riches Wrestling Complex with the Gold team scoring a 28-16 victory in the team standings. Coached by former Sun Devil and current UFC fighter C.B. Dollaway, the Gold team won six of the 10 bouts contested to defeat the Maroon side that was led by former Sun Devil and current UFC Ultimate Fighter Season 8 contestant Ryan Bader.
While there were several thrilling victories on the mats, there also were many victories off the mats as the wrestling community again helped the Sun Devil program and their quest to fully endow the program as nearly $11,000 in both cash contributions and donor commitments were recorded on the day. All the money raised is going toward the Save ASU Wrestling Endowment fund that will ensure the future of the program.
On the mats, Ben Ashmore (maroon) got things going in a hurry at 125 pounds as he scored an early takedown of Jason Carrillo and worked on a turn before sticking Carrillo for the pin at 2:59, just one second before the end of the first period. Ashmore’s exhibition bout victory staked the maroon team to an early 6-0 lead. Just as quickly as the maroon team got on the board, the gold squad answered as Anthony Robles, the preseason No. 8 wrestler in the nation, recorded an early takedown of his own over David Prado and collected several turns for three near-fall points to build a 15-0 lead in the first period and claim a technical fall victory and the starting position for the Sun Devils.
Leading 6-5, maroon’s Tyler Bowles padded his squad’s lead as he downed Angel Alegre, 4-0, at 133 pounds to push the advantage to 9-5 and set up a showdown with Orlando Jimenez later in the week to determine the starter. Maroon raised its lead to 13-5 following the 141 bout as Chris Drouin, ranked No. 7 in the preseason polls, picked up a 13-3 major decision over Travis Forester. But, that lead was cut down again at 149 pounds as the gold team’s Vicente Varela pinned Tony Ruiz in 2:28 to earn six team points and push the score to 13-11 in favor of the maroon team after the 149 bout.
At the halfway point, former Sun Devil Markus Mollica was introduced to the crowd and the recent ASU Hall of Fame inductee spoke to everyone about his time as a Sun Devil and the wrestling facility. The four-time All-American and two-time NCAA champion was on hand after his enshrinement into the Hall on Friday night and his appearance at the ASU-Oregon football game Saturday night.
With the intermission over, the wrestling resumed with Jerrad Trulson scoring a 13-2 major decision over Josh Calteux at 157 pounds to put the gold team on top, 15-13. With the lead in hand, the gold team would extend the lead with wins in the next three bouts to build a 28-13 advantage with one bout to go. At 165 pounds, Kyle DeBerry picked up a 12-1 major decision over the maroon team’s Sal Musto before Jake Meredith won by injury default at 184 pounds over Jake Cranford just 2:43 into the match. The gold team’s final victory came at 197 with Thor Moen securing a 6-2 win over Nick Williams. The final bout of the day saw Erik Nye win a 7-0 decision over Imanibom Etukeren to give the maroon team three more points and a 28-16 victory for the gold team.
Dollaway and Bader were not the only alums in attendance as two-time All-American and current UFC fighter Cain Velasquez was mat side, as well as many other former Sun Devils, including former NCAA Champion Eddie Urbano (150 pounds in 1985). Current WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner, who trains at Arizona Combat Sports with Dollaway and Bader, was on hand as well.
Prior to the start of the wrestle-offs, Urbano and Patrick Pitsch, a three-time Pac-10 Champion for the Sun Devils, conducted a free technique clinic for the youth wrestlers. Nearly 50 wrestlers were in attendance as the former Sun Devils demonstrated takedown techniques and other wrestling moves.
While many of the weight class starters were determined on Saturday, a few question marks remain and will be answered in the coming week, including the starters at 133 (Jimenez vs. Bowles), 157 (Trulson vs. Michael Swigart) and 174 (Eric Starks vs. Emilio Veramontes), a bout that was not contested Saturday due to an injury. Once the starters are determined, the Sun Devils will open their 2008-09 campaign on Saturday, November 8, when they take on Pac-10 foe UC Davis at 7 p.m. inside Mesa High School.
2008 Sun Devil Wrestle-Offs
Saturday, October 25
Team Dollaway (Gold) defeats Team Bader (Maroon), 28-16
125 - Ben Ashmore (M) pinned Jason Carrillo (G), 2:59 (Maroon leads, 6-0)
125 - Anthony Robles (G) tech fall David Prado (M), 15-0 (Maroon leads, 6-5)
133 - Tyler Bowles (M) dec. Angel Alegre (G), 4-0 (Maroon leads, 9-5)
141 - Chris Drouin (M) major Travis Forester (G), 13-3 (Maroon leads, 13-5)
149 - Vicente Varela (G) pinned Tony Ruiz (M), 2:28 (Maroon leads, 13-11)
157 - Jerrad Trulson (G) major Josh Calteux (M), 13-2 (Gold leads, 15-13)
165 - Kyle DeBerry (G) major Sal Musto (M), 12-1 (Gold leads, 19-13)
184 - Jake Meredith (G) defeated Jake Cranford (M), injury at 2:43 (Gold leads, 25-13)
197 - Thor Moen (G) dec. Nick Williams (M), 6-2 (Gold leads, 28-13)
285 - Erik Nye (M) dec. Imanibom Etukeren (G), 7-0 (Gold wins, 28-16)