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Olympic sports roundup: ASU wrestling suffers two upsets

ASU wrestling lost duals versus University of Pittsburgh and Princeton, and gymnastics scored the most points in a season-opener in program history

2021 OP: OTT: FINALS

Colton Schultz wrestles Adam Coon at the Olympic Team in Fort Worth, Texas on Saturday, April 3, 2021. Coon won by decision.


Over the weekend, ASU gymnastics had its best season-opening score on Saturday against Michigan, track and field opened up its indoor season at NAU, men's tennis swept GCU and swim and dive honored its seniors. 

Track and Field

ASU track and field kicked off the 2022 indoor season Friday, competing against NAU in Flagstaff. Only the throwers and vaulters participated in this meet, with ASU claiming two golds and six total podium finishes. 

Redshirt senior Turner Washington, last year’s NCAA champion in the discus and indoor and outdoor shot put, took first place in the men’s shot put with a 21.33-meter throw. Graduate student Ian Schulz and freshman Ralford Mullings, took fourth and seventh place, respectively. 

Sophomore Mya Lesnar won first place in the women’s shot put with a 15.65-meter throw. 

Freshman Paris Bond earned herself two podiums in her first meet as a Sun Devil. She placed second in the high jump with a leap of 1.66 meters and finished in a tie for third in the pole vault with teammate Kristen Masucci, reaching a height of 3.65 meters.

The full squad will be competing in the University of New Mexico MLK Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Jan 22. 

Men’s tennis

ASU started the season right against GCU Friday with a 7-0 win at the Whiteman Tennis Center in Tempe. 

The Lopes won only one set in six singles matches and none in three doubles matches. “I thought the team did very well today,” sophomore Max McKennon said. “(Head coach Matt Hill) said it was the cleanest match we ever had.”

The day started with a 6-1 win in doubles from captains McKennon and senior Fabien Salle, who ranked 42nd in the most recent ITA doubles ratings. “Ever since Fabien got to Tempe, we have been close,” McKennon said. “He is one of my best friends on the team.”

Freshman Murphy Cassone and junior Jacob Bullard followed with a 6-2 win in their first spring doubles match for ASU. Freshman Nicola Cigna and junior George Stoupe rounded out doubles play with a 6-4 win in Cigna’s first spring game as a Sun Devil.

ASU continued to dominate by winning each of the six singles matches. The only match that went to three sets was Bullard's against GCU freshman Martim Marujo, who was defeated in the third set 6-1.

“It was fun to see so many new faces, we had four new players in the lineup today,” Hill said. “For them to put on the ASU jersey for the first time and get a win, they did a great job.”

The Sun Devils take on Texas A&M next on Jan. 19 at 1 pm MST. “(The Aggies) are a different caliber of team, their head coach Steve Denton is one of the best in the country,” Hill said. “They’ll be ready and well-prepared, we will be too.”

Swim and Dive

Despite the highly anticipated ASU swim and dive meet versus Utah being canceled due to COVID-19 protocols within Utah’s program, ASU was still able to put on a show in an intrasquad scrimmage while the seniors on the team were honored.

The event started on a joyous note with the seniors accompanied by their loved ones and cheered on by teammates and coaches. 

Once the competition began, the youth on the team showed why the Sun Devils are in good hands moving forward. Freshman Léon Marchand won the 200-yard freestyle with an impressive 1:33.26. Freshman Charli Brown won the women's 100-yard backstroke with a final time of 53.46.

It was not a normal intrasquad scrimmage, as members of ASU’s pro group competed in most of the events. Olympian Olivia Smoliga, 27, won both the women's 200-yard freestyle and the women's 200-yard backstroke. 

As the meet came to a close, Sun Devil fans soaked in every last bit of the meet since ASU will not swim at home for the rest of the season. 

ASU swim and dive will look to start its spring season on a high note when they compete against Stanford on Jan. 21 at 3 p.m. MST. 

Wrestling

No. 6 ASU wrestling suffered its second and third straight losses over the weekend. No. 19 University of Pittsburgh upset ASU 24-19 Friday night.

Despite being heavily favored in the matchup and taking a 6-0 lead by wins from redshirt juniors Brandon Courtney and Michael McGee, ASU struggled late in the meet. 

Redshirt freshman Julian Chlebove was pinned by ACC Wrestler of the Week Cole Matthews to tie the score at six points apiece.

ASU took a 16-6 lead after two decisions and a major decision, but Pittsburgh's James Lledo pinned redshirt freshman Zane Coleman in the 174-pound weight class to cut the deficit to 16-12.

Sun Devil redshirt freshman Josh Nummer encountered a rare stalling disqualification against Gregg Harvey, giving the Panthers the lead for the first time, 18-16.

Pittsburgh's Nino Bonaccorsi then pinned freshman Jake Ortiz to take a 24-16 lead. Although redshirt freshman Cohlton Schultz scored an 18-5 major decision win over Jake Slinger, it was not enough for the Sun Devils to top the Panthers. 

On Sunday morning, ASU suffered its third straight loss, dropping to No. 22 Princeton 20-18.

Princeton's Patrick Glory secured a decision over Courtney to set the tone for the dual.

McGee and Schultz both secured wins in the meet, but ASU failed to secure the victory over Princeton.

ASU hopes to bounce back from its two road losses over the weekend on Jan. 21 against Cal Poly.

Gymnastics

The ASU gymnastics team kicked off its season on Saturday against Michigan, losing 197.950-196.275. Despite the loss, the Sun Devils produced their best season-opening score in program history.

Junior Hannah Scharf started right where she left off last year, scoring a 9.900 on floor and did not record anything less than a 9.850 in any of the four events she competed in. Freshman Alex Theodorou made an immediate impact for the Sun Devils in her debut. She scored the first 9.900 of the season on vault and later added a 9.850 on bars and 9.875 on floor to her statline. 

ASU will look to bounce back and earn its first win of the season against No. 4 Utah on Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. MST in Salt Lake City. 


Reach the reporters at jspange1@asu.edu, vdeange1@asu.edu, rmastey@asu.edu and rgarora@asu.edu, and follow @Jspangenthal94, @vdeangelis2024, @MasteyRemy and @RubyGiaArora on Twitter.

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Justin SpangenthalSports Reporter

Justin Spangenthal is a reporter for The State Press, currently covering Men's Golf and Track and Field. Justin transferred to ASU last January and is planning to graduate Fall '23. He is passionate about journalism and hopes to one day launch his own media outlet.


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