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With Pac-12 play ahead, ASU wrestling looks to return to early-season form

After starting the year 3-0, ASU has lost three straight matches

210102 wrestling

Then-redshirt freshman wrestler Cohlton Schultz pins Little Rock wrestler Gabriel Beyer in Desert Financial Arena on Saturday Jan. 2, 2021. Schultz won his bout against Beyer 2-0.

After a 20-18 loss to Princeton last Sunday, ASU men's wrestling has now lost three straight matches after starting off strong with three straight wins. 

The Sun Devils are still the No. 11 team in the country and will begin facing Pac-12 competition. 

While many teams may panic about losing three straight, head coach Zeke Jones said he isn't worried about his nationally ranked team. 

"COVID took us for a loop, over the past three years we only lost two matches," Jones said. "We have lost three matches in four weeks, (but) in reality we are wrestling really well."

The wrestling team won a combined 22 matches and lost just two across the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. The team's 2021-22 record is currently 3-3. 

This Sun Devils team is full of wrestlers who have started the year dominating in their respective weight classes. 

Redshirt freshman Kyle Parco started the year with a very impressive 12-1 in the 149-pound weight class. Parco currently sits ninth in his weight class and he is the only freshman to rank in the top 10.

Redshirt sophomore Jacori Teemer has had a flawless start to the season for ASU, with a perfect 10-0 record. He currently ranks third in the 157-pound weight class. 

Redshirt junior Michael McGee has had a stellar start to his season, he currently sits fourth in the 133-pound weight class. McGee has improved each and every year of his wrestling career and he is always looking to improve day by day.

"I still got a lot of things to work on, regardless of a win or loss we are still trying to find things that we can improve on for the rest of the year," McGee said. 

Reigning four-time Pac-12 champion redshirt senior Anthony Valencia has placed himself sixth in the 165-pound weight class. Valencia has started his senior campaign with a flawless 12-0 start for the second-straight season. 

On Monday, ASU will travel to take on Cal Poly where Valencia will face off against the No. 1 wrestler in the country, Evan Wick.

 "I don't game plan too much, I don't watch how other people wrestle, I believe I'm the best wrestler in my weight class, so if I wrestle how I wrestle I'll be able to get the win," Valencia said. 

ASU will look to put an end to their three-game skid during their upcoming road trip against fellow Pac-12 opponents CSU Bakersfield and Cal Poly. 

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