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Olympic sports roundup: Wrestling falls to Mizzou, 19-14 at home

ASU wrestling lost in its highly anticipated matchup, water polo had two wins at home and gymnastics beat UA in its territorial cup

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ASU redshirt junior Brandon Courtney looks to pin down his opponent during a match against No. 25 Oregon State on Sunday, January 30, 2022, at Desert Financial Arena. ASU won 20-17.


ASU wrestling dropped a highly anticipated matchup against No. 10 Mizzou on Feb. 12 in Tempe, a match that ended the team's five-match win streak. The team has one more competition before the Pac-12 tournament at the beginning of March.

Wrestling

No. 10 Missouri visited Tempe to square off against an ASU team looking to pull off the upset as it has its eyes set on the Pac-12 tournament. 

"I think there were some good takeaways from today's match but certainly some disappointments," head coach Zeke Jones said postgame. 

Kyle Parco continued his stellar season for the Sun Devils, as he came away with an electrifying 3-1 victory. The match seemed to be in anyone's hands going into the third period. In the closing seconds, Parco was able to put Josh Edmond to the mat for the match sealing a two-point takeaway. 

Jacori Teemer and Jarret Jacques was a nail-biter, after several stalemates the two wrestlers found themselves tied after three periods. Teemer prevailed in sudden death overtime with a two-point takedown as he came away with the 3-1 victory. 

Valencia versus O'Toole was another top-10 match for Anthony Valencia and company. Valencia and Keegan O’Toole went toe to toe with one another, as the match came down to the wire. O'Toole was able to pin Valencia in the final minute of the third period and escaped with a 6-2 victory.

In the 184 lbs. weight class, it was another electrifying match. Josh Nummer and Jeremiah Kent went down to the final seconds of the third period. This match included many stalemates and various escape points. However, Kent was able to come away with a 5-2 victory after a last-second takedown. 

While Kordell Norfleet opened up the scoring against Rocky Elam. A controversial fight ended in a 4-2 loss for Norfleet as ASU lost a critical challenge to seal the victory for Elam.

 "There were a lot of 50-50 calls and some went our way, Jones said. "I'd like to see more go our way in the future."

In the end, the Tigers came away with a 19-14 victory. ASU will now look ahead to Lehigh next Saturday in Tempe for its last match before the Pac-12 tournament.

Track and field

ASU track and field competed in three separate meets over the weekend. The long-distance runners traveled to the University of Washington again, the sprinters went to the University of Arkansas while the rest of the team was at the University of New Mexico for the fourth and final time this season.

At the Don Kirby Invitational hosted by UNM, the throwers continued to perform as Redshirt Senior Turner Washington earned first place with a throw of 20.69-meters, beating the runner-up by over two meters. Graduate Student Ian Schulz earned fourth with a throw of 18.12-meters, missing out on a second place by less than half a meter.

Graduate Student Jorinde Van Klinken missed the gold medal by one-hundredth of a meter to the No. 20 ranked women's shot put thrower in the world, Jessica Woodard. Redshirt sophomore Mya Lesnar secured a third-place finish with a throw of 16.41-meters, which ties her PR.

Sophomore jumper Dylan James earned a second-place finish in the men's triple jump event with a personal best jump of 15.77-meters. He is now eighth-all time in the record books.

In Arkansas at the Tyson Invitational, Sophomore sprinter Jamar Marshall Jr. set his season-best mark of 7.68 seconds in the 60-meter hurdle event, but due to the top-tier national talent at the meet, Marshall Jr. came in fourth place. Florida State senior and Bowerman Watchlist finalist, Trey Cunningham, set the meet record and his PR with a time of 7.42 seconds.

At the Washington Husky Classic, the long-distance squad saw only one Sun Devil finish within the top-20, Junior Vincent Mauri, who competed in the men's 3000-meter run and finished with a time of 8:03.43.

With the 2022 indoor season coming to a close, the Sun Devils will begin preparing for the Pac-12 Invitational in Seattle, WA and the USA Track and Field Indoor Championship in Eugene, Oregon, with both meets scheduled to take place from Feb. 25-26. 

The NCAA Indoor Championships are creeping closer, which will take place from Mar. 11-12 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Water polo

No. 9 ASU water polo team was cooking with gas this weekend after routing Cal State East Bay 19-10 and Salem 22-5 during the ASU Invitational.

Throughout the weekend, 13 different Sun Devil players scored and five of them had hat tricks, including sophomore attacker Abby Begg, who notched two hat tricks this weekend.

“We needed this psychologically for our confidence,” head coach Todd Clapper said. “We put the ball away and got lots of opportunities to score. It’s really good to see the evolution of our game.”

Friday’s game against CSUEB started close, with the two teams tied at three apiece after one quarter. In the second, ASU proceeded to assert themselves in the game, with the Sun Devils going on a 7-0 run with goals from six different players. The scoring was started by senior Bori Kekesi, and sophomore Luca Petovary contributed two goals in the period.

Graduate student and captain Amira Van Buren opened the third period with a goal. Clapper let his entire roster play in the second half since the game was at hand, including freshman goalies Marie Rudasics and Molly Ostrowski, who allowed a combined seven goals to the Sun Devil’s nine in the third and fourth quarters.

The game against Salem was more of the same for ASU. Freshman Vanda Baksa started the game with two goals in the first two and a half minutes and fellow freshman Stevilyn Griffin made it 3-0 with four minutes left in the first period. Salem did their best to keep up, scoring three to ASU’s seven in the first.

The Sun Devils dominated the Tigers from there on, scoring 12 straight goals in the second and third quarters. Baksa finished the game with five goals on five shots. Freshman Bianca Becerra also had herself a day with four goals on six shots with one assist.

The Sun Devil defense was on point all weekend as well, accumulating 21 steals through both games and only having five exclusions against Salem.

"The team did a great job playing defense," Clapper said. "We got on the counter and they found their teammates to score fast."

With some rejuvenated confidence, ASU will travel to the Barbara Kalbus Tournament at UCI next Friday to Sunday. Games and times will be announced later in the week.

Gymnastics

ASU gymnastics team beat its bitter rival, the UA Wildcats, in the Gymnastics Territorial Cup 196.600 to 196.400, beating its previous season-high score of 196.550.

The Gym Devils started their first routine on a high note as Hannah Scharf tied her career-high on bars with a 9.900 while Gracie Reeves earned a 9.800 in her season debut on bars. 

ASU continued its dominance by putting up a total of 49.275 on vault, which matched its season-high on the routine. It was Scharf and Alex Theodorou who led the way for the Gym Devils each scoring a 9.900. 

The meet took an unexpected turn when ASU scored a 9.800 or below on three of its floor routines. It was Sarah Clark and Theodorou’s 9.825 that kept the Gym Devils afloat going into the final round.

When it came time for the beam, the Gym Devils knew it was time to step up. They were able to close the round with over 9.800 finishes from three out of the six gymnasts which secured the win. 

The Gym Devils look to keep their momentum riding on Friday, Feb. 20, at 3 p.m. MST when they face UCLA in Tempe.


Reach the reporters at jspange1@asu.edu, rmastey@asu.edu, whsmith8@asu.edu and nnath2@asu.edu and follow @Jspangenthal94, @MasteyRemy, @WalkerrTR, and @NathNikash on Twitter.


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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