The NCAA wrestling championships took place this past weekend in Detroit, Michigan, and ASU finished fourth overall in the team rankings. The Sun Devil faithful had their eyes on redshirt freshman Cohlton Schultz as he competed in the 285lb heavyweight matchup against Gable Steveson of Minnesota.
Schultz was able to get on the scoreboard thanks to an escape, but Steveson dominated the opening frame and took a 4-1 lead going into the second period.
Steveson took a commanding 5-1 headed into the final period as Schultz faces a large deficit in the heavyweight championship.
In the closing seconds, the crowd rose to their feet as they could feel Steveson pulling away as he came away with a 6-2 victory over Schultz.
Following the heavyweight victory, the NCAA announced Steveson as the most outstanding wrestler of the 2022 D1 NCAA Wrestling Championships.
Cohlton Schultz ends his freshman campaign with a 22-1 regular-season record and is the runner-up in the 285lb heavyweight class.
Redshirt junior Brandon Courtney was the only other Sun Devil who made it to the semi-finals. Graduate student Nick Suriano of Michigan, the top seed of the weight class, beat Courtney en route to his first-place finish.
Redshirt junior Michael McGee also made it to the third round but lost in a 5-1 decision.
Overall, the Sun Devils were fourth in the final team standings as they finished with 66.5 total points, as they were the only non-Big-10 team to finish in the top five.
Swim and dive
The ASU women's swim and dive team competed at the NCAA tournament over a three-day span as the Sun Devils showed signs of improvement in the final competition of the season.
On day one of the tournament, the Sun Devils finished the 800-yard freestyle relay in 11th place. Senior Erica Laning, senior Emma Nordin, sophomore Lindsay Looney and freshman Erin Milligan finished with an overall time of 6:59.71.
The four swimmers also broke their personal best score on the 800-yard freestyle relay with a time of 7:03.49 which was previously set during the Pac-12 tournament in February.
On day two, Nordin and Laning each earned top-15 finishes in the 500-yard freestyle as Laning placed 13th with a time of 4:38.90 and Nordin placed in 14th with a time of 4:39.17.
Day three was more of the same as Nordin placed in the top-15 yet again finishing in 15th place in the 200-yard freestyle final with a score of 1:45.51.
Once the tournament was all set and done, the Sun Devils placed 26th overall out of the 39 schools competing.
Despite the women's swim and dive season coming to a close, the men's team is scheduled to compete at the NCAA tournament from March 23-26 in Atlanta, Georgia, the divers will compete on March 7-9 in Flagstaff.
The ASU gymnastics team finished in fifth at the 2022 Pac-12 Championships as they finished with an overall score of 196.675.
The Gym Devils were strongest on vault where all five gymnasts competing scored a 9.800 or better. Freshman Alex Theodorou put up a team-high on vault of 9.900 which tied for second among all Pac-12 gymnasts on vault.
The Gym Devils will find out their fate on the NCAA Selection Show Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. MST where they will be placed for the NCAA Regionals.
Track and field
The home of ASU Track and field, Sun Angel Stadium, was finally back in action this weekend for the first time since 2019 as the team opened up its outdoor season in Tempe.
The Baldy Castillo Invitational took place from Mar. 18-19 and saw some top-tier competition come to town. ASU hosted seven universities, all with nationally ranked men’s or women’s squads, including five top-15 rankings.
Freshman Dayton Carlson competed as a cross country athlete for ASU last fall with varied success. On Saturday Carlson competed as a track athlete in the men’s 800 meter race for the first time and took home the gold medal with a time of 1:50.96.
Junior jumper Grace Campbell earned herself another gold medal in the high jump event with a personal-best height of 1.75-meters. Campbell was the first to clear the jump, giving her the tiebreaker win over the runner-up. Her 1.75-meter mark is tied for eighth-best in ASU outdoor history.
Sophomore Sprinter Jamar Marshall Jr. follows up his bronze medal performance at the NCAA indoor championships with a gold medal performance on Saturday. After winning the preliminary race, Marshall Jr. topped it off by winning the final with a time of 13.60 seconds, just .06 seconds shy of the meet record.
Junior pole vaulter Sevanna Hanson dominated her event, only fouling once to achieve her winning vault of 4.10-meters. Her teammate, junior Kristen Masucci, finished in third place with a vault of 3.85-meters.
During the indoor season, the throwers were only competing in the shot put event. Finally being able to deploy his full arsenal of throwers, assistant coach Brian Blutreich elected to see what his young up-and-comers could do in their first outdoor competitions.
Freshman Ralford Mullings was the talk of the meet on Friday due to his massive first two throws of the discus. On his first throw at his first discus competition at ASU, he threw for 61.89-meters and had all the other throwing coaches in awe. Mullings followed it up with the second-best mark in ASU history, behind redshirt senior Turner Washington of course, with a toss of 62.47-meters.
In the hammer throw, graduate student Beatrice Llano began right where she left off last year easily winning the event with a throw of 67.52-meters. Her only close competition was her teammate, redshirt junior Shelby Moran, who finished second with 65.16-meters. No other athletes hit 60-meters.
Fellow freshman Faith Bender earned the silver medal in the Women's discus event in her first event as a Sun Devil. Bender finished just two inches shy of the first place throw and was frustrated with how her first event ended. Sophomore Mya Lesnar's first outdoor shot put event saw her finish with a silver medal as well. Lesnar fell runner-up to a throw that shattered the meet record by two feet.
The Sun Devils will be back in Sun Angel Stadium next weekend for the ASU Invitational from March 25-26. It will be a battle for Arizona as all four major athletic teams representing the copper state will be in attendance, UA, NAU, GCU and ASU.
ASU beach volleyball traveled to Fort Worth, Texas last weekend to participate in the Fight in the Fort tournament. The Sand Devils went 3-1, beating Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Louisiana-Monroe and New Orleans while losing to No. 3 TCU.
After ASU's trip to Texas, the team now sits at 10-6 overall and 2-0 in the conference.
No. 9 ASU Women's Water Polo lost a conference game 15-7 against No. 4 Cal on Friday at home despite another record-setting day from freshman Vanda Baksa. That drops the Sun Devils to 13-9 on the season and 1-2 in conference play.
With her tenth hat-trick in the past 11 games, Baksa is now in sole possession of the freshman goals record with 64, and also holds the assist (42) and points (106) record for freshman as well. She currently leads the NCAA in goals, points, and field blocks (18), and is second in assists.
Cal got off to an early start in Friday's contest, scoring the first two goals in the opening period. Baksa got her first goal at the end to make it 2-1 Cal at the end of the first quarter. Cal outscored ASU in the second period 4-2 despite two more goals from Baksa.
The Sun Devils fought back in the third period with two goals from sophomore Luca Petovary and senior Emma Fraser, but the Golden Bears quickly matched with two goals of their own. Even with another goal from Petovary and one from freshman Bianca Becerra, Cal finished the game scoring four straight and secured their victory.
ASU has two conference games left on the schedule before postseason play begins. The Sun Devils will have a week off before their next contest against No. 2 UCLA on the first Saturday in April.
No. 11 Sun Devil women's golf finished fourth in the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge this past weekend with another strong showing from senior Alexandra Forsterling.
The Sun Devils competed against nine other Women's Golf Coaches Association Poll Top-25 teams, only falling to No. 3 Oregon (-4), No. 4 Wake Forest (+3), and No. 6 Virginia (+12). They finished with a respectable +13, beating No. 12 Texas (+21) by eight strokes.
Forsterling continued her remarkable senior season, finishing third place in a field that included 30 of the Top-100 ranked golfers in the country. She finished four under par and was one of the five golfers to shoot under par in the event.
Freshman Calynne Rosholt continued her strong start to the season, finishing in the Top-10 once again with +3. Finishing in a tie for 10th, she has yet to finish outside the Top-20 this season. In seven starts, this is her fourth Top-10 finish.
Sophomore Ashley Menne finished in a tie for 23rd, finishing +6 and accumulating seven birdies. Senior Alessandra Fanali shot +8, finishing in a tie for 30th. Junior Amanda Linner finished +20 and had eight birdies.
The Sun Devils compete next in their home tournament, as they host the PING/ASU Invitational from March 25-27 at Papago Golf Club.
ASU women's lacrosse fell to 2-1 in Pac-12 play after losing 19-11 on Friday afternoon at Stanford.
Five Sun Devils found the score sheet against the Cardinal. Graduate attacker Emily Glagolev led the Sun Devils with five goals, Taylor Pinzone following close behind with three. Graduate midfielder Maddy Hunter, graduate attackers Emily Munro and Carley Adams each added one.
Freshman goalkeeper Katie Vahle started her sixth straight game in the net, making six saves and allowing 16 goals. Sophomore goalkeeper Flynn Murphy was subbed into the game at the end of the third quarter, making two saves and allowing three goals.
ASU and Stanford went 17-17 on draw controls throughout the game, but Stanford outshot ASU 35-34 to take the win.
The Sun Devils finish out the California road trip at Cal on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. MST and USC on Friday at 4:00 p.m. MST.
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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.
Kathryn Field is a sports editor at The State Press. Kathryn has previously worked as a full time reporter at The State Press, covering women’s basketball and lacrosse.
Walker Smith is a sports editor in the digital department of the State Press. He has previously worked as a reporter on the sports desk and works for Blaze Radio and interned at Big Slate Media in broadcast productions.
Aaron Schmidt is a sports reporter who covers ASU Baseball and ASU Women’s Golf for The State Press. He previously covered Higley High School football for AZPreps365.