No. 16 Cal Poly wrestling’s late surge was not enough to top No. 5 Arizona State in their first dual match of the season, as they fell 20-18 on Monday, Jan. 24 inside Mott Athletics Center.
Cal Poly only won four of the 10 bouts, but in their six losses, five were decided by five points or less. This is a complete turnaround from their meeting last season, when the Sun Devils routed the Mustangs 34-6 in Tempe.
Redshirt sophomore Adam Kemp, ranked No. 9 in the country by InterMat, started the match with a 14-5 major decision in the 174-pound weight class. Kemp’s win made him 10-2 this season and gave the Mustangs an early 4-0 lead.
The 184-pound weight class followed, with Cal Poly sending redshirt sophomore Bernie Truax to the mat. The current No. 6 wrestler in his weight class dominated, winning his match 12-1 and pushing the Cal Poly lead to 10-0. Truax improved to 7-1 on the season with his win.
Following the two wins from the Mustangs to start, four straight wins from the Sun Devils gave them a 14-10 advantage. Sophomore Trent Tracy fell 5-2 in the 197-pound match, redshirt junior Samuel Aguilar lost 8-3 in the 285-pound bout, 30th-ranked redshirt freshman Antonio Lorenzo was defeated 8-5 in the 125-pound weight class and freshman Abe Hinrichsen lost 18-1 in his 133-pound match.
Redshirt sophomore Lawrence Saenz then tied the match up at 14-14 with his 12-4 major decision in the 141-pound division. As the No. 29 wrestler in his weight class, Saenz improved to 7-3 on the season.
In the 149-pound bout, 18th-ranked redshirt freshman Legend Lamer fell 6-3, which dropped him to 7-3 this season. The loss gave the Sun Devils a 17-14 lead with only two bouts to go.
Then redshirt junior Brawley Lamer fell 15-10 in the 157-pound match. Arizona State pushed their lead to 20-14, which meant that Cal Poly needed a pin to force a tie for the dual.
In the final bout, redshirt senior Evan Wick stepped to the mat in the 165-pound division. Sitting at No. 2 in the nation, Wick won by major decision 9-1, which moved him to 10-0 on the season. However, he did not get the pin and the Mustangs fell short in the dual, 20-18.
Cal Poly will be back in action when they travel to Little Rock on Sunday, Jan. 30, where they will face Little Rock at 8 a.m. and Northern Illinois at 10 a.m.