Tommy Schurkamp is ranked first in the latest Pac-10 rankings.
(Mark Honbo, Media Relations)
Feb. 27, 2004
DAVIS, Calif. - The UC Davis wrestling team looks to take a big step toward a prolonged postseason when the Aggies travel to Arizona State on Sunday and Monday for the Pacific-10 Conference Championships.
UC Davis, which finished the dual meet portion of its season with a 6-9 overall record and a 3-5 mark in the Pac-10, finished seventh at last year's championship tournament at Boise State as 157-pounder Jeremiah Jarvis won the program's first-ever conference title. Arizona State scored 134 points to win the team championship last year, followed by Boise State at 127 points and Oregon State in third with 93.50. UC Davis tallied 46.50 points.
The 2004 tournament begins with pigtail and quarterfinal round matches on Sunday at 11 a.m. and continues with consolation and semifinals on Sunday evening. Consolation and semifinal matches are scheduled for Monday afternoon with championship finals and third-place matches set for Monday night. The 14,141-seat Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Ariz., will host the event.
A total of 41 berths to the national tourmament are up for grabs at the two-day tournament with the top three spots in each weight class advancing.
Jarvis advanced to the NCAA Division I Championships in 2003 for the second straight year and looks to become the only Aggie to earn a spot in three consecutive national tournaments. He earned a spot in the conference final for the second consecutive year last season - only the second Aggie to do so - beating Brian Cobb of Cal State Bakersfield in the finals.
UC Davis finished a program-best sixth place in 2002, sending three wrestlers to the national tournament for then first-year coach Lennie Zalesky.
"There are going to be a lot of close matches and we just hope we can be on the positive side of those outcomes," said Zalesky, a former three-time All-America wrestler at powerhouse University of Iowa. "The top four or six spots in each weight class should be battles."
UC Davis has four wrestlers ranked in the top half of the most recent Pac-10 rankings, including 125-pounder Tommy Schurkamp, who is ranked first. Brandon Bear is ranked second at 184 pounds, and Michael Font (165) and Jarvis are each fifth. Bear enters the meet with a 14-match winning streak, so it'll be tough."
"If we wrestle to our potential, we could advance four or six guys to nationals," Zalesky said. "However, our best wrestlers are in the toughest weight classes."
The NCAA Championships will be held Mar. 18-20 at St. Louis, Mo.
UC DAVIS LINEUP FOR PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS
125 - Tommy Schurkamp (14-4)
133 - Derek Moore (18-6)
141 - Cris Brines (4-8)
149 - Kevin Jones (13-16)
157 - Jeremiah Jarvis (14-7)
165 - Michael Font (14-10)
174 - Frank Richmond (12-14)
184 - Brandon Bear (19-7)
197 - Michael Clarkston (11-14)
285 - Dan Schon
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