The Arizona wrestling season has a new event that is expected to become one of the state's signature events. The inaugural Blackford Duals is in remembrance of Arizona State great Steve Blackford, who was killed on Sept. 3, 2004 in a car accident.
The event will be Dec. 28 and 29 at Wells Fargo Arena, with 30 teams from around the state and from every division participating.
With it being the first year, and some teams already committed to out-of-state events, the field is expected to become stronger in the years to come with the hope of becoming the unofficial "state tournament" for the dual meet format.
There are eight pools made up of four teams (one of them has five) with the winner from each pool advancing to a second-day of action.
Blackford, an Iowa native, was one of the most successful Sun Devils as he compiled a 138-30 record, was a three-time All-American, and was named the Pac-10 wrestler of the year in 2000.