Notebook: Michigan Dominates
BIG BLUE: Four University of Michigan wrestlers won their individual weight classes as the third-ranked Wolverines won their second straight Cliff Keen Invitational team title in Las Vegas last weekend. Michigan totaled 145 points at the 50-team tournament, out-distancing second-place Cornell by 29 points.
Senior co-captains Ryan Churella and Greg Wagner defended their individual crowns at 165 pounds and heavyweight, respectively. Churella, ranked third in his weight class in the NWCA/Intermat/NWMA poll, defeated No. 4 Matt Pell of Missouri in the championship final to earn the tournaments outstanding wrestler award. The third-ranked Wagner downed No. 4 Cain Velasquez of Arizona State, 6-2, in the heavyweight final to win his second straight Cliff Keen title.
Josh Churella pinned Cal Davis Derek Moore in 6:47 to win the 141-pound title, while Steve Luke knocked off the nations top wrestler at 157 pounds, Illinois Alex Tirapelle, after two tiebreakers.
BACK IN THE SADDLE: Navys Joe Baker garnered most outstanding wrestler honors at the Nittany Lion Open last weekend after cruising through the 133-pound weight class in his first competition since suffering a shoulder injury last year. Baker wrestled unattached at the tournament and will join the team during the second semester.
Baker, a freshman from Poway, Calif., was one of 10 Navy wrestlers that placed in the top eight of their weight classes. He edged No. 5 Evan Sola of North Carolina in the quarterfinals, downed teammate Brad Canterbury in the semifinals and beat Penns Matt Eveleth, 7-4, to capture the individual crown.
STILL ROLLING: Top-ranked Oklahoma State extended its dual winning streak to 22 straight meets after cruising to a 31-6 win against No. 10 Lehigh on Dec. 2.
No. 2 Johny Hendricks upended top-ranked Troy Letters, 5-2, handing the senior only the fifth loss of his career. Hendricks scored three points in the third period, including two on a takedown with 24 seconds left in the match. Two of Letters losses have been at Oklahoma States Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Jake Rosholt, who had earned Big 12 Wrestler of the Month for November earlier in the week, squeaked by Mountainhawks Paul Weibel, 8-7, at 197 pounds. Rosholt is the No. 1 wrestler in his weight class.
PERFECT STARTS: Edinboro Universitys Shawn Bunch and Gregor Gillespie both turned in a pair of 6-0 records at the Cliff Keen Las Vegan Invitational to capture the 133 and 149-pound titles, respectively, to help the Fighting Scots finish fourth in the tournaments team standings last weekend.
Bunch improved his season record to 16-0 with the six wins which concluded with a 5-3 victory over No. 8 Matt Valenti of Pennsylvania. The senior from Leavenworth, Kan., is now 108-22 during his career.
Gillespie, a true freshman from Webster, N.Y., earned his third tournament title of the season as he posted a 14-3 major decision over Purdues Doug Withstandley in the championship final. Withstandley entered the tournament ranked No. 7 and seeded second. Gillespie is now 18-0 on the season.
RECORD WEEKEND: University at Buffalo senior Kyle Cerminara set a school record for career victories as he won five matches to capture the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational individual title at 197 pounds last weekend. He was the first Bulls wrestler to win an individual crown at the 50-team tournament.
Cerminara earned the record on a 9-0 win over Cal State Fullertons Chris Chambers in the second round of the tournament and defeated 10th-ranked Jerry Rinaldi of Cornell in the final. He now has 117 career wins after starting the season on a 19-match winning streak.