Sixth-ranked Ohio State is in first place with 69 points after the first day of the 2011 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational on Friday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. No. 9 Michigan is in second place with 63.5 points, while No. 3 Cornell rounds out the Top 3 with 61 points.
With five wrestlers set to compete in the semifinals, the Buckeyes will return to action at noon ET Saturday with consolation action, while the semifinals will begin at 1 p.m. ET.
Freshman Hunter Stieber (141) arguably scored the biggest win of the tournament when he downed No. 1 Kellen Russell of Michigan, 6-5, thanks to a takedown in the waning seconds of the third period. Earlier in the day, Stieber, who hails from Monroeville, Ohio, recorded a major decision against Brown’s Zachary Tanenbaum, 10-1.
Johnni Dijulius (125) and Logan Stieber (133) were the first pair of Buckeyes to advance to the semifinals Friday night courtesy of bonus-point wins.
A true freshman, Dijulius wrapped up the day with a 15-6 major decision vs. Tyler Iwamur of Cal State-Bakersfield. Dijulius, from Aurora, Ohio, began the day with an 11-8 victory against North Dakota State’s Trent Sprenkle.
Stieber won all three of his matches Friday via pins, including a 49-second pin in the second round against Shawn Jones of Boise State. Prior to that, he pinned North Carolina’s Brock Livorio in 1:43. Stieber ended the evening pinning Harvard’s Steven Keith near the 4:40 mark.
Redshirt-sophomore Nick Heflin (174) was the fourth Buckeye to advance to the semifinals after posting a 3-2 decision against Patrick Martinez of Wyoming. Heflin opened the tournament with a 5-1 victory against Lance Bryson of West Virginia before defeating Arizona State’s Jacob Graham 11-3 in the second round.
Peter Capone, a redshirt sophomore from Johnson City, N.Y., secured his place in the semifinals courtesy of his 5-2 win over Michigan’s Ben Apland. Capone’s previous match was a hard-fought 2-1 tiebreaking win vs. Ernest James of Edinboro. That win was after an 11-2 victory in the first round vs. Leonard Romero of Menlo Calif.
Cam Tessari, a native of Monroeville, Ohio, dropped to the wrestleback bracket after suffering a 7-4 defeat to Air Force’s Cole VonOhlen. In the opening session, Tessari won back-to-back matches, both by decision. In his first bout, Tessari downed Jonathan Burns of North Carolina 8-2, before beating Hofstra’s Justin Accordino, 8-3.
C.J. Magrum, a redshirt junior from Oak Harbor, Ohio, also will contend for third place after dropping a 16-1 decision to No. 2 seed Joe LeBlanc of Wyoming in the quarterfinals. Magrum started the day strong with a 2:49 pin against Stanford’s Spence Patrick. Magrum then decisioned Hofstra’s Ben Clymer in a 4-3 tiebreaking thriller.
Joining Tessari and Magrum in their attempts to finish in the top three is freshman Andrew Campolattano. Campolattano, a Bound Brook, N.J., native, lost a close 6-4 decision in sudden victory to Taylor Meeks of Oregon State after notching consecutive wins. Campolattano earned a 52-second pin against North Idaho College’s Justin Korthuis and followed with an 8-3 decision against Mac Mancuso.
At 157 pounds, redshirt freshman Josh Demas rebounded from a first-round 8-2 setback to win three consecutive matches in consolation action. A 4-3 decision against Victor DeJesus of Arizona State began the run and that win was followed by a 5-4 triumph vs. Shawn Perry of Wisconsin. Demas concluded the day with a 3-1 win against Napoleon Aniciete of Utah Valley.