Behind five true freshmen and a pair of redshirt freshmen, sixth-ranked Ohio State captured the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational on Saturday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Michigan finished second, while Wyoming rounded out the top three.
Logan Stieber, a redshirt freshman from Monroeville, Ohio, not only earned the individual title at 133 pounds, but his 10-5 win against Aaron Schopp of Edinboro in the final lifted the Scarlet and Gray to the team title as well. After an initial day in which he pinned all three of his opponents, L. Stieber began the second day of competition with a 14-6 major decision win against Michigan’s Zach Stevens.
The Buckeyes were also backed by two runner-up finishes by freshman Hunter Stieber (141) and redshirt-sophomore Peter Capone (HWT). Following his exciting win against No. 1 Kellen Russell of Michigan the day before, H. Stieber met fifth-ranked Michael Mangrum in the final and dropped a 6-3 decision. In the semifinals, Hunter, the younger brother of Logan, defeated Tyler Small of Kent State, 6-2.
Capone, a Johnson City, N.Y., native, recorded a 5-2 victory against Levi Cooper of Arizona State as one of the remaining four in the heavyweight bracket, but then suffered a setback in the final against Clayton Jack of Oregon State. At the 6:51 mark, Capone was pinned by the eighth-ranked Jack.
Redshirt sophomore Nick Heflin finished third at 174 pounds. The Buckeye from Massillon, Ohio, was able to rebound from a 3-2 loss to Cal Poly’s Ryan DesRoches and win back-to-back matches for the top-three finish. In the wrestlebacks, Heflin downed Indiana’s Ryan Leblanc 3-1 in sudden victory before posting a 3-2 triumph in the third-place matchup vs. Patrick Martinez. It was the second meeting in the tournament between Heflin and Martinez and Heflin won the first meeting by the same 3-2 score.
After posting a 2-0 record on day one, 125-pounder Johnni Dijulius lost, 5-2, to Cornell’s Frank Perrelli in the semifinals. However, Dijulius, a true freshman from Aurora, Ohio, answered with another win against Trent Sprenkle of North Dakota State. The previous day, Dijulius downed Sprenkle, 11-8. Competing for third place, Dijulius matched up against Hofstra’s Steve Bonanno and fell, 8-2, for a fourth-place finish.
Wrestling four times Saturday, redshirt junior C.J. Magrum was fifth at 184 pounds. A 9-4 victory against Thomas Ferguson of North Carolina preceded advancement on a Matt Ryan (West Virginia) forfeit. What came next were back-to-back tiebreaker bouts en route to the top-five finish. First, Magrum, who hails from Oak Harbor, Ohio, dropped a tough 3-1 tiebreaker to Boise State’s Jacob Swartz. However, Magrum countered with a 3-1 tiebreaker win of his own when he beat Luke Rebertus of Navy.
Like Magrum, freshman Cam Tessari also wrestled four times Saturday and finished sixth at 149 pounds. Consecutive wins (5-2 decision against Nebraska’s Brandon Wilbourn and a 5-3 victory against Scott Sakaguch of Oregon State) to open the day, kept Tessari in contention for third place, but a 7-6 tiebreaker loss to David Habat of Edinboro dropped him to the fifth-place bout where he lost to Josh Wilson of Utah Valley, 4-2.