Oklahoma wins Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational; Nebraska finishes second
LAS VEGAS -- Fourth-ranked Oklahoma took home three individual titles and placed first against a field of 33 teams at the 32nd annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational on Saturday, held inside the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The Sooners earned 154.5 team points to claim the title. Nebraska (130.5), Ohio State (119.5), Cornell (115.5) and Michigan (104.5) rounded out the top five.
Seniors Kendric Maple, Andrew Howe and Travis Rutt all finished first in their respective weight classes.
Maple topped Cornell’s Christopher Villalonga by a 6-1 decision in the semifinals and Jake Sueflohn of Nebraska by an 8-3 decision in the finals en route to the 149-pound title.
At 174 pounds, Howe defeated Robert Kokesh of Nebraska by decision, 3-2. In the semifinals, Howe downed Citadel’s Turtogtokh Luvsa by a 16-4 technical fall.
With a 6-4 decision against Daniel Mitchell of American, Rutt topped first place at 197 pounds. Rutt entered the finals after a medical forfeit.
Claiming second-place medals for OU were senior Jarrod Patterson (125) and sophomore Cody Brewer (133).
Patterson defeated Wyoming’s Tyler Cox in the semifinals by a 9-2 decision before falling to Cornell’s Nahshon Garrett by decision, 6-1. Brewer posted a 5-2 decision against Mark Grey of Cornell in semifinals and fell to Johnni DiJulius of Ohio State by fall in the finals.
Senior Nick Lester finished third with a 4-0 decision of Hofstra’s Luke Vaith. Redshirt-freshman Ross Larson placed fifth in the 285-pound weight class and also took home the award for most falls in the tournament.
No. 10 Nebraska finishes second at CKLV Invitational
LAS VEGAS -- James Green won the 157-pound title at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational to lead No. 10 Nebraska to a second-place finish Saturday.
The Huskers’ 130.5-point total was 24 points behind team champion Oklahoma.
Green opened his day with a 7-5 sudden victory against Michigan’s Brian Murphy in the semifinals. In the finals, Green outlasted No. 12 Brian Realbuto of Cornell 6-5 to capture the title. Green, the No. 4 wrestler in the country, improves to 13-0 on the season.
Anthony Abidin (141), Jake Sueflohn (149), Robert Kokesh (174) and TJ Dudley (184) each advanced to the finals in their respective weight classes, but fell in the championship bout.
Abidin earned a medical forfeit win against Virginia Tech’s Devin Carter in the semifinals before losing to No. 1 Logan Stieber of Ohio State by a 16-1 technical fall. Sueflohn managed a 7-6 win against No. 7 Eric Grajales of Michigan, but fell by an 8-3 margin to No. 5 Kendric Maple of Oklahoma in the finals.
Kokesh won a 6-0 decision against No. 11 Stephen Doty of Virginia in the semifinals, but lost a 3-2 decision to No. 1 Andrew Howe of Oklahoma. Kokesh suffered his first loss of the season after a 14-0 start. Dudley defeated No. 18 Benjamin Stroh of Wyoming 18-9 in the semifinals before losing a 13-3 major decision to No. 12 Gabriel Dean of Cornell in the finals.
Austin Wilson (165) and Colton McCrystal (133) each started the day in the consolation bracket and managed top-eight finishes. After a decision and a pin for Wilson, he fell by a 4-2 margin to UNI’s Cooper Moore. In the fifth-place match, Wilson bounced back to win a 9-8 decision against Cornell’s Dylan Palacio.
McCrystal opened his day with a 5-2 decision against Rutgers’ Vincent Dellafave before being pinned by No. 18 Rosario Bruno of Michigan. In the seventh-place match, McCrystal fell to Navy’s Colton Rasche, 8-5.
At heavyweight, Collin Jensen dropped his lone match of the day to No. 14 Ross Larson of Oklahoma by fall.
No. 8 Ohio State finishes third at CKLV Invitational
LAS VEGAS -- With a pair of champions in Johnni DiJulius (133 pounds) and Logan Stieber (141 pounds), eighth-ranked Ohio State rallied from sixth place to finish third with 119.5 points at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Saturday. In addition to winning the 141-pound title, Stieber was named Most Outstanding Wrestler.
In addition to DiJulius and Stieber, six Buckeyes placed in the top eight of their respective weight classes. Kenny Courts (184 pounds) finished third, Ian Paddock (149 pounds) was fifth and Nick Heflin was a sixth-place finisher. Nick Roberts (125 pounds) was seventh, while Randy Languis and Nick Tavanello finished eighth at 157 pounds and heavyweight, respectively.
DiJulius had one of the more impressive outings of the tournament, defeating the Nos. 5, 1 and 2 seeds en route to the title. After posting a 3-0 record on the first day of competition, DiJulius handed No. 1 seed Joe Colon of UNI a 6-2 loss before downing second-seed Cody Brewer of Oklahoma in 44 seconds.
Stieber collected his third fall of the CKLV invite and a technical fall to win the 141-pound crown. First, Stieber pinned No. 5 seed Nick Lester of Oklahoma in 2:22. Subsequently, Stieber recorded a 16-1 technical fall against sixth-seed Anthony Abidin of Nebraska.
Wrestling seven matches in two days, Courts rallied from a quarterfinal loss and won four consecutive matches to conclude the tournament in third place. Of the four matches Courts won Saturday, two were bonus point victories, including a 4:48 pin of No. 5 seed Ophir Bernstein of Brown in the third-place matchup.
Fifth-place finisher Paddock overcame a 3-1 sudden victory loss to fifth-seed Christopher Villalonga of Cornell in wrestlebacks and defeated third-seed Eric Grajales of Michigan in the fifth-place bout. Injuries forced Heflin to medical forfeit his final three matches to eventually finish sixth.
A redshirt-freshman, Roberts was impressive in the tournament as he defeated the Nos. 6, 11, 8 and 12 seeds en route to his seventh-place finish. In his final matchup, Roberts edged 12th-seed Earl Hall of Iowa State 4-3.
Despite earning wins in wrestleback competition, both Languis and Tavanello were handed setbacks in their respective seventh-place bouts. Languis dropped a 1-0 decision to No. 10 Robert Burg of Navy and Tavanello lost to No. 7 William Smith of Rutgers 4-2.
No. 6 Cornell finishes fourth at CKLV Invitational
LAS VEGAS -- Sophomore Nahshon Garrett (125) and freshman Gabe Dean (184) won their respective weight classes at the 2013 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Saturday. The duo was among six Big Red wrestlers to finish in the top six and three to reach the finals. The Big Red finished fourth as a team with 115.5 points.
Garrett beat a pair of top-10 wrestlers to capture the crown, outlasting seventh-ranked Dylan Peters of UNI 4-2 in the semis before knocking off fifth-ranked Jarrod Patterson for the second time with the spotlights on, earning the 6-1 decision. He earlier beat Patterson at the NWCA All-Star Classic to kick off the year.
Dean did most of the work on Saturday morning, earning a hard-fought 4-2 overtime victory against fifth-ranked Jake Swartz of Boise State before taking home the title with a 13-3 major decision win against Nebraska's Timothy Dudley in the final.
Another freshman, Brian Realbuto, had a strong showing on Saturday in reaching the finals at 157 pounds. He opened the day with an overtime fall against Virginia's Blaise Butler before dropping a narrow 6-5 decision to fourth-ranked James Green of Nebraska in the championship match.
At 149 pounds, Chris Villalonga had as good a tournament as anyone, coming back to take third place after dropping his first match of the season in the semifinals to top-ranked and top-seeded Kendric Maple of Oklahoma by a 6-1 score. He rebounded with a sudden victory win against Ian Paddock of Ohio State, then topped eighth-ranked Scott Sakaguchi of Oregon State for the second time in the tournament, this time 4-1 in the third-place match.
Freshman Mark Grey took a strong fourth at 133 pounds, with his only two losses coming to wrestlers ranked in the top six nationally, including to No. 4 Joe Colon of UNI in the third-place match. He earned a decision against 18th-ranked Rossi Bruno of Michigan to advance in the wrestlebacks after falling 5-2 to sixth-ranked Cody Brewer in the semifinals.
Dylan Palacio closed out an outstanding tournament with a sixth-place effort at 165 pounds after upsetting 10th-ranked Joseph Booth of Hofstra in a high-scoring 13-12 decision in the wrestlebacks. He won a pair of matches against top-20 wrestlers and his three losses all came to top-20 guys.