The wrestling team grapples today in Sin City, Las Vegas, Nev. in the Cliff Keen Invitational. This is a large tournament that attracts some of the best teams in the country.
The preliminary matches commence today, and the semifinals and finals will be held tomorrow, the second day of the competition. The back half of the two-day tournament is sure to pit some of the top wrestlers in the country fighting for the rights to each weight class championship.
Last week, down in Chapel Hill, N.C. at the Sharpie Carolina Open, senior co-captains Jim Stanec and Clint Wattenberg grabbed first place in their respective weight classes (174-lbs., 184-lbs.). Juniors 141-lb. Byron Warner, 157-lb. Andy Tieben, and 197-lb. Matt Greenberg met the same championship destiny claiming titles of their own.
Freshman 125-lb. Travis Lee and sophomore 165-lb. Ray Callaway figure to make the trip out west by virtue of their second place finishes last week.
This tournament is different than earlier ones the Red has competed in because head coach Rob Koll was limited to bringing only ten wrestlers. He selected the top wrestlers from each weight class to make the trip. Boarding passes will be issued to those who have been successful thus far in earlier tournament performance and in intrasquad wrestle-offs.
The Red is riding a high after last week’s team performance, receiving some votes in the latest NCAA Division I rankings. . Stanec, Wattenberg, and Greenberg are ranked 10th, 17th, and 20th respectively in the country in their weight classes. Junior Gabe Webster also received some votes in the NCAA individual rankings.
The wrestlers attending the invitational will face the top wrestlers in the country as Illinois, Nebraska, Lehigh, Arizona State, Oregon State, Edinboro, Oregon, Boise State, Fresno State, and Michigan join Cornell in Las Vegas. Last year at the Cliff Keen, these teams all finished in the top ten in the team standings while Illinois took the team title.
This time around, the Red will look to improve on its 14th place finish, as Koll brings in a more talented and experienced team.
Archived article by Donald Lee