Dec. 3, 2016 | Photo by Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Two champions. One runner up. Two third placers. The Ohio State wrestling team is coming back from Las Vegas with some hardware to show for it after competition concluded on Sunday at the 35th annual Cliff Keen Invitational.
THE SHORT STORY
On the strength of six placers, Ohio State took home the team title with 118.5 points, edging out second-place Wisconsin (113.5). It is the Buckeyes’ first Cliff Keen title since 2012 and the fourth time in the last five years they’ve crowed multiple champions. Minnesota was the only other school in the 36-team field with more than one champion.
Nathan Tomasello (133 lbs.) and Micah Jordan (149 lbs.) won first place matches while Myles Martin (184 lbs.) and Kollin Moore (197 lbs.) rebounded from tough semifinal losses to place third. Jose Rodriguez made a run to the 125 lb. finals before finishing second while Cody Burcher took eighth place at 165 lbs.
TOMASELLO TAKES TITLE #2
Tomasello’s championship round match with third seeded and ninth-ranked Stevan Micic was tied at 2-2 entering the third period and Tomasello scored the decisive point when he escaped the start the final stanza. He also scored the matches only takedown in the second period. His CKLV title is the second of his career, after winning the 125 lb. championship last year.
In the semifinals, Tomasello scored five second period points (two takedowns, one escape) and added a riding time point at the conclusion of the match for a workman-like 8-3 decision against 18th-ranked and fifth-seeded Mark Grey of Cornell.
JORDAN MAKES IT BACK TO BACK
Facing his second top-10 opponent of the day, Jordan finished off his second straight CKLV title by getting a key four point near fall with 1:26 remaining in the match against Edinboro’s Pat Lugo. The redshirt sophomore, ranked No. 6 this week by InterMat, is now 17-0 on the season. He’s also 4-0 vs. ranked opponents.
Jordan’s 9-4 semifinal win over seventh-ranked Justin Oliver of was keyed by a second period reversal and two third period takedowns.
RODRIGUEZ EDGED IN FINALS
Facing top-seeded and second-ranked Joe Dance of Virginia Tech in the finals, Rodriguez (9-2) led 3-2 late in the third period but Dance completed the winning takedown with just six seconds remaining. Rodriguez had built his 3-2 edge on a first-period takedown and escape to begin the third.
Rodriguez started the semifinals off for Ohio State with a bang, picking up a 17-1 technical fall over Northern Colorado’s Trey Andrews, the tournaments sixth seeded. Rodriguez scored four points on two first-period takedowns and then had a takedown and four-point near fall in the second to extend his lead to 10-1.
MARTIN TAKES THIRD
Eighth-ranked the third seeded Zack Zavatsky upset Martin (11-1) 6-4 in the semifinals when he scored a takedown in the waning seconds of the first period and then a critical two-point near fall in the third period.
Martin rebounded by scoring early and often in a 16-4 major decision against Wisconsin’s Hunter Ritter to set up a third-place match with 15th-ranked Steven Schneider. Martin took Schneider down nine times on his way to a 22-7 tech fall that took 6:04.
MOORE FINISHES STRONG
Facing his first ranked opponent of the year in the semifinals, Martin hung tough with second-ranked Brett Pfarr of Minnesota for the first period, trailing just 4-3. Pfarr then turned up the heat, getting a series of takedowns in the third to register the 15-7 major decision.
In the third place match, Moore picked up his biggest win of the season, topping sixth-ranked Jacob Smith of West Virginia 9-7. Tied at 3-3 after one period, Moore scored three points in the second period on an opening escape and takedown that stretched the lead to 6-3. Up 6-4 in the third, Moore’s decisive score was a takedown with 52 seconds remaining.
BURCHER GOES 1-1, TAKES EIGHTH
The sixth Buckeye to compete on Saturday was Burcher, who got the lone point in his consolation quarterfinal win over Tyrel White of Columbia via riding time and then dropped a heartbreaking sudden victory decision to 20th-ranked Brandon Womack of Cornell in the consolation semifinals. For the tournament, Burcher went 4-2 to improve his overall record to 12-4.
Ohio State’s 2016-17 home opener is next on the schedule, slated for Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. against No. 5 Missouri. The match will be broadcast live on BTN and tickets can be purchased by clicking here.
Ohio State Wrestling
2016 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational | Day Two Results | December 3, 2016
Jose Rodriguez | 125 lbs. | Unseeded
Semifinals: Rodriguez technical fall over Trey Andrews (Northern Colorado) 17-1
Finals: #2 Joey Dance (Virginia Tech) decision over Rodriguez 4-3
Rodriguez finishes second
Nathan Tomasello | 133 lbs. | No. 1 seed
Semifinals: Tomasello decision over #18 Mark Grey (Cornell) 8-3
Finals: Tomasello decision over #9 Stevan Micic (Michigan) 3-2
Tomasello finishes first
Micah Jordan | 149 lbs. | No. 2 seed
Semifinals: Jordan decision over #7 Justin Oliver (Central Michigan) 9-4
Finals: Jordan decision over #8 Pat Lugo (Edinboro) 7-3
Jordan finishes first
Cody Burcher | 165 lbs. | Unseeded
Consolation Quarterfinals: Burcher decision over Tyrel White (Columbia) 1-0
Consolation Semifinals: #20 Brandon Womack (Cornell) decision over Burcher SV-1 7-5
Seventh Place Match: Burcher injury default to Alex Lopouchanski (Air Force)
Burcher finishes eighth
Myles Martin | 184 lbs. | No. 2 seed
Semifinals: #8 Zack Zavatsky (Virginia Tech) decision over Martin 6-4
Consolation Semifinals: Martin major decision over Hunter Ritter (Wisconsin) 16-4
Third Place Match: Martin tech fall over #15 Steven Schneider (Binghamton) 22-7
Martin finishes third
Kollin Moore | 197 lbs. | No. 4 seed
Semifinals: #2 Brett Pfarr (Minnesota) major decision over Moore 15-7
Consolation Semifinals: Moore decision over Corey Griego (Oregon State) 11-6
Third Place Match: Moore decision over #6 Jacob Smith (West Virginia) 9-7
Moore finishes third
Team Standing (Top 10)
1. Ohio State – 118.5 pts.
2. Wisconsin – 113.5 pts.
3. Virginia Tech – 103 pts.
4. Minnesota – 97 pts.
5. Cornell – 93.5 pts.
6. Central Michigan – 90.5 pts.
7. Arizona State – 83 pts.
8. Wyoming – 77.5 pts.
9. Michigan – 73 pts.
10. Edinboro – 68.5 pts.