Six Mids Advance, Navy Stands 12th at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational
Dec. 7, 2013
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — With six of its 10 wrestlers advancing to the second day of action, the Navy wrestling teams stands 12th among the 33 teams competing at the 2013 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. All six of Navy’s remaining competitors have one loss and will fight their way through the consolation bracket beginning Saturday at 12:00 pm Eastern/9:00 am Pacific. The semifinals, consolation semis and consolation finals begin at 4:00 pm Eastern/1:00 pm Pacific and the championship finals at 9:00 pm Eastern/6:00 pm Pacific.
Oklahoma (84.5) stands atop the leader board with nine wrestlers remaining in the competition, six in the championship bracket. The Sooners hold an 8.5 lead over second-place Nebraska (75.0), who has eight wrestlers still active. Michigan is third with 72.5 points, followed by Cornell in fourth with 68.5 points and Northern Iowa in fifth with 61.5 points.
Navy, who has amassed 29.5 points and has six wrestlers in the consolation bracket, is 1.5 points ahead of American who has three wrestlers in the competition. Meanwhile, the Mids are just 1.5 points behind 11th-place Iowa State who has seven wrestlers who will compete on Saturday.
Navy junior 133-pound Colton Rashe (Plano, Ill.) has been solid in the opening weeks of the season, boasting a 9-3 record heading into the weekend. He was forced to bow out of the Navy Classic two weeks ago because of an injury, but has been tough in the opening rounds of the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. He pinned each of his first two opponents before succumbing to third-seeded Mark Grey of Cornell in the quarterfinals, 2-0. Rasche will face Cal Poly’s Devon Lotito, seeded ninth, in his first match on Saturday.
Senior Alex Johnson (Memphis, Tenn.) saw his first action of the year two weeks ago at the Navy Classic where he finished as the runner-up at 149 pounds. He dominated his opponents throughout the tournament and gave 18th-ranked Tywan Claxton a tough bout in the championship where Johnson would suffer his first loss, a 3-1 decision. Johnson has aain put forth a strong showing this weekend. Johnson opened up with a 13-2 win over San Francisco State’s Dylan Furtado before dropping a 6-4 decision to sixth-ranked and top-seeded Kendric Maple of Oklahoma in the second round. Johnson came back to win two in a row and will battle NC State’s Brian Hamann Saturday morning.
Second-year 157-pound standout Bobby Burg (Gasport, N.Y.) has followed a similar route as Johnson this season and at this weekend’s tournament. Burg also made his seaosn debut at the Navy Classic where he secured a third-place finish, dropping his lone match to 13th-ranked Ian Miller of Kent State. Burg scored a major decision over Tyler Grimaldi of Harvard in his opener on Friday, but seventh-seeded Blaise Butler of Virginia edged him, 7-3, in the second round. Burg has not given up a point in the consolation bracket anad a 1-0 decision over California Baptist’s Brady Bersano has set up a match against fifth-seeded Max Schneider of Cal Pol for Saturday morning.
Returning NCAA qualifier Peyton Walsh (Glen Allen, Va.) has finished among the top four in all three of the tournaments he has wrestled in prior to this weekend, including a second-place finish at the Navy Classic. Walsh received an opening-round bye in Vegas, but was upset by unseeded Dylan Palacio of Cornell in the second round, 3-2. Walsh came back to win two in a row and will battle 11th-seeded Chad Welch in his first match on Saturday.
Junior Paul Rands’ (Cary, Ill.) hopes of advancing to the 197-pound semifinals were dashed by fourth-seeded Daniel Mitchell, who dealt Rands a 10-2 loss in the semis. Rands, who pinned Brown’s Augustus Marker in the first round and upset fifth-seeded Jace Bennett of Cornell by a 6-4 count, will face Boise State’s Cody Dixon in his opening bout of the consolation round.
While 174-pound Mathew Miller (Edgewood, Va.) is considered to be active in the tournament, the sophomore suffered an injury in his match against 11th-ranked Turtogtokh Luvsandorj in the quarters and is not expected to return to the mat on Saturday. Miller, ranked 14th nationally, has had his share of injuries over his first two seasons at Navy. He missed the Navy Classic two weeks ago with an injury, but was off to a fine start in Vegas with a pin and a 6-0 decision in his first two matches before bowing out.
### Go Navy ###