Three Mids Place, Navy Finishes 16th at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational
Dec. 7, 2013
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Juniors Colton Rashe (Plano, Ill.) and Peyton Walsh (Glen Allen, Va.), along with sophomore Bobby Burg (Gasport, N.Y.) closed out action at the 32nd-Annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Saturday evening placing among the top eight in their respective weight classes, as the Midshipmen finished the tournament in 16th place.
Oklahoma (154.5) easily won the team title, claiming the victory by 24 points over runner-up Nebraska (130.5). Ohio State scored 119.5 points to finish the 33-team tournament in third place, followed by Cornell (115.5) and Michigan (108.5).
Navy amassed 44.0 points, just two behind Hofstra and Wyoming who tied for 14th. Meanwhile, the Mids owned a four-point advantage over 17th-place Cal State Bakersfield (40.0) and 12.5 over fellow service academy Air Force (31.5) who placed 18th. Additionally, future All-Academy Tournament foes The Citadel (20.5) and Army (10.5) placed 26th and 28th, respectively.
“The guys really competed hard today,” said interim Navy head coach Brian Antonelli. “This is a really tough tournament and while the guys should be proud of some of the things they did this weekend, there’s no doubt that we have a lot of work to do over the next several weeks.”
Navy began the day with six wrestlers active in the consolation bracket, however, 174-pound Mathew Miller (Edgewood, Va.) did not compete after suffering an injury against 11th-ranked Turtogtokh Luvsandroj of The Citadel in the quarterfinals.
Rasche, seeded 11th at 133 pounds, was one of two Navy wrestlers to place seventh at this year’s Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. He opened the day with a 6-4 win over ninth-seeded Devon Lotito of Cal Poly, but surrendered a 13-2 major decision to Cal State Bakersfield’s Jose Mendoza in the consolation quarters. Rasche bounced back with an 8-5 win over 15th-ranked Colton McCrystal of Nebraska to take seventh place.
Rasche did not place in last year’s Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. In fact, he was 0-for-2.
Also taking seventh in what was his first appearance at the tournament was Burg, who finished the competition with a 5-2 record. Burg, seeded 10th at 157 pounds, was to open his day with a match against Cal Poly’s Max Schneider, however, Schneider defaulted and set up a consolation quarterfinals match against NC State’s Thomas Gantt. Burg dropped a heart breaker to Gantt in sudden victory, 4-2. Burg fought back like a veteran and scored a 1-0 victory over Ohio State’s Randall Languis to secure a spot on the podium.
Walsh, meanwhile, turned in a 3-3 mark over the weekend and placed eighth at 165 pounds. Walsh, who was seeded ninth, picked up a 9-5 win over 11th-seeded Chad Welch in his opening match of the day, but was pinned by Nebraska’s Austin Wilson, seeded seventh. Walsh succumbed to 12th-ranked Joseph Booth of Hofstra, 13-4, in the seventh-place bout.
“I was thrilled for Colton and Peyton. They have been coming to this tournament for three years and to get them up on the podium is great. I think Peyton could have wrestled better, but I’m still happy with how he performed. He faced some tough competition throughout the weekend.
“Bobby Burg bucked up and just got it done,” added Antonelli. “ He’s just a sophomore, but he should some toughness coming back from losing a tough match and then winning a one-point match to take seventh with not much time in between matches. I was really proud of his effort.”
Senior Alex Johnson (Memphis, Tenn.) at 149 pounds and Paul Rands (Cary, Ill.) at 197 pounds each came up a match shy of placing. Johnson fell short in his match against NC State’s Brian Hamann, 5-3, while was beaten by Boise State’s Cody Dixon, 12-5.
“Alex was just a match away from placing. I’m proud of how he has competed this year and how he just continues to improve. He beat some tough wrestlers in an equally tough weight class. He’s really been solid this year.”
The Midshipmen will be back in action next Saturday when they face Boston University on the road in what will be Navy’s first dual of the 2013-14 season. Action is set for 5:00 pm at Case Gym in Boston.
### Go Navy ###