Dec. 3, 2009
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Navy wrestling team returns to action on Friday when it travels to Nevada to take part in the 28th Annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational. Featuring some of the premier programs in the country, the two-day, 44-team tournament will be held at the Star of the Desert Arena in Primm, Nev. with pigtails beginning at 9:00 am Pacific Standard Time on Friday.
This year’s Cliff Keen Invitational field features 14 of the top 25 ranked teams in the country, including Ohio State (3), Cornell (8) and Boise State (9) who are among the top 10. Additionally, four of the nation’s No. 1-ranked wrestlers will be in action this weekend — 125 - Troy Nickerson, Cornell; 141 Reece Humphrey, Ohio State; 157 - Jordan Burroughs, Nebraska; 174 - Mack Lewnes, Cornell. Meanwhile, the top three wrestlers at 125 and 157 pounds will also be on hand to battle for the title. At least 10 ranked wrestlers will be in action in seven of the 10 weight classes, including 12 at 174 pounds.
“Our wrestlers are pretty excited about the opportunity that has been put before them,” said 10th-year Navy head coach Bruce Burnett. “This is an opportunity for our wrestlers to compete with the elite teams. The quality of wrestling at this tournament is phenomenal and quite honestly, we use this as our pre-national tournament. The format is very similar and the competition from top to bottom is outstanding. This is a challenging tournament, especially at this time of year, but it’s an excellent opportunity to get a glimpse of what we’ll be facing in March and what level we need to be at in order to contend for a championship.
One wrestler from each weight class will represent the Academy in this weekend’s tournament, including 2009 All-American Bryce Saddoris (Spring Creek, Nev.) who is ranked No. 16 in the country. Making the move from 149 to 157 pounds this season, he has jumped out to a 6-2 start this year, taking third at the Eastern Michigan Open and second at the Navy Classic. Both of his losses were against ranked wrestlers and foes he could face this weekend, a 3-1 sudden victory loss to Purdue’s Colton Salazar and a 4-0 decision against Jesse Dong of Virginia Tech.
Thirteenth-ranked Luke Rebertus (Elkton, Md.) returns to the lineup at 174 pounds after sitting out the Navy Classic with an injury. One of just two returning NCAA qualifiers off last year’s team, Rebertus owns a 36-11 career record, including a 3-1 mark this season. He won his first three matches of the year before bowing out to Purdue’s Luke Manuel in the championship bout of the Eastern Michigan Open. Rebertus and Manuel are two of the 12 ranked wrestlers in what will be the most talented weight class of the tournament.
The Midshipmen will also be represented by four members of the freshman class — Oscar Huntley (Emerald Isle, N.C.) at 165 pounds, Andrew Buck (Carson, Wash.) at 184 pounds, Chance Rauscher (Glasgow, Mont.) at 197 pounds and Dan Miller (Berlin, Md.) at Heavyweight. Huntley owns a 6-2 record and is coming off a title win at the Navy Classic two weeks ago, defeating teammate Robby Neill (Brick, N.J.) in the second sudden victory period, while both Buck and Miller placed second at the Mids’ tournament and own 7-3 and 6-3 records, respectively.
Sophomores Aaron Kalil (Salem, N.H.) and Pat McCaffrey (Chicago, Ill.) will represent Navy at lightweights. After dropping his first match of the season, Kalil has won five in a row at 125 pounds, including an 11-2 victory in the championship match of the Navy Classic. Meanwhile, 133-pounder McCaffrey is coming off a second-place finish at he Eastern Michigan Open. He is a wrestler whom Burnett has had high hopes for, but a year ago his season was cut short just five matches in after suffering a knee injury.
“This is probably the youngest team I’ve fielded in some time, but the freshmen have been responding to the level of competition they have faced both in our wrestling room and against the competition,” added Burnett.
Rounding out the lineup for the Mids will be seniors Matt Pagan (Carteret, N.J.) at 141 pounds and team captain Glenn Shober (Reading, Pa.) at 149 pounds. Both wrestlers have been workhorses in the wrestling room throughout their careers and have shown great leadership. Pagan, who owns a 51-35 career mark, has placed in both tournaments in which he’s competed, the Eastern Michigan Open and the Navy Classic, and boasts a 7-3 mark this season. Shober stands 6-2 this season, and he, too, has placed in both events. He took the prize at Eastern Michigan, his second collegiate individual title, while placing fourth at the Navy Classic.
Navy has had three prior appearances at the Cliff Keen Invitational, including a 16th-place finish (out of 50 teams) in their last trip to Vegas in 2007. The Mids first competed at the Cliff Keen Invitational in 1994 (9th / 26 teams) and again in 1999 (26th / 47 teams).
2009 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational
Date: Friday, Dec. 4 - Saturday, Dec. 5
Venue: Star of the Desert Arena (Primm, Nev.)
Participating teams: Air Force, #15 Arizona State, #9 Boise State, Brown, Bucknell, Buffalo, #16 Cal Poly, Cal State Bakersfield, Cal State Fullerton, California Baptist, UC Davis, Colorado State-Pueblo, Columbia, #8 Cornell, Drexel, Embry-Riddle, Harvard, Hofstra, Illinois, #12 Indiana, Michigan, Navy, #11 Nebraska, New Mexico Highlands, NC State, North Idaho, Northern Colorado, #3 Ohio State, #14 Oklahoma, #23 Old Dominion, #21 Oregon State, Purdue, Rider, Sacred Heart, San Francisco State, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, UNC Greensboro, Utah Valley State, #24 Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Western State, Western Wyoming, #22 Wisconsin, Wyoming
Projected session times (local):
Friday - Dec. 4
9:00 am Pigtail Round
10:00 am Rounds 1 & 2, Consolation Pigtails
7:00 pm pm Quarterfinals, Consolation Round 1 & 2
Saturday - Dec. 5
9:00 am Consolation Round 3
10:00 am Semifinals, Consolation Round 4
11:30 am Consolation Semifinals
12:30 pm Consolation Finals - 3rd thru 8th place
3:00 pm Championship Finals
Participating ranked wrestlers:
• 125 (10) - 1 Troy Nickerson (Cornell), 2 Angel Escobedo (Indiana), 3 Anthony Robles (Arizona State), 5 James Nicholson (Old Dominion), 9 Jarrod Garnett (Virginia Tech), 10 Michael Martinez (Wyoming), 11 Ben Kjar (Utah Valley State), 13 Steve Bonanno (Hofstra) 15 Brian Owen (Boise State), 20 Jason Lara (Oregon State)
• 133 (10) - 3 Andrew Hochstrasser (Boise State), Tyler Graff (Wisconsin), 11 Kevin Smith (Buffalo), 12 Mike Grey (Cornell), 13 Brandon Low (UC Davis), 14 Boris Novachkov (Cal Poly), 15 Kyle Hutter (Old Dominion), 16 Kelly Kubec (Oregon State), 18 Steve Mytych (Drexel), 20 Dave Marble (Bucknell)
• 141 (10) - 1 Reece Humphrey (Ohio State), 3 Chris Drouin (Arizona State), 6 Kyle Dake (Cornell), 10 Chris Diaz (Virginia Tech), 14 Ryan Prater (Illinois), 15 Zack Bailey (Oklahoma), 16 Kenny Hashimoto (Northern Colorado), 17 Filip Novachkov (Cal Poly), 19 Levi Jones (Boise State), 20 Mike Mangrum (Oregon State)
• 149 (8) - 2 Kyle Ruschell (Wisconsin), 4 Lance Palmer (Ohio State), 5 Kyle Terry (Oklahoma), 7 Jason Chamberlain (Boise State), 8 Kevin LeValley (Bucknell), 16 Matt Coughlin (Indiana), 17 Peter Yates (Virginia Tech), 19 Desmond Green (Buffalo)
• 157 (11) - 1 Jordan Burroughs (Nebraska), 2 Chase Pami (Cal Poly), 3 J.P. O’Connor (Harvard), 6 Adam Hall (Boise State), 8 Shane Vernon (Oklahoma), 9 Colton Salazar (Purdue), 10 Kurt Kinser (Indiana), 15 Jesse Dong (Virginia Tech), 16 Bryce Saddoris (Navy), 19 Keegan Davis (Oregon State), 20 Jonny Bonilla-Bowman (Hofstra)
• 165 (10) - 3 Andrew Howe (Wisconsin), 6 Andy Rendos (Bucknell), 8 Colt Sponseller (Ohio State), 10 Justin Kerber (Cornell), 11 Chris Brown (Old Dominion), 13 Paul Young (Indiana) 14 Kurt Swartz (Boise State), 16 Tyler Caldwell (Oklahoma), 17 Conrad Polz (Illinois), 19 Donnie Jones (West Virginia)
• 174 (12) - 1 Mack Lewnes (Cornell), 3 Stephen Dwyer (Nebraska), 7 Nate Lee (Boise State), 8 Jeff James (Oklahoma), 9 Jordan Blanton (Illinois), 10 Luke Manuel (Purdue), 11 Ryan Patrovich (Hofstra), 13 Luke Rebertus (Navy), 14 Chance Litton (West Virginia), 16 Shane Riccio (Bucknell), 18 Trevor Perry (Indiana), 20 Dave Rella (Ohio State)
• 184 (8) - 3 Mike Pucillo (Ohio State), 6 Joe LeBlanc (Wyoming), 7 Kirk Smith (Boise State), 9 John Dergo (Illinois), 12 Louis Caputo (Harvard), 17 Joe Budi (Old Dominion), 19 Tommy Spellman (Virginia Tech), 20 Steve Bosak (Cornell)
• 197 (10) - 2 Craig Brester (Nebraska), 5 Cam Simaz (Cornell), 6 Trevor Brandvold (Wisconsin), 7 Eric Lapotsky (Oklahoma), 9 Jesse Strawn (Old Dominion), 13 Logan Brown (Purdue), 14 Anthony Biondo (Michigan), 17 Patrick Bond (Illinois), 18 Riley Orozco (Cal State Bakersfield), 20 Matt Casperson (Boise State)
• HWT (6) - 4 Mitch Monteiro (Cal State Bakersfield), 7 Tucker Lane (Nebraska), 10 Nathan Everhart (Indiana), 13 Nathan Fernandez (Oklahoma), 15 Josh Arnone (Cornell), 17 Corey Morrison (Ohio State)
125 - Aaron Kalil - So., Salem, N.H. (5-1 / 22-18 career)
133 - Pat McCaffrey - So., Chicago, Ill. (3-1 / 6-3 career)
141 - Matt Pagan - Sr., Carteret, N.J. (7-3 / 51-35 career)
149 - Glenn Shober - Sr., Reading, Pa., team captain (6-2 / 57-40 career)
157 - Bryce Saddoris - Jr., Spring Creek, Nev., 2009 All-American, ranked #16 (6-2, 84-22 career)
165 - Oscar Huntley - Fr., Emerald Isle, N.C. (6-2 / 6-2 career)
174 - Luke Rebertus - So., Elkton, Md., 2009 NCAA Qualifier, ranked #13 (3-1 / 39-12 career)
184 - Andrew Buck - Fr., Carson, Wash. (7-3 / 7-3 career)
197 - Chance Rauscher - Fr., Glasgow, Mont. (5-3 / 5-3 career)
HWT - Dan Miller - Fr., Berlin, Md. (6-3 / 6-3 career)
### Go Navy ###