MSU Wrestling Battles Tough Competition at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational
Spartan run cut short at national invitational tournament.
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -
Michigan State wrestling tangled with the best of collegiate wrestling at the 36th annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Friday at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"Today was an important day for the team in many ways," head coach Roger Chandler said. "They competed in one of the toughest tournaments in the nation, which exposed many of the things each individual needs to work on. In order to evolved and raise the level at which we compete, we needed to experience it first-hand in this format."
At 125, freshman Rayvon Foley earned a 4-2 decision in the championship round of 64 over Jakob Allison from Iowa State, advancing to the round of 32 where Foley fell to No. 14 Luke Welch in an 11-6 decision. In the consolation bracket, Foley went on a three-match win streak that was halted by No. 18 Drew Mattin of Michigan, who defeated Foley with a fall at 6:27.
"Foley continues to impress," Chandler said. "Although he came up short of placing today, he is a relentless competitor that expects to win every time he steps on the mat. That's the mindset that everyone on the team needs to compete."
Redshirt senior Javier Gasca was one of two Spartans pre-seeded in the championship bracket, seeded at No. 4 in the 141 pound division. Nationally ranked at No. 11 by InterMat, Gasca was knocked off by Pitt's Nick Zanetta in a 6-4 decision. In the consolation round of 32, Gasca topped Jake Thompson of Western Wyoming with a technical fall, 16-0, but his tournament run was cut short by Andrew Schulte of California Baptist, who earned a 4-3 decision in the round of 16.
At 157 pounds, redshirt freshman Jake Tucker defeated Griffin Parriott in an 8-3 decision in the championship round of 64. Tucker fell to Jose Champagne in the round of 32 with a 9-2 decision. In the consolation bracket, Tucker took three wins in a row before dropping to Eric Hong from American, 8-2.
"Tucker continues to improve, but he needs to stay consistent with his abilities every match. There is no doubt that he is going to continue to rise up," Chandler added.
AT 174 pounds, sophomore Drew Hughes was the second Spartan pre-seeded in the championship bracket at No. 7. Ranked 10th in the nation according to InterMat, Hughes advanced to the round of 16 before falling to No. 15 Keaton Subjeck from Stanford, 5-2. In the consolation bracket, Hughes' comeback run was stopped by Wisconsin's Ryan Christensen in the round of eight, 2-0.
"Drew Hughes battled even though he has been dealing with injury," Chandler said. "We will continue to evaluate him and do what's best for him."
The Spartans will travel to Buffalo, N.Y. for a dual against Buffalo at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8.