LAS VEGAS (December 3, 2016) -- Wyoming won big in Las Vegas on Saturday at the Cliff Keen Invitational. UW wrapped up two days of wrestling in Sin City for an eighth-place finish at one of the most premier tournaments in the nation. Junior Bryce Meredith delivered a championship performance but fell just short of an individual title. He fell to Joey McKenna of Stanford in the finals by a 3-1 decision. McKenna is the second-ranked wrestler in the 141-pound weight class.
Wyoming used 11 bonus-point wins and a number of upsets over the weekend for its eighth-place finish. Additionally, the 25th-ranked Brown and Gold finished just behind No. 19 Arizona State and ahead of No. 9 Michigan, No. 15 Stanford and No. 23 Oregon State in the team standings. The Wolverines finished the CKLV in ninth as the Cardinal placed 11th, with Oregon State taking 16th.
“I would have to say that today was one of the better days I have had from a coaching stand point,” UW head coach Mark Branch opened. “We definitely showed up to wrestle today and it was exciting from the beginning. We had big victories with three guys not only knocking off ranked opponents but very experienced and talented wrestlers as well. I’ve never had a day like this, but I think this is something that we can continue to build off of. I’d imagine a few more of our guys will move into the rankings after their performances, but we look at it as a process. They took advantage of their opportunities this weekend and with our tough schedule I hope they can continue to do just that.”
A total of five Cowboy wrestlers advanced through the first day of competition at the Las Vegas Convention Center, four of those wrestlers placed in the top five at their weight class. In addition to Meredith’s second place finish, Branson Ashworth (165) and Archie Colgan (157) finished third, while Cole Mendenhall took home fourth place in the 149-pound weight class.
Meredith’s day began with a 5-4 decision over Russell Rohling of CSU-Bakersfield before his matchup with McKenna in the finals. Meredith’s lone point in the finals came from an escape in the second period. He is also the first Cowboy to wrestle in the CKLV finals since Alfonso Hernandez in 2012.
Ashworth knocked off a number of ranked opponents on his way to a third place finish. He had three decisions on Saturday with one major to complete his run. Ashworth took down Keaton Subjeck of Stanford in his opening dual of the day by way of a 6-0 decision. Subjeck is the 13th best wrestler in the 165-pound weight class, according to FloWrestling rankings. He then earned a major over Alex Lopouchanski 10-1 before defeating No. 9 Anthony Valencia in the consolation semifinals. Ashworth claimed the third-place bout with a 7-2 decision over No. 16 Austin Matthews of Edinboro in the consolation finals.
Colgan joined Ashworth going 4-0 on Saturday in Las Vegas. He started the day with a bigtime upset decision over No. 5 Brian Murphy of Michigan. He recorded another decision over Colt Shorts of Cal Poly en route to his third-place finish before a medical forfeit put him in the third-place match. The redshirt junior closed out the tournament with a 2-1 sudden victory win of Victor Lopez of Bucknell. Lopez is the No. 18th ranked wrestler in the 157-pound weight class, according to InterMat’s NCAAA Division I Individual rankings.
Mendenhall fell in a close match last night to No.7 Justin Oliver of Central Michigan to place him in the consolation bracket today. He was 2-2 in his first two bouts with two decisions. Mendenhall met up with Fredy Stroker of Minnesota to start his Saturday and then faced this same opponent as last weekend in Chase Straw of Iowa State. Mendenhall once again came out on top against Straw with a 6-3 decision on Saturday. The redshirt senior fantastically pinned (5:29) No. 5 Solomon Chisko to move on to the third-place match of the consolation wrestlebacks. In what was another hard-fought match, Mendenhall fell to Oliver once again by way of a 6-0 decision to place fourth for the Brown and Gold.
Redshirt senior Drew Templeman was the fifth Cowboy to see action on Saturday. Templeman earned two takedowns but ultimately fell to Eli Stickley of Wisconsin by a 6-4 decision in his first and only match of the day.
Wyoming will close out first-semester action by taking part in the Reno Tournament of Champions on Dec. 18.
Wyoming CKLV Results
Junior Ronnie Stevens, 125 pounds (0-2)
No. 14 Sean Russell (Edinboro) maj. dec. Stevens, 15-3
Jake Gromacki (Clarion) dec. Stevens, 11-9
Redshirt senior Drew Templeman, 133 pounds (2-2)
Templeman dec. Yoshito Funakoshi (Cal Poly), 10-4
Templeman dec. Bryson Beard (North Idaho), 6-0
#9 Stevan Micic (Michigan) maj. dec. Templeman, 17-4
Eli Stickley (Wisconsin) dec. Templeman, 6-4
Junior Bryce Meredith, 141 pounds (4-1)
Meredith fall (0:47) Thunder Morales (North Idaho)
Meredith fall (5:13) Ozzy Lugo (Edinboro)
Meredith maj. dec. Mason Smith (Central Michigan), 12-1
Meredith dec. Russell Rohlfing (CSU-Bakersfield), 5-4
Finals: No. 2 Joey McKenna (Stanford) dec. Meredith, 3-1
Redshirt senior Cole Mendenhall, 149 pounds (5-2)
Mendenhall dec. #19 Joey Galasso (Cornell), 7-3
Mendenahll fall (2:40) Walker Johnson (UNK)
#7 Justin Oliver (Central Michigan) dec. Mendenhall, 14-11
Mendenhall dec. Fredy Stroker (Minnesota), 6-4
Mendenhall dec. Chase Straw (Iowa State), 6-3
Mendenhall fall (5:29) No. 5 Solomon Chisko (Virginia Tech)
Third place: #7 Oliver (Central Michigan) dec. Mendenhall, 6-0
Redshirt junior Archie Colgan, 157 pounds (7-1)
Taylor Simaz (Cornell) maj. dec. Colgan, 10-2
Colgan maj. dec. Jimmy Fate (UNC), 13-4
Colgan maj. dec. Cole Moseley (American), 8-0
Colgan dec. 6-2 Jared Scharenbrock (Wisconsin), 6-2
Colgan dec. No. 5 Brian Murphy (Michigan), 9-2 TB1
Colgan dec. Colt Shorts (Cal Poly), 4-2 TB1
Colgan Medical Forfeit Sal Mastriani (Virginia Tech)
Third place: Colgan dec. No. 18 Victor Lopez (Bucknell), 2-1 SV
Redshirt sophomore Branson Ashworth, 165 pounds (7-1)
Ashworth dec. Dylan Lydy (Purdue), 5-0
#9 Anthony Valencia (Arizona State) dec. Ashworth, 7-4
Ashworth maj. dec. Trey Meyer (North Idaho), 11-3
Ashworth maj. dec. Brandon Kingsley (Minnesota), 15-6
Ashworth dec. #13 Keaton Subjeck (Stanford), 6-0
Ashworth maj. dec. Alex Lopouchanski (Air Force), 10-1
Ashworth dec. No. 9 Anthony Valencia (Arizona State), 5-2
Third place: Ashworth dec. No. 16 Austin Matthews (Edinboro), 7-2
Redshirt junior Chaz Polson, 174 pounds (1-2)
Polson tech. fall Tyler Millward (West Virginia), 16-0
#13 Jim Wilson (Stanford) dec. Polson, 5-3
Ben Harvey (Army) dec. Polson, 5-2
Junior Wesley Schultz, 184 pounds (1-2)
Schultz dec. Bob Coleman (Oregon State), 7-6
#2 Myles Martin (Ohio State) fall (3:42) Schultz
Samson Imonode (Army) dec. Schultz, 8-5
Redshirt freshman Cody Vigoren, 197 pounds (0-2)
Matt Williams (CSU-Bakersfield) dec. Vigoren, 8-5.
Logan Kirby (Harvard) fall (2:31) Vigoren
Redshirt senior Brandon Tribble, 285 pounds (2-2)
#8 Michael Kroells (Minnesota) dec. Tribble, 10-4
Tribble dec. Jack Kuck (UNC), 2-1
Tribble dec. Tyler Greene (Bucknell), 7-4
Trevor Smith (Army) dec. Tribble, 6-2
-Rankings based off InterMat’s NCAA Division I Rankings.