Grapplers Finish 17th at Las Vegas Invitational

Dec. 3, 2000

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

The University of Wyomingwrestling team placed 17th at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational thispast weekend in State Line, Nev. The Cowboys were led by placewinnersBrad Steele and Steven Schenk.

Steele, a sophomore from St. James, Minn., finished fourth in theheavyweight class. After losing his second match, Steele bounced backto win seven matches in a row before losing in the third-place match.In that third-place match Steele fell to Tommy Rowlands of Ohio State7-2. In his eight victories over the weekend, Steele had three pins.

Schenk placed fifth in the 174 pound weight class going 5-2. In thefifth-place match Schenk defeated Eric Hall of Virginia 6-4. Hall cameinto the tournament seeded second while Schenk was seeded tenth.Schenk, a senior from Anderson, Calif., won two matches in thechampionship bracket before losing and then went 3-1 in the consolationbracket.

Craig Rumsey wrestled well for the Pokes in the 197 pound weight classwith a record of 3-2. Rumsey won three matches in the championshipbracket before he was eliminated. In the championship quarterfinalsRumsey fell to Brad Vering of Nebraska 16-6. Vering is ranked numberone in the country at 197 pounds and went on the win the Vegas Invitetitle. Rumsey, who placed eighth at the 1999 Las Vegas Invitational,finished one match short of placing for the second year in a row.

Mark Hamrick (149) and Kevin Kessner (184) both went 2-2 at thetournament. Hamrick lost his first match but rebounded by defeatingwrestlers from Oregon and Portland State. Hamrick was then eliminatedby Gabe Webster of Cornell 6-1. Kessner pinned D.C. Hazen of CentralWashington at 1:44 in his first match and then took on Rob Rohn ofLehigh, who was seeded second. Rohn defeated Kessner by fall at 4:05.Kessner then went 1-1 in the consolation bracket.

With 44.5 team points, the Cowboys finished just one-half point behindWest Virginia. Illinois won the tournament with 156 points. Illinoiswas followed by Nebraska, Lehigh, Arizona State and Oregon State.

Complete Wyoming individual results:  John Faczak  (125)   0-2  Kelly McConville  (133)  0-2  Paul Turco  (141)   0-2  Mark Hamrick  (149)   2-2  Levi Prevost  (157)   0-2  Justin Christenson  (165)  1-2  Steven Schenk  (174)   5-2  5th  Kevin Kessner  (184)   2-2  Craig Rumsey  (197)   3-2  Brad Steele  (HWT)   8-2  4th

The Cowboys will return to action on Dec. 9 when they host the BoiseState Broncos at 2:00 p.m. in the MultiPurpose Gymnasium in Laramie.Boise State was ranked tenth in the country in the latest polls.