Download our Mobile App                  

  Search The Site
Top News Stories...
TheMat.com moving to USOC website platform with new look and functionality

This week, TheMat.com will move to the USOC platform, with a new look, new functionality, but with the same favorite features....

Terry Shockley named Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Shockley will succeed long-time chairman Jim Keen. Sr. as Chairman of the Board....

Iowa's Tony Ramos determined to finish career with NCAA title

The Hawkeye senior will battle Virginia Tech's Devin Carter in the NWCA All-Star Classic on Saturday....

NCAA announces finalist cities for its championships for 2014-18, including wrestling at all levels

Cleveland, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia & St. Louis are Div. I finalists. Div. II and III finalists also announced....



Top College Teams Head West For 19th Annual Vegas Invite



PRIMM, NV. - This year's edition of The Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (Dec. 1-2) has the makings to be one of the best ever in this, the 19th annual presentation. This event will most certainly showcase several NCAA Champions and All-Americans for the year 2001. Take a look at the numbers. There are numerous former All-Americans and three former NCAA Champs scheduled to compete in 10 weight classes. The former Champions are Stephen Abas of Fresno State (125), Kirk White of Boise State (157), and Brad Vering of Nebraska (197). Also looking to hold on to their top rankings are Adam Tirapelle of Illinois (149) and Otto Olson of Michigan (174). Tournament director Mark Churella is excited about the level of competition that will definitely keep the fans at the Star of the Desert Arena on the edge of their seats. "In looking at the wrestlers expected to compete, this is without a doubt one of the strongest fields to date, " said Churella. "We have worked hard to have this tournament get the respect and recognition from the wrestling community, and we feel this year will definitely be one of the best ever." The top teams entered in this year's tournament are Illinois, Michigan, Lehigh, Nebraska, Arizona State, Edinboro, Boise St., and Ohio State. The following is a composite list of individuals scheduled to compete in this year's tournament. 125 Stephen Abas - Fresno St, Jr. Ruben DeLeon - Cal St. Bakersfield, Sr. Kore Sharpley - Ohio St., Sr. A.J. Grant - Michigan, So. Ryan Escobar - Illinois, Sr. Chuckie Connor - North Carolina,Sr. Shawn Amistade - Pittsburgh, Jr. Nathan Navarro - Oregon St., Jr. Jason Powell - Nebraska, Fr. Look for defending NCAA Champion Abas from Fresno State to be the clear-cut favorite at this weight class. The rest of the weight class appears to be evenly matched with DeLeon, Grant, Sharpley, Navarro, and Escobar battling it out for placement. Freshman Jason Powell from Nebraska will also look to break into the top eight. Returning placewinners from last year are Escobar (4th) and Navarro (7th). 133 Todd Beckerman - Nebraska,Sr. Justin Wilcox - Edinboro,So. Rob Loper - Pittsburgh, Sr. Jeff Ratliff - Ohio St., Fr. Justin Wilcox - Edinboro,So. Brad Byers - North Carolina, Jr. David Douglas - Arizona St., Jr. Foley Dowd - Michigan, Fr. This appears to be a very evenly contested weight class with All-Americans Beckerman or Loper favored to take the top spot. Wilcox of Edinboro and Byers of North Carolina look to seriously contend for placement in the top three while a duo of highly touted freshman, Dowd of Michigan and Ratliff of Ohio State also have placement potential. Returning placewinners from last year are Loper (4th). 141 Eric Larkin - Arizona St., So. Sean Gray - Virginia Tech, Jr. Gabe Vigil - Boise St., So. Robert Sessley - Ohio St., Jr. Donnie DeFilippis - GMU, So. Matt Goldstein - Lehigh,Sr. Justin Giovinco - Pittsburgh, So. This weight class features a rising freestyle star in All-American Eric Larkin from Arizona State. He will get the top nod from many critics while All-American Sean Gray of Virginia Tech will present a formidable challenge. 1998 All-American Sessley of Ohio State, Goldstein of Lehigh, and Giovinco of Pittsburgh also should be factored in scoring valuable team points. 149 Adam Tirapelle - Illinois,Sr Dave Esposito - Lehigh, Sr. John Marc Bentley - North Carolina, Jr. Ryan Shapert - Edinboro, Sr. Blaise Mucci - Pittsburgh, So. Scott Frohardt - Air Force, Jr. Cedric Haymon - Cal Poly, Jr. Mike Kulczycki - Michigan,So. Keaton Anderson - Ohio St.,So. This is the weight class that many claim is the toughest in the country, and it certainly is no different for this tournament. If the cards play out correctly, we will see All-Americans Tirapelle of Illinois and Esposito of Lehigh battling it out for the #1 ranking in the country in the Championship Finals. Shapert of Edinboro and Bentley of North Carolina close out the top four with Kulczyki of Michigan having great upset potential. Returning placewinners from last year are Tirapelle (1st). 157 Bryan Snyder - Nebraska, Jr. Eric Jorgenson - Oregon St., Sr. Kirk White - Boise St., Sr. Shaun Shapert - Edinboro, Sr. Griff Powell - Illinois, Jr. Rocky Smart - Arizona St., So. Ryan Bernholz - Lehigh, Sr. Joe Carr - WestVirginia, Jr. Former NCAA Champ Kirk White of Boise State returns after dropping a weight class, down from 165. Count on White and All-American Snyder of Nebraska on hooking up in the finals with All-Americans Shapert of Edinboro and Bernholz of Lehigh close behind. Smart, Powell, and Carr are all serious All-American candidates who should look to place well in this tournament. Returning placewinners are Jorgensen (1st), Powell (3rd), and Carr (4th). 165 Steve Blackford - Arizona St, Sr. Chris Martin - Virginia Tech, Sr. Ian Nelms - Cal State Bakersfield, Sr. Matt Lackey - Illinois, So. Carl Fronhofer - Pittsburgh So. Yanni Diamond - Edinboro, Sr. Tony Denke - Nebraska, Jr. The clear favorite in this weight class is the All-American senior from Arizona State Steve Blackford. Notorious for the cradle, he has the possibility to dominate this weight class. Martin from Virginia Tech, Fronhofer of Pittsburgh, and Nelms of Cal State Bakersfield will also pose a challenge to Blackford. Returning placewinners from last year are Blackford (1st), Fronhofer (4th), and Nelms (7th). 174 Otto Olson - Michigan, Sr. Josh Koscheck - Edinboro, Jr. Eric Hall - Virginia Tech, Sr. Curtis Owen - Arizona St., Jr. Ben King - Illinois, Sr. Steve Strange - Cal Poly, Jr. Corey Bell - North Carolina, Sr. Ati Conner - Nebraska, Sr. The first of many anticipated meetings between two All-Americans could take place in Vegas with Olson of Michigan and the powerful Koscheck of Edinboro. A definite contrasts in styles, Olson will look to brawl his way into the finals. Conner from Nebraska, King of Illinois, and Owen of Arizona State also share high placement potential. Returning placewinners from last year are Olson (1st), and Strange (6th). 184 Doug Lee - Oregon, Sr. Rob Rohn - Lehigh, Jr. Cash Edwards - Boise St., Jr. Nate Patrick - Illinois, Sr. Charles McTorry - Nebraska, Sr. Andy Hrovat - Michigan, Jr. Cash Edwards - Boise St., Jr.. This weight is very balanced with great athletes and returning All-Americans throughout. All-American Doug Lee of Oregon returns for his senior year and is competing well early on. Very skilled with the duck under, he will be tested by veteran All-American Hrovat of Michigan, McTorry of Nebraska, Patrick of Illinois, and All-American Edwards of Boise State. Returning placewinners are Lee (2nd), and Patrick (3rd). 197 Brad Vering - Nebraska, Sr. Nick Preston - Ohio St., Jr. Turk Lords - Montana St. Northern, Sr. Chael Sonnen - Oregon, Sr. Pat Quirk - Illinois, Sr. Craig Rumsey - Wyoming, Sr. Rusty Cook - Boise St., Sr, Four former All-Americans highlight this very competitive weight class. Returning NCAA Champion Brad Vering of Nebraska will have to ward off a serious challenge from All-American Preston of Ohio State. Factor in All-American and Greco star Chael Sonnen, All-American Quirk from Illinois, and Cook from Boise St. to push Vering. Returning placewinners are Lords (2nd), Quirk (3rd), Cook (5th), and Rumsey (7th). Hwt. John Lockhart - Illinois, Jr. Matt Brink - Michigan, Sr. Jason Cooley - Oregon St., Jr. Bart Johnson - Boise St., Jr. Matt Kenny - North Carolina, Jr. John Eschenfelder - Buffalo,Sr Tommy Rowlands- Ohio St,Fr. Josh Pearce - Edinboro, Jr. This will be the first real test of the year for the Heavyweight class which appear to be very balanced with top contenders. Returning All-Americans Lockhart and Brink would be the early favorites to win the weight. Eschenfelder, Pearce, and Kenny will also challenge. Freshman Tommy Rowlands will also pose a serious threat for the title, after a big pin in dual competition against Iowa State. Returning placewinners
Untitled Document
   
© Copyright 2000-2014 USA Wrestling, All rights reserved.
Contents of this site may not used without the expressed written consent of USA Wrestling.