Good evening, wrestling fans! Again no Nomad to nourish you with Division I news, notes, nuggets, nibblers, and general wrestling tidings.
But I will faithfully fulfill his duties as the one they call Nomad is flying over our nation’s heartland on his way to Northeast Ohio to cover the 2017 Walsh Jesuit Ironman. Also, sorry to be tardy to the party but CKLV chaos (more on that in a bit) and the annual Flo Holiday Get-Together unavoidably delayed the completion of this report.
So let’s cut the chitchat and get to it!
The Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Was Bonkers
Creating a Lovecraftian nightmare for humble rankers across the nation, 101 top 20 wrestlers entered the brackets in Vegas and 29 were upset in the championship bracket on the first day alone.
The insanity continued on day two. By the end of the carnival of carnage, five top five wrestlers had taken an "L," two of them at the hands of unranked opponents. Nomad has already done the heavy lifting in researching the top 16 upsets of the weekend, all but one of which occurred at the CKLV.
As an example of the ridiculous depth of this year’s edition of the Cliff Keen Invitational, at least three All-Americans didn’t make the podium: Ryan Millhof, Kevin Beazley, and Brandon Womack. Logan Massa and Ethan Ramos also failed to place, but those two medically forfeited their consolation bouts after falling in the championship round.
From the smoking bracket wreckage emerged 10 champions, who survived what was essentially a half-strength NCAA tournament and deserve a special mention.
125: Taylor LaMont, Utah Valley
One of the biggest surprises of the tournament, the redshirt freshman from Utah fights his way into All-American contention.
133: Luke Pletcher, Ohio State
The first of three Buckeyes champs, Pletcher wins a weight class harder to figure out then an AP calculus exam.
141: Yianni Diakomihalis, Cornell
Cornell’s cadet freestyle world champ showed why he was such a coveted recruit when he beat Bryce Meredith in the finals.
149: Justin Oliver, Central Michigan
The Chippewas get fired up by Oliver, who swallowed the competition whole with his praying mantis-like body.
157: Alec Pantaleo, Michigan
Pantaleo returns to form, running through a loaded bracket after losing his last six folkstyle matches.
165: David McFadden, Virginia Tech
If you are not pumped about this weight class, you are not paying attention. McFadden fends off upstart Evan Wick to capture a title.
174: Zahid Valencia, Arizona State
Beat BoJo for the second time this season, though it was a closer match this time around.
184: Myles Martin, Ohio State
The 2016 174-pound NCAA champ looked as good as ever at 184 pounds. The weight class has been put on notice.
197: Kollin Moore, Ohio State
The Mountain Man shook off some early round rust and pinned Jared Haught in the finals in a recreation of their third-place match at last season’s NCAAs.
285: Adam Coon, Michigan
The future astrophysicist of astronomical proportions survived an OT scare in the finals from Tanner Hall to remain undefeated on the year.
And finally, here's me at the CKLV, directing Te'Shan Campbell and Isaiah White to the official scorekeeper after they tried to check in with me, merely the humble announcer.
Yeah, There Were Also Some Duals This Weekend
Iowa 18, Illinois 17
The Hawkeyes needed a pin from Sam Stoll in the final match secure a victory at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Luckily, Stoll did his job, sending Terry Brands into the stands for a Hawkeye Hop. You know, like the Lambeau Leap? No? OK, forget Hawkeye Hop then, but anyway, Brands freaked out and it was cool.
Lock Haven 22, Rutgers 16
Scarlet Knight head coach Scott Goodale lost to his alma mater as the Bald Eagles pulled off a big upset in front of 2,357 fans in a sold-out Thomas Fieldhouse in Lock Haven, PA.
Rider 19, Penn 15
Lehigh 25, Princeton 13
Pennsylvania and New Jersey split matches in the battle for East Coast private school supremacy.
Penn State 23, Lehigh 19
Lehigh continues to impress as the defending champs needed a victory in the final bout of the evening to escape a sold-out PPL Center with a win. The crowd of 9,896 was a record for a Lehigh “home” dual; however, the match was hosted about 6 miles to the west of campus in neighboring Allentown, PA.
And In Not-Quite-NCAA-DI News
The UWW Womens World Cup went down in Cheboksary, Russia, located on the Volga River in the Chuvash Republic. And what is the Chuvash Republic? Chebok-sorry I asked.
The Americans took fourth, beating the hometown Russian squad in pool play but falling to eventual champs Japan in the semifinals and to Mongolia in the third-place match.
According to the UWW rule book, it looks like USA wins the dual 4-4 on classification points criteria with Adeline's fall holding more weight than Orshush's tech fall #WWC2017— USA Wrestling (@USAWrestling) December 1, 2017
Many of the athletes from the recently completed World Cup stuck around Cheboksary to participate in Russia Cup on Monday and Tuesday. Victoria Anthony and Mallory Velte led the way in the traditional individual tournament with two gold medals to go with five other American placers.
Thanks to the lateness of these week's roundup, we're only a day away from a whole new weekend of wrestling goodness. Stay tuned for the soon-to-be-published What 2 Watch 4 coming your way shortly.