Wrestling places 35th out of 46 at Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas

Ian Kreider

This past weekend, 46 wrestling teams gathered in Las Vegas for the Cliff Keen Invitational. The meet featured many of the top wrestlers in the nation, a fact the Flashes learned early, as just two of their 10 competitors advanced past the first round of matches.

Senior Will Bardezbain led the way for the Flashes in the 125-pound bracket. On his way to the quarterfinals, he beat Anthony DeCesare (Air Force), 12-6, in his first match and pinned Trent Olson (Wyoming) in the round of 32. He then upset No. 4 seed Dalton Macri (North Carolina), 18-15. However, he fell to No. 5 seed Connor Schram (Stanford), 4-1, in the quarterfinals.

Junior Anthony Tutolo also had a solid performance in the 133-pound bracket with a 6-4 win against Matthew Schmitt (West Vriginia) in the round of 32, but then he ran into the No. 1 seed Stevan Micic (Michigan) in the round of 32. Micic pinned Tutolo 6:53 into the match to end Tutolo’s tournament run.

Sophomore Tim Rooney was knocked out of the 141-pound bracket with a 9-2 loss to Joe Russ (Binghamton). However, he was not the only Flash who was bumped early on. Freshman Nick Monico, junior Casey Sparkman, junior Isaac Bast, freshman Dylan Barreiro, freshman Colin McCracken, sophomore Shane Mast and junior Devin Nye all lost before the round of 16.

The Flashes finished 35th out of 46 teams with 17.5 points, which was the worst finish out of the Mid-American Conference teams who were in action at the tournament. Central Michigan finished seventh with 82 points, and Eastern Michigan finished 27th with 27 points. 

The next match is at 2 p.m. on Dec. 10 against Buffalo at the M.A.C. Center.

Ian Kreider is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected].