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Stauffer Punches Ticket to Semifinals in Las Vegas
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 11/30/2012
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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Nov. 30, 2012


LAS VEGAS – With one day of action in the books, four members of the Arizona State University wrestling team punched their ticket to the second day of competition at the 31st Annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Friday.

It was all about the upper weights for the Sun Devils on the opening day of action with the team posting quarterfinalists at 174, 184, 197 and 285 pounds.  

However, the performance of the day easily goes to redshirt freshman Blake Stauffer, the lone Sun Devil still alive in the championship side of the bracket after posting a 3-0 record on the day to advance to tomorrow’s semifinal.

Stauffer has been largely underrated this season despite posting a 6-0 start to the 2012-13 campaign and outscoring opponents 51-10 on top of two pins.  Even with that start, Stauffer entered the weekend unranked and unseeded for this particular tournament. 

No matter. Stauffer smashed Travis Mallo of Army, 16-0, to open the day and set up a meeting with the tournament No. 2 seed and the nationally No. 9-ranked Jonathan Fausey of Virginia.  Despite an extremely questionable takedown that was credited to Fausey, Stauffer downed Cavalier in a 6-4 decision to punch his ticket to the quarterfinals.

There, he easily handed Cornell’s George Pickett, 6-2, to earn a spot in tomorrow’s semifinal where he will take on the No. 3 seed and national No.  11 Daniel Yates of Michigan for a shot to advance to the finals. 

Kevin Radford (184), Jake Meredith (197) and Levi Cooper (HWT) all also advanced to the quarterfinals on Friday but all fell to nationally-ranked competitors to drop to tomorrow’s consolation bracket.

Radford, the tournament’s No. 8 seed, gave No. 1 seeded (No. 5 nationally) John Ihnen of Nebraska all he could handle in his quarterfinal, eliminated riding time late for a chance to tie thing in regulation before giving up an escape with 10 seconds left to drop the 5-4 decision. 

Meredith (No. 7 seed) fell to the tournament No. 2 (No. 4 nationally) in Wyoming’s Alfonso Hernandez, 6-1, that set up one of the most exciting matches of the whole tournament for Cooper (No. 3 seed), who lost a heartbreaking decision in double overtime to Ohio State’s nationally-ranked No. 15 Peter Capone, 4-3, after giving up a late reversal. 

At 125 pounds, Dalton Miller had a decent day, obliterating Western Wyoming’s Adrian Avelar 15-0 to set up a contest with the tournament four-seed, Nikko Triggas of Ohio State.  Miller put up a fight, taking Triggas to back before giving up a fall at 4:52 to drop to the consolation bracket.  After disposing Kent State’s Steve Mitcheff, 10-6, Miller had a rematch against CSU Bakersfield’s Tyler Iwamura (No. 6 seed/No. 17 nationally).  Unlike the high scoring dual fans saw two weekend’s ago, this one was a defense struggle that saw Iwamura come away with the tight 3-2 victory to eliminate Miller.

A complete recap of all the Sun Devils in action on Friday can be found below.

The Sun Devils will return to action tomorrow at 10 a.m. MST.  Fans are encouraged to follow all the action live on the ASU Wrestling Twitter account at

Tourney Seed/National Seed (According to Amateur Wrestling News)

125 Pounds, Dalton Miller, 2-2

Miller tech fall Adrian Avelar (Western Wyoming),15-0

No. 4/No. 15 Nikko Targas pins Miller, 4:52

Miller dec. Steve Mitcheff (Kent State), 8-6 SV

No. 5/No. 17 Tyler Iwamura (CSU Bakersfield) dec. Miller, 3-2 

133 Pounds, Ares Carpio, 0-2

Dylan Hyder (Air Force) major Carpio, 10-0

Rosario Bruno (Michigan) dec. Carpio, 2-0

141 Pounds, Matt Kraus, 0-2

John Boyle (American) major Kraus, 10-2

Naveed Bagheri (San Francisco St.) dec. Kraus, 6-4 

149 Pounds, Nathan Hoffer, 1-2

No. 6/No. 12 Cam Tassari (Ohio State) pins Hoffer, 1:44

Hoffer major Nicholas Carr (Kent State), 16-8

Justin Gonzales (Northern Colorado) pins Hoffer, 2:36 

157 Pounds, Codey Combs, 1-2

No. 4/No. 12 Bobby Barnhisel (Navy) dec. Combs, 3-0

Combs tech fall Christopher Howard (Brown), 17-0

Kyle Chene dec. Combs, 5-2

165 Pounds, Parker Madl, 0-2

Austin Wilson (Nebraska) dec. Madl, 3-0

Caleb Marsh (Kent State) dec. Madl, 9-6 

174 Pounds, Blake Stauffer, 3-0

Stauffer tech fall Travis Mallo (Army), 16-0

Stauffer dec. No. 2/No. 9 Jonathan Fausey (Virginia), 6-4

Stauffer dec. George Pickett (Cornell), 6-2

184 Pounds, No. 8/NR Kevin Radford, 2-1

Radford dec. Kenny Courts (Ohio State), 6-4

Radford dec. Collin Wittmeyer (Army), 6-3

No. 1/No. 5 John Ihnen (Nebraska) dec. Radford (5-4) 

197 Pounds, No. 7/17 Jake Meredith, 2-1

Meredith tech fall Devon Bradley (American), 19-2

Meredith dec. Zach Nye (Virginia), 4-2

No. 2/No. 4 Alfonso Hernandez (Wyoming) dec. Meredith 6-1

HWT, No. 3/No. 13 Levi Cooper, 2-1

Cooper dec.  Donny Longendyke (Nebraska), 4-0

Levi Cooper dec. Phillip Mandzik (West Virginia), 1-0

No. 6/No. 15 Peter Capone dec. Cooper, 4-3 (2OT)

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