Dec. 4, 2009
TEMPE - The first day of competition at the 28th Cliff Keen/Las Vegas Invitational came to a close on Friday night at the Star of the Desert Arena in Primm, Nev., with the No. 21 Arizona State University wrestling team standing 11th overall in the 44-team field despite sending just eight competitors to the event. Junior Anthony Robles rolled his four opponents on the day to advance to the semifinals and is one of four Sun Devils still alive in the competition with all four guaranteed a place among the Top 8 in the prestigious annual event.
No. 4 Ohio State leads the overall team race with 89 points while No. 9 Cornell (79), No. 12 Oklahoma (76), No. 7 Boise State (68.5) and No. 11 Nebraska (67) round out the Top 5. The Sun Devils have accumulated 52.5 points so far and will look to add more on the final day of competition and return to the Top 15 for the first time in three years.
Robles, ranked No. 2 nationally and seeded second in the tournament, was on the mat for four matches and left the competition area with a victory well before the start of the third period in all three. He opened the day with a pin of Seth Chavez (New Mexico Highlands) in 2:21 of the first period before pinning Kyle McCrite (North Idaho) in 3:59. Robles then stuck Kyle O’Brien (Western State) in 2:09 before winning a 17-2 technical fall (in 4:29) over seventh-seeded Jarod Patterson (Oklahoma) in the quarterfinals. Robles will face sixth-seeded and 12th-ranked Michael Martinez (Wyoming) in the semifinals on Saturday.
The three other Sun Devils remaining in the competition include Ben Ashmore at 133 pounds, Chris Drouin at 141 pounds and Erik Nye at heavyweight. Ashmore, seeded eighth in the tournament, won his first two matches with one-point decisions as he downed Eric Spint (Virginia Tech), 1-0, and Flint Ray (Utah Valley), 6-5. In the quarterfinals, he dropped a 12-3 major decision to top-seeded and 12th-ranked Tyler Graff (Wisconsin) to fall into the consolation rounds where he won another one-point decision, 5-4, over CJ Napier (Nebraska).
Drouin entered the tournament undefeated, ranked third in the nation and seeded second in the tournament and scored two decision victories to open his day. After taking down Mike Koehnlein (Nebraska), 7-2, and Juan Archuletta (Purdue), 8-2, Drouin suffered his first loss of the year as seventh-seeded and 18th-ranked Levi Jones (Boise State) won a 5-2 decision. In the consolation round, Drouin defeated Cole Schmitt (Wisconsin) to advance to the placement rounds on Saturday.
While Robles was not involved in close matches on the first day, Nye could not say the same for all of his matches as the 10th-seeded Sun Devil went to the limit and then some to win several times. After pinning his first opponent, Josh Marquez (Cal Baptist) in 5:25 and defeating Pat Walker (Illinois), 7-2, Nye lost to seventh-seeded and 17th-ranked Ed Bordas (Rider), 3-2 in the first tie-breaker session. Nye recovered in the consolation rounds as he pinned Roger McCovey (North Idaho) in 2:53, but then had to go into overtime in his final two wins of the day to stay alive. First up, Nye scored a takedown in the overtime session to defeat Matt McLaughlin (Wyoming), 3-1 sv1, before earning a rematch with eighth-seeded Ricky Alcala (UC Davis), who defeated Nye, 4-3 tb2, in the first dual of the season. In the rematch, Nye came out on top as he rode out Alcala in the second tie-breaker session to win 2-1 tb2.
Vicente Varela (149) and Te Edwards (165) both went 3-2 on the day and fell one win short of placing in the tournament while Anthony Pike (197) picked up his first two collegiate wins -- both by fall -- to finish 2-2 on the day. Varela won twice in the championship round before giving second-ranked and second-seeded Lance Palmer (Ohio State) all he could handle in a 5-0 decision. Varela then was on the winning and losing ends of 6-4 decisions in the consolation rounds. Pike won his first match of the day with a pin of Rory McBryde (UC Davis) in 1:14 and added a fall in 4:27 in the consolation rounds before bowing out.
Edwards also had an impressive day as the team’s normal starter at 157 pounds moved up one weight class to fill in for an injured Kyle DeBerry and opened the day with a 6-4 decision over Adam Hogue (Harvard). After falling to fourth-seeded and 12th-ranked Donnie Jones (West Virginia), 14-6, Edwards bounced back and won decisions of 11-10 (Aaron Hynes/Michigan) and 3-2 (Ryan Smith/Oregon State). Edwards was knocked out of the tournament by John-Martin Cannon (Buffalo), who pinned the Sun Devil with one second remaining in the match (6:59).
Action continues on Saturday with the remaining matches of the tournament.
28th Cliff Keen/Las Vegas Invitational
Star of the Desert Arena • Primm, Nev.
ASU Results • Day One (Friday)
#/# indicates tournament seed/national ranking
125 - #2/#3 Anthony Robles (4-0)
Champ Pigtail - Robles pinned Seth Chavez (NM Highlands), 2:21
Champ 1st - Robles pinned ns/NJCAA #6 Kyle McCrite (North Idaho), 3:59
Champ 2nd - Robles pinned Kyle O’Brien (Western State), 2:09
Quarterfinal - Robles tech fall #7/nr Jarod Patterson (Oklahoma), 17-2 (4:29)
Semifinal - Robles vs. #6/#12 Michael Martinez (Wyoming)
133 - #8/nr Ben Ashmore (3-1)
Champ 1st - Ashmore dec. Eric Spint (Virginia Tech), 1-0
Champ 2nd - Ashmore dec. Flint Ray (Utah Valley), 6-5
Quarterfinal - #1/#12 Tyler Graff (Wisconsin) major Ashmore, 12-3
Conso 5th - Ashmore dec. CJ Napier (Nebraska), 5-4
Conso Quarter - Ashmore vs. #4/#10 Steve Mytych (Drexel)
141 - #2/#3 Chris Drouin (3-1)
Champ 1st - Drouin dec. Mike Koehnlein (Nebraska), 7-2
Champ 2nd - Drouin dec. Juan Archuletta (Purdue), 8-2
Quarterfinal - #7/#18 Levi Jones (Boise State) dec. Drouin, 5-2
Conso 5th - Drouin dec. Cole Schmitt (Wisconsin), 11-7
Conso Quarter - Drouin vs. #3/#8 Chris Diaz (Virginia Tech)
149 - Vicente Varela (3-2, DNP)
Champ Pigtail - Varela dec. ns/NAIA #8 Benny Garcia (Cal Baptist), 5-4
Champ 1st - Varela dec. Dave Christian (Cal Poly), 6-4
Champ 2nd - #2/#2 Lance Palmer (Ohio State) dec. Varela, 5-0
Conso 3rd - Varela dec. Justin Morrill (Utah Valley), 6-4
Conso 4th - #7/#18 Desi Green (Buffalo) dec. Varela, 6-4
165 - Te Edwards (3-2, DNP)
Champ 1st - Edwards dec. Adam Hogue (Harvard), 6-4
Champ 2nd - #4/#12 Donnie Jones (West Virginia) major Edwards, 14-6
Conso 3rd - Edwards dec. Aaron Hynes (Michigan), 11-10
Conso 4th - Edwards dec. Ryan Smith (Oregon State), 3-2
Conso 5th - John-Martin Cannon (Buffalo) pinned Edwards, 6:59
184 - Jake Meredith (0-2, DNP)
Champ Pigtail - #3/#7 Joe LeBlanc (Wyoming) major Meredith, 11-2
Conso 1st - Brian Crudden (Brown) major Meredith, 10-2
197 - Anthony Pike (2-2, DNP)
Champ Pigtail - Pike pinned Rory McBryde (UC Davis), 1:14
Champ 1st - ns/NCAAII #4 Donovan McMahill (Western State) tech fall Pike, 21-4
Conso 2nd - Pike pinned Ethan Weisrock (CS Fullerton), 4:27
Conso 3rd - Tyler Smith (Rider) pinned Pike, 0:55
285 - #10/nr Erik Nye (5-1)
Champ Pigtail - Nye pinned ns/NJCAA #1 Josh Marquez (Cal Baptist), 5:25
Champ 1st - Nye dec. Pat Walker (Illinois), 7-2
Champ 2nd - #7/#17 Ed Bordas (Rider) dec. Nye, 3-2 tb1
Conso 3rd - Nye pinned ns/NJCAA #3 Roger McCovey (North Idaho), 2:53
Conso 4th - Nye dec. Matt McLaughlin (Wyoming), 3-1 sv1
Conso 5th - Nye dec. #8/nr Ricky Alcala (UC Davis), 2-1 tb2
Conso Quarter - Nye vs. #5/#16 Clayton Jack (Oregon State)