Ohio wrestling had a very impressive showing in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, placing 15th out of the 35 teams.
Ohio enjoyed a productive weekend from some of its top wrestlers, Derek Raike, Peyten Kellar, Garrett Thompson, Sal Perrine and Zayne Lehman. Two of those five, Thompson and Perrine, placed 5th in their respective weight classes. Overall, Ohio’s 15th-place finish was rather impressive, especially considering some of the teams it was able to best. Ohio fared better than No. 17 Navy, No. 23 North Carolina and No. 25 Maryland; Northwestern, Cal Poly and Purdue received votes in the latest poll and scored lower than Ohio.
Ohio has struggled to start the season at the lower weight classes (125-,133-, and 141-pounds). The results that Coach Joel Greenlee was looking for would not be any easier to come by against some of the best wrestlers in the nation. Freshman Ryan Meek represented Ohio in the 125-pound class.
Meek opened his day on Friday against Michigan’s Michael DeAugustino, the No. 2 seed in the bracket. The match went poorly for Meek, who was handed a major decision loss in a lopsided fashion, losing 12-4. Meek would make his way to the consolation bracket where he would meet Jacob Carson from Utah Valley. Meek would lose again, this time by a score of 12-4. The second major decision of the day for Meek ended his weekend.
Mason Brugh was Ohio’s representative in the 133-pound class. To open the weekend, Brugh faced Oregon State’s Gabe Whisenhunt. Brugh was quickly pinned by Whisenhunt. In the consolation bracket, Brugh faced Morgan State’s Shawn Ryncarz. Brugh was not pinned this time but did lose a major decision, 14-5, to end his weekend after just a pair of matches.
Aidan Waszak’s weekend in Sin City was rather rough. Waszak would be matched up with Rider’s McKenzie Bell in the first round.
Waszak was handed a major decision loss by a large margin of 15-1. The consolation bracket was the next stop for Waszak and he would put up a good fight in his next match against South Dakota State’s Caleb Gross. Waszak and Gross were knotted at one point before heading to sudden victory. Waszak was unable to snatch a victory, losing in the extra period.
Derek Raike, Ohio’s representative in the 149-pound class got off to a tough start, getting ousted by Virginia Tech’s Caleb Henson via tech fall in the first round. In the consolation bracket, Raike started by taking on Jack Crook from Harvard. Raike defeated him by tech fall to advance.
In his second consolation match, Raike faced Bryce Shelton from the Air Force. The result was the same as Raike got another fall. Next, Raike would face a tough opponent, at least in theory. Maryland’s Ethen Miller was the No. 8 seed, but Raike advanced via tech fall. His adventure through the consolation bracket would end there, though. Raike would lose in the final seconds of his next match.
Peyten Kellar was one of the Bobcat wrestlers who was seeded; Kellar was No. 12. The day started fantastically for Kellar as he picked up a win by fall against California-Bakersfield (UCSB) wrestler Devyn Che. Kellar faced North Carolina State’s Ed Scott in the second round. Kellar advanced after a dramatic sudden victory.
In the quarterfinals, Kellar was bested by Michigan’s Will Lewan. Kellar, though, went to the consolation bracket to face in-state foe Paddy Gallagher from Ohio State. Kellar was unable to regain form and ultimately lost against Gallagher to end his weekend.
Garrett Thompson started his weekend in one of the round of 64 matches and picked up a fall. He went again in the Round of 32 and picked up a fall. The same thing happened in the Round of 16.
The three falls by Thompson set up a match against No. 1 seed David Carr from Iowa State. Carr has been an All-American four times, a National Champion once and a runner-up once while winning four Big 12 titles in the process. Thompson lost a major decision against Carr and moved to the consolation bracket. There, Thompson defeated two more wrestlers to advance to the consolation semifinals. Thompson could not overcome Michigan’s Cameron Amine, but Thompson qualified for the 5th-place bout. Thompson would defeat Hunter Garvin from Stanford to land 5th place.
Sal Perrine started this weekend as the wrestler who was forced to face the No. 1 seed, Michigan’s Shane Griffith, in the first round. Perrine held tough, giving Griffith a difficult match before ultimately falling short. While Perrine fell into the consolation bracket, he was able to pick up a trio of wins before advancing via medical forfeit.
Perrine would respond with yet another victory to send him to the consolation semifinals. Like Thompson, he was unable to emerge in that bout, finding himself also in the 5th-place match. Perrine defeated Campbell’s Austin Murphy to win 5th place.
Zayne Lehman has been wrestling with an upward trajectory after a bit of a slow start to the season. In his first match, though, he was leading against Utah Valley’s Jacob Armstrong before getting pinned in the third period. In the consolation bracket, though, Lehman made sure his weekend did not end quickly. Lehman picked up three straight wins to keep his hopes of placing alive. Unfortunately, Lehman was bested by Oklahoma State’s Dustin Plott, the eventual 3rd-place finisher.
In Austin Starr’s first match, he was pinned by Stanford’s Nick Stemmet. After one victory in the consolation bracket, Starr was bested by Iowa State’s Julien Broderson to end his weekend early. While Starr might not be totally satisfied with the results, the quality of competition is undeniable and if given a different draw in the bracket, his result might have been drastically different.
Jordan Greer has started strong for Ohio this season as he returns from an ACL tear. Greer picked up a loss in his first-round match but quickly bounced back in the consolation bracket. Greer would pick up a tech fall against Jack Forbes of Utah Valley. The next result would not be quite as kind as Greer lost to the eventual 4th-place finisher, Boone McDermott from Oregon State.