Over the weekend the Ohio State wrestling team took part in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas invitational, one of the top wrestling tournaments in the country. Despite entering only seven of its ten starters, the team managed to wrestle its way to a second-place finish.
Leading the way for the Buckeyes was senior Logan Stieber who won his fourth-consecutive CKLV championship, earning bonus points in every match including his finals match against NCAA runner-up Devin Carter. That finals victory against Carter was Stieber's 100th win as a collegiate wrestler. The dominating performance earned him the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler award.
Just behind Stieber were freshmen Nathan Tomasello and Kyle Snyder and junior Johnni DiJulius. All three earned third place finishes. Snyder suffered his first loss of the season in the semifinals when he dropped a razor-thin 3-2 decision to Kyven Gadson, a senior and returning All-American from Iowa State. Snyder would recover by earning major decisions over Trent Noon (N. Colorado) and 5-seed Jace Bennett of Cornell. Tomasello's loss also came to a returning All-American in Dylan Peters of Northern Iowa. Tomasello was dominating Peters and appeared well on his way to winning a major decision until Peters caught him in a cow catcher and pinned the Buckeye freshman. It was the second time in as many losses where a momentary lapse cost Tomasello big. They were both freshman mistakes and appear easily correctible. I expect Tomasello to learn from these and be a much improved wrestler by the time March rolls around. Following the loss to Peters, Tomasello won his last four matches by decision to earn his third-place finish. DiJulius also used a four-match win streak to earn his spot on the podium. The streak included wins over the numbers 12, 4, and 5 seeds.
Also placing for the Buckeyes were Nick Tavanello (5th, 285) and Mark Martin (7th, 174). In a significant upset, Kenny Courts did not place. Both Hunter Stieber and Bo Jordan missed the CKLV with injuries that are expected to keep them out until January. 157-pounder Josh Demas, the roommate and close friend of Kosta Karageorge, also sat out the tournament for what is believed to be personal reasons.
Stieber named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week
Logan Stieber's dominating performance over the weekend didn't go unnoticed by the Big Ten conference. The Buckeye captain was named the conference's wrestler of the week. As mentioned earlier, the five wins (all earned bonus-points) gave Stieber 100 wins for his career. His record at Ohio State now stands at 100-3.
Buckeyes return to Columbus
Next up for the Buckeyes is a return to St. John arena and a matchup with the #5-ranked Missouri Tigers. The dual meet will be held this Sunday at 2:00 p.m. The marquee matchup will see freshman captain Kyle Snyder get another crack at a top-3 opponent. This time it will be J'Den Cox, the defending national champion at 197 pounds. Buckeye fans may remember Cox as the man who narrowly defeated Ohio State's Nick Heflin in last year's NCAA finals. Will Snyder be able to exact revenge? Head down to St. John Arena to find out. Can't make it to Columbus? Keep it tuned to LGHL and we'll let you know all of the details.