Nov. 30, 2012
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -
Senior Daniel Young (149 pounds) and junior Paul Hancock (165) authored identical 3-1 marks and remain in contention in the consolation draw of their respective weight classes following the first day of competition at the 31st annual Cliff Keen Invitational at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Friday.
The performances of Young and Hancock sparked the Black Knights, who are tied for 25th place out of 32 schools at the prestigious two-day event. Both wrestlers will continue to navigate the consolation bracket when action resumes on Saturday morning.
Young, who was seeded 10th in the 149-pound bracket, began the tournament with a convincing 5-0 victory against Cornell's Christopher Villalonga. Young then dropped a hard-fought 4-3 decision to seventh-seeded Drake Houdashelt of Missouri to fall into the consolation draw. There, Young slipped past Wisconsin's Coulthurst Schmitt, 5-4, and defeated American's Kevin Tao (5-3). He will begin Saturday's action with a match versus Virginia's fifth-seeded Derek Valenti.
Hancock, unseeded at 165 pounds, posted a 12-2 major decision opposite Cal Poly's Connor King in his opening-round bout. Hancock then dropped a 15-6 major decision against third-seeded Nicholas Sulzer of Virginia, before bouncing back with a 6-0 blanking of Ohio State's Mark Martin in the consolation draw. Hancock then beat Nebraska's Austin Wilson, 5-3, and will face Boise State's eighth-seeded Holden Packard in his first bout on Saturday.
Freshman Bryce Barnes was the only other Army wrestlers to win multiple bouts. He finished the day with a 2-2 mark and just missed out on reaching Saturday's competition. Barnes began his tournament run with a 2-1 edging of Utah Valley's David Prieto. The first-year wrestler was then defeated by top-seeded Dusting Kilgore of Kent State, but rebounded to knock off Northern Iowa's AJ McBroom (8-2) in the consolation bracket. Barnes then suffered an 8-3 setback to eighth-seeded Jackson Heim of Wisconsin and bowed out of the tournament.
Sophomore Hunter Wood (125 pounds), freshman Brian Harvey (157) and senior Collin Wittmeyer (184) each collected single victories for the Black Knights, but failed to advance to Saturday's action. All three wrestlers finished with identical 1-2 marks.
Young and Hancock will wrap up competition at the Cliff Keen Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 1, beginning at 9 a.m. PST.