Nov. 29, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
The Army wrestling team returns to the tournament circuit this weekend when the Black Knights travel to Las Vegas, Nev., to compete at the 31st annual Cliff Keen Invitational.
The two-day event, which will be contested inside the Las Vegas Convention Center, is slated to begin on Friday, Nov. 30, and conclude on Saturday, Dec. 1. Army is competing at the Cliff Keen Invitational for the second straight season. The Black Knights finished tied for 28th at last year's event.
Action gets under way Friday at 9 a.m. PST, with quarterfinal action set for 7 p.m. that evening. Saturday's wrestling is slated to begin at 10 a.m. PST, with the championship finals scheduled for 3 p.m. that afternoon.
The 32-team field features 10 nationally ranked programs as Cornell, Kent State, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota State, Ohio State, Oregon State, Virginia and Wyoming are all scheduled to be part of this prestigious event. EIWA rivals American, Brown, Harvard and Navy will also be competing.
All-session passes, which include the championship finals, will be sold for $40 (adults) and $30 (students). Single-session tickets will also be offered with preliminary rounds ($15/$12) and championship finals ($20/$15) being sold separately. There will be no pre-sale of tickets, and all seats are general admission.
Army fans who are unable to make the trip out west will be able to follow along with Twitter updates via the official handle of Army wrestling (@Army_Wrestling).
Army is coming off a 1-2 showing at last Saturday's Northeast Duals. The Black Knights slipped past Binghamton (16-15), but suffered losses to 23rd-ranked Purdue (23-12) and EIWA rival Rutgers (26-12) Junior Paul Hancock went 3-0 on the day at 165 pounds to lead Army.
The Black Knights have fared well in their first three tournament appearances of the season, placing fifth at the Buffalo Invitational, finishing third at the Oklahoma-Gold Classic and turning in a fifth-place showing at the New York State Championships.
Hancock enters the weekend with a 9-3 record and two pins. Senior 184-pounder Collin Wittmeyer shows a 10-5 overall record to go along with a team-best four major decisions. Senior 149-pounder Daniel Young and freshman 197-pounder Bryce Barnes boast nine wins apiece. Young, who is ranked 20th nationally by Intermat, is tied for the team lead with six bonus-point victories.
Following this weekend's tournament, Army will return to West Point to host Drexel in its home opener on Thursday, Dec. 6, at Gillis Field House. The non-league dual match, which will serve as Army's final competition of the 2012 calendar year, is set to get under way at 6 p.m.