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Iowa State Wrestlers Head to Las Vegas for the Cliff Keen Invitational

Senator Harry Reid Gives Keynote Address At Human Rights Campaign Gala Photo by Laura Rauch/Getty Images for Paris Hotel and Casino

2016 hasn’t started well for the Cyclone wrestlers. A 1-3 start wasn’t what anyone envisioned being in the cards at this point in the season. But it might be time for their luck to change as they go to Las Vegas this weekend for one of the premier tournaments of the season. With multiple highly ranked teams also in attendance a team trophy is unlikely, but several members of the lineup have a chance to stake their claim to a top ten ranking if they play their cards right.

When: Dec 2nd-3rd, All Day

Where: Las Vegas, NV

Live Results & Brackets: FloArena

Stream: Flowrestling ($)

Iowa State Lineup

Weight Wrestler Record
125 Markus Simmons 10-2
133 Earl Hall 5/4/5 5-1
141 John Meeks 4-1
149 Chase Straw 8-2
157 Colston DeBlasi 9-4
165 Dane Pestano 5-2
174 Lelund Weatherspoon 14/10/10 8-1
184 Carsin Powell 6-3
197 Marcus Harrington 0-0
HWT Quean Smith 1-1

Weight By Weight Breakdown



Seed Wrestler School Intermat Rank
1 Joey Dance Virginia Tech 2
2 Connor Schram Stanford 7
3 Josh Terao American 12
4 Sean Russell Edinburo 14
5 Austin Assad Michigan 16
6 Brent Fleetwood Central Michigan 20
7 Dylan Marci Cornell UR

Last weekend Simmons struggled to make weight two days in a row so the biggest thing to watch for at this weight might simply be how Simmons does in the evening round of day 1 and all of day two (if he makes it that far). There are only a couple of top guys at this weight so regardless of his draw Simmons should have a couple winnable matches. Going 2-2 or better would be a good sign that Simmons can hold weight and be an improvement over Larson in the lineup.



Seed Wrestler School Intermat Rank
1 Nathan Tomasello Ohio State 3
2 Earl Hall Iowa State 5
3 Steven Micic Michigan 9
4 Anthony Tutolo Kent State 16
5 Mark Grey Cornell 18
6 Drew Templeman Wyoming UR

Hall has a shot in Vegas to cement himself as an All American contender for the year. Anything short of third would be a disappointment this weekend and one of his most important matches is probably an anticipated semifinal between himself and freshman phenom Steven Micic of Michigan. Win that and Hall is on track for a great senior year. Lose that and he’ll have some ground to make up between now and March.



Seed Wrestler School Intermat Rank
1 Joey McKenna Stanford 2
2 Bryce Meredith Wyoming 7
3 KeShawn Hayes Ohio State 12
4 Brock Zacherl Clarion 13
5 Kogan Everett Army 16
6 Tyler Smith Bucknell 17
7 Jared Prince Navy 18
8 Joey Palmer Oregon State 19
9 Kyle Springer Eastern Michigan UR

With Moreno out, Meeks has a great opportunity with this bracket. Only two top ten ranked guys are in Vegas but almost all of the wrestlers ranked 11-20 are in attendance. This gives Meeks a chance to get a full sounding for where he stands in his last year of eligibility. If he goes 0-2 or 1-2 then it might be time to start thinking about life after wrestler. But a spot on the podium, especially a high one, would mean Meeks might be able to end his senior year with a trip to St. Louis.



Seed Wrestler School Intermat Rank
1 Soloman Chisko Virginia Tech 5
2 Micah Jordan Ohio State 6
3 Justin Oliver Central Michigan 7
4 Pat Lugo Edinburo 8
5 Andrew Crone Wisconsin 15
6 Joey Galasso Cornell 19
7 Zac Hall Michigan 20
8 Christian Pagdilao Arizona State UR
9 Joey Delgado Oregon State UR

We really don’t know much about Chase Straw yet. He has done well against weak competition but not so well against quality D-1 opponents. But he’s also a freshman who is still figuring out what it takes to compete at this level. So with that in mind there really aren’t any expectations at this weight. We’ll just have to see what Straw can do.



Seed Wrestler School Intermat Rank
1 Dylan Palacio Cornell 2
2 Brian Murphy Michigan 5
3 Collin Heffernan Central Michigan 10
4 Russel Parsons Army 11
5 Victor Lopez Bucknell 18
6 Casey Sparkman Kent State 19
7 Sal Mastriani Virginia Tech 20
8 Joshua Shields Arizona State UR

Another weight, another freshman we don’t know much about yet. Just like at 141 there aren’t really expectation here. Just want to find out what DiBlasi has to offer over the next four years.



Seed Wrestler School Intermat Rank
1 Isaac Jordan Wisconsin 2
2 Logan Massa Michigan 6
3 Dylan Cottrell West Virginia 8
4 Anthony Valencia Arizona State 9
5 Keaton Subjeck Stanford 12
6 Austin Matthews Edinburo 16
7 Brandon Womack Cornell 20
8 Tyrel White Columbia UR

Like Simmons at 125, Pestano has a hard cut and struggled with making weight multiple days in a row last weekend. And because of that he ended up losing his spot in the rankings this week. This is a tough bracket so hopefully Pestano gets a draw that allows him a shot at Mathews and/or Womack so he can find out if he deserves that ranking after all. Making it into day two and showing he can be strong after making weight that second day is what to look for here. Getting on the podium would be nice, but how he’s handling the weight cut is probably the most important thing we’ll find out this weekend.



Seed Wrestler School Intermat Rank
1 Bo Jordan Ohio State 1
2 Zach Epperly Virginia Tech 2
3 Brian Realbuto Cornell 5
4 Zahid Valencia Arizona State 7
5 Lelund Weatherspoon Iowa State 10
6 Jadaen Bernstein Navy 11
7 Jim Wilson Stanford 13
8 Nick Wanzek Minnesota 14
9 Myles Amine Michigan 20
10 Ryan Christensen Wisconsin UR

With half of the top twelve ranked wrestlers at this weight expected to be in attendance, there will be a lot of pressure on Lelund to place in the top four and show he is capable of repeating as an All American. Since this will be the only time all season he’ll see some of these top guys a strong performance and high podium finish is very important to set himself up for a high seed in March. On the other hand, finishing outside the top six could be an indication that last March’s finish was a flash in the pan and we should lower our expectations for this season.



Seed Wrestler School Intermat Rank
1 Gabe Dean Cornell 1
2 Myles Martin Ohio State 2
3 Pat Downey Iowa State 6
4 Zack Zavatsky Virginia Tech 8
5 Jordan Ellingwood Central Michigan 11
6 Steve Schneider Binghamton 15
7 Corey Griego Oregon State 16

Downey is still recovering from a broken rib. So Powell is just happy to get the call and be here. Any win is a good win.



Seed Wrestler School Intermat Rank
1 Brett Pfarr Minnesota 2
2 Jared Haught Virginia Tech 3
3 Jake Smith West Virginia 6
4 Kollin Moore Ohio State 12
5 Ricky Robertson Wisconsin 15
6 Tom Sleigh Bucknell 16
7 Matt Williams CSU Bakersfield 19
8 Rocco Caywood Army 20
9 Parker Hines Air Force UR

Last season Harrington had some decent wins and also (what turned out to be) some respectable losses. He was ranked 19th to start the season but a neck injury has kept him off the mat so far. This bracket has three top ranked guys but below that are five guys who are ranked in the teens and even an unranked wrestler sitting as the #8 seed. This gives Harrington a good opportunity to feel out his level with multiple opportunities against decent, but not great wrestlers. Assuming he stays healthy and wrestles the whole tournament it would be great to see Harrington make it to the 7th place match or better. Having to withdraw early due to his neck would be a bad sign for what we can expect out of this weight in the season to come.



Seed Wrestler School Intermat Rank
1 Kyle Snyder Ohio State 1
2 Connor Medbery Wisconsin 2
3 Ty Walz Virginia Tech 3
4 Tanner Hall Arizona State 4
5 Micheal Kroells Minnesota 8
6 Nathan Butler Stanford 10
7 Billy Miller Edinburo 16
8 Jeramy Sweany Cornell 20

This is Smith’s last go around and based on his results so far he needs to decide if he wants to win this year or if he’s just coasting to graduation. The Heavyweight bracket is very top heavy so breaking into the top 6 is likely out of the question. But winning a few matches and making it to at least one win short of placing would be a sign that he might finally be able to qualify for NCAAs in his final season. But a 1-2 or 0-2 finish would mean the Smith experiment is over. In addition, ideally he’ll continue his streak of not pinning himself.

Next up

The Cyclones will be in Carver-Hawkeye Arena next Saturday to take on Iowa.