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Wrestlers in Vegas for Cliff Keen Invitational

Jubilee's 25th Anniversary Featuring Vivica A. Fox Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Following a disappointing 15-22 loss to Rider last weekend the wrestlers have packed up and headed west to take on the nations best wrestlers at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational over the next two days. And that’s not an exaggeration, there will be over 100 ranked wrestlers in the field in Vegas. If history is any indication there probably will be at least one wrestler who fails to reach the top eight in this tournament but ends up as an All American next March. This depth should allow the team to really learn where everyone stands, as everyone in the lineup is going to get the chance to go up against NCAA qualifier caliber and better opponents. And since Iowa State won’t be attending Midlands or the Southern Scuffle this tournament is going to weigh heavily on where each guy is ranked (or not ranked) for the remainder of the year.

Where: Las Vegas, Nevada

When: All Day Friday, Dec 1st & Saturday, Dec 2nd

Brackets/Live Results: FloArena

Stream: Flowrestling (Subscription required)

Projected Lineup


Weight Wrestler Record
Weight Wrestler Record
125 Jakob Allison 4-4
133 NR/17/20 Ian Parker 7-2
141 19/19/17 Kanen Storr 6-2
149 NR/16/18 Jarrett Degen 5-1
157 Chase Straw 6-4
165 No Entry
174 Hank Swalla 1-3
184 Dane Pestano 9-2
197 Sam Colbray 7-4
HWT Marcus Harrington 8-4

Rankings from Intermat/TheOpenMat/FloWrestling

Weight by Weight breakdown


Top Seeds:

  1. #3 Ethan Lizak (Minnesota)
  2. #6 Ryan Milhoff (Arizona State)
  3. #8 Sean Russel (Edinburo)
  4. #10 Dalton Macri (NC State)

Expectations at This Weight

Allison is in a “just happy to be here” situation as he’s stepped over from the ISU Wrestling club to be not just a team member, but occasional starter. Because of that there really aren't any expectations for ISU at 125. Any win is a good win.


Top Seeds:

  1. #2 Stevan Micic (Michigan)
  2. #6 Dom Forys (Pitt)
  3. #7 Jack Mueller (Virginia)
  4. #9 Luke Pletcher (Ohio State)

Expectations at This Weight

Parker has shown a high upside, but also a tendency to get caught and pinned. Making it to the round of twelve would be a reasonable expectation for Parker, and if he can break in to the top 8 that would be a great sign that he’ll be able to score ISU some points at NCAAs.


Top Seeds:

  1. #3 Bryce Meredith (Wyoming)
  2. #7 Chad Red (Nebraska)
  3. #8 Tommy Thorn (Minnesota)
  4. #11 Javier Gasca (Michigan State)

Expectations at This Weight

Storr got a good draw to find out where he stands. After a first round bye he’ll get an unranked opponent and the (assuming no upsets) he’ll get #20 Mason Smith from Central Michigan. A win in that match would go a long way towards showing Storr is legit and also set up a quarterfinal against #3 ranked Meredith of Wyoming. While Storr would face long odds in that match there will be lots of mid teens ranked guys on the backside for Storr to test himself against. Overall if Storr can get himself in to the 7th place match that’s a good sign that he’ll stay in the top 20 all season. And if he can make it to 6th place or better then the All American hype train is back on the rails.


Top Seeds:

  1. #3 Max Thomsen (UNI)
  2. #5 Colton McCrystal (Nebraska)
  3. #6 Justin Oliver (Central Michigan)
  4. #8 KeShawn Hayes (Ohio State)

Expectations at This Weight

Similarly to Storr, Degen got a draw that’ll let him find out how good he really is. He’ll open against an unranked opponent and with a win he’ll face #18 ranked Zander Wick of Wisconsin. A win there would be good to solidify his ranking, which is currently based mostly off of his win over Jeffries of Oklahoma at the Lindenwood Open a few weeks ago. As far as overall expectations an R12 finish would be good for Degen and anything higher would be gravy.


Top Seeds:

  1. #4 Tyler Berger (Nebraska)
  2. #5 Josh Shields (Arizona State)
  3. #6 Micah Jordan (Ohio State)
  4. #11 Alec Pantaleo (Michigan)

Expectations at This Weight

What do you know, another weight, another chance against guys at the back end of the top 20. Straw will open up against #19 Taleb Rahmani of Pitt and with a win would then likely face #18 Andrew Crone of Wisconsin. Straw hasn’t shown himself to be a top 20 wrestler so far this season but he’ll get his chance today. Overall expectations for Straw are just to win a couple of matches on the backside and show he can be a solid, if not great, part of the lineup this year.


Top Seeds:

  1. #3 Logan Massa (Michigan)
  2. #5 David McFadden (Virginia Tech)
  3. #7 Te’Shan Campbell (Ohio State)
  4. #8 Anthony Valencia (Arizona State)

Expectations at This Weight

None. We didn't enter anyone as being at 165 this year is apparently bad for your knees. Colston Diblasi had been listed as a possibility when ISU put out the tentative lineup, but he is not in the brackets. While Diblasi isn’t out there today, with St. John injured and Breitenbach struggling it’ll be interesting to see whether we eventually see him move up to this weight full time.


Top Seeds:

  1. #1 Zahid Valencia (Arizona State)
  2. #3 Bo Jordan (Ohio State)
  3. #6 Myles Amine (Michigan)
  4. #7 Jadaen Bernstein (Navy)

Expectations at This Weight

Similarly to 125, Swalla is just happy to be here. Any win is a good one.


Top Seeds:

  1. #2 Myles Martin (Ohio State)
  2. #5 Domenic Abounader (Michigan)
  3. #6 Zach Zavatsky (Virginia Tech)
  4. #7 Drew Foster (UNI)

Expectations at this weight

Pestano got a tough draw in this one, opening up against the five seed, #8 Jordan Ellingwood of Central Michigan. A win there is probably too tall of an order but hopefully Pestano can go deep on the backside and pick up some decent wins. If he can make it to the R12 that would be a good sign that he’ll be able to sneak in to the rankings come next week. But if he is able to pick up a couple of wins and no unranked losses that’s still an encouraging sign that he’ll be making his second trip to NCAAs in March.


Top Seeds:

  1. #1 Kollin Moore (Ohio State)
  2. #3 Jared Haught (Virginia Tech)
  3. #5 Kevin Beazley (Michigan)
  4. #9 Matt Williams (CSU-Bakersfield)

Expectations at this weight

Colbray will start off against an unranked opponent and if he can pick up a win there he’d likely have #16 ranked Nathan Traxler from Stanford in the second round. Colbray started off the season poorly but has shown marked improvement through the weeks. A win over somebody like Traxler would show Colbray might finally be emerging as the guy we thought we were getting when we recruited him. Overall expectations for Colbray are similar to Pestano though - just get some wins and avoid bad losses. Getting to the R12 would be tough but hopefully he can win a handful of matches and not take any bad losses.


Top Seeds:

  1. #2 Adam Coon (Michigan)
  2. #4 Tanner Hall (Arizona State)
  3. #6 Jacob Kasper (Duke)
  4. #8 Ryan Solomon (Pitt)

Expectations at this weight

Yet another weight where the ISU wrestler will open up against an unranked opponent and then get a mid teens wrestler in the next round. Harrington has a great shot to push himself in to the top twenty if he can avoid a first round upset and then pick up a second round win against #16 ranked Garrett Ryan of Columbia. For the whole tournament expectations should be similar to those of Pestano and Colbray. Harrington needs to avoid any bad losses, pick up some wins on the backside, and see if he can make the R12 before going home. Anything higher is gravy.


This is an extremely deep tournament and right now Iowa State lacks any top tier hammers that can be counted on to be consistent through a deep bracket. Hopefully we can get at least one guy on the podium and another 2-3 in to the round of twelve.

Next Up

The wrestlers will be back in Hilton next Saturday, Dec 9th to take on Big XII opponent Wyoming.


Which ISU wrestler will place highest this weekend?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Jakob Allison
    (2 votes)
  • 4%
    Ian Parker
    (2 votes)
  • 54%
    Kanen Storr
    (27 votes)
  • 14%
    Jarrett Degen
    (7 votes)
  • 2%
    Chase Straw
    (1 vote)
  • 8%
    Hank Swalla
    (4 votes)
  • 4%
    Dane Pestano
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Sammy Colbray
    (0 votes)
  • 10%
    Marcus Harrington
    (5 votes)
50 votes total Vote Now