COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The fifth-ranked Ohio State wrestling team will participate in the 31st Annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational Friday and Saturday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The Buckeyes won the event a season ago, collecting 129 points behind six Top 5 finishes, including 133-pound champion Logan Stieber.
Friday, Nov. 30
Noon – Pigtails, Rounds 1-2, Consolation Pigtails and Consolation Round 1
10 p.m. – Quarterfinals and Consolations Rounds 2-3
Saturday, Dec. 1
Noon – Consolation Round 4
1 p.m. – Semifinals and Consolation Round 5, Consolation Semifinals and Consolation Finals
6 p.m. – Championship Finals
This and That
• So far, Ohio State has outscored its opponents 89-26 – (W, 40-3 at Davidson; W, 23-10 at No. 12 Virginia Tech; W, 26-13 vs. No. 18 Pittsburgh).
• After three dual matches, Ohio State has scored 56 points on bonus points. In all, the Buckeyes have tallied five pins, two technical falls and four major decisions.
• Among starters, sophomore Hunter Stieber (141 pounds) has recorded the fastest fall time at 23 seconds vs. William Honer of American International in the opening round of the UB Invitational. Stieber also leads the team in recorded major decisions with four.
• Among the starting 10, redshirt freshman Kenny Courts (184 pounds) leads the team in wins with 11. Freshman Mark Martin (165 pounds) and sophomore Hunter Stieber (141 pounds) are not far behind with 10 victories each.
• Senior Nikko Triggas continues to add to his falls record total. Triggas now has three this season and 39 for his career, which is fifth all-time at Ohio State.
Ohio State is 3-0 after impressive wins at Davidson and No. 12 Virginia Tech and vs. No. 18 Pittsburgh. Opening the dual season in Davidson, N.C., Nov. 15, the Buckeyes downed Davidson, 40-3. Nikko Triggas, Randy Languis and C.J. Magrum provided six points each to the team score with pins. Logan Stieber added a technical fall at 133 pounds, while freshman Mark Martin and redshirt junior Peter Capone scored major decisions at 165 pounds and heavyweight, respectively (recap).
The following day, Ohio State beat the Hokies, 23-10, in Blacksburg, Va. Trailing only once after the opening match at 125 pounds, the Buckeyes held a narrow 8-7 advantage following the 149-pound bout before clinching their second dual win of the season on Magrum's 7-4 decision over Derrick Borlie in the 197-pound matchup (recap).
In their home opener Nov. 18, the Buckeyes secured a 26-13 win vs. Pittsburgh in St. John Arena. A fast start that included two pins and a pair of major decisions in the first four matches helped lift the Buckeyes to 3-0 record on the season. In all, Ohio State won six of 10 matches and had a 23-0 lead at the halfway mark (recap).
With four of his 10 wins earned via a major decision and one by fall, half of sophomore Hunter Stieber's victories this season have been bonus point wins. In all, Stieber has garnered 22 bonus points. Just as impressive, Stieber's older brother Logan Stieber has compiled 32 bonus points courtesy of one major decision, two technical falls and three pins. Eighty-six percent of Logan's wins have been bonus point victories as he has recorded a 7-0 record so far this season.
Collecting 10 wins vs. four losses in his freshman campaign so far, Mark Martin has scored three major decisions, one technical fall and two pins, placing his bonus point win percentage at 60 percent. Fifty-five percent of redshirt freshman Kenny Courts' wins have come via bonus points – three major decisions and three technical falls. Courts currently has an 11-3 record.
Grapple at the Garden
Fourteen of the top collegiate wrestling programs in the nation will participate in the inaugural Grapple at the Garden in historical Madison Square Garden Dec. 16 (tickets). Eight of the 14 teams, including Ohio State are ranked in the Top 25 of the USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll released Nov. 27.
Harris Open Champion
Freshman heavyweight Nick Tavanello is having a productive open-tournament season after collecting his second championship and third Top 3 finish at the Harris Open Nov. 17 in Ashland, Ohio. Wrestling unattached for the Buckeyes, Tavanello won the Michigan State Open title Nov. 11 and prior to that finished third at the UB invitational Nov. 4.
Ohio State will host No. 23 Kent State at 7 p.m. Dec. 15 in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes lead the all-time series vs. the Golden Flashes, 12-6, including a 22-15 win in Kent, Ohio, last season.