Adam Coon (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
LAS VEGAS -- Senior/junior Alec Pantaleo and graduate student Adam Coon captured individual titles at 157 pounds and heavyweight, respectively, as the No. 9-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team claimed second place at the 36th annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Saturday (Dec. 2) at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The Wolverines boasted six total placewinners and earned scoring performances from all nine representatives.
Michigan went 2-for-3 in the championship round and boasted multiple CKLV champions for the first time in 10 years.
Pantaleo, ranked 11th at 157 pounds, earned decisive wins over a pair of top-10 opponents to close out the tournament, including a 10-3 decision against Ohio State's sixth-ranked Micah Jordan in the championship bout. After a scoreless first period, Pantaleo scored on a pancake to take control early in the second then blew the match open with single-leg takedown and four-point suck back in the third. Jordan escaped at the final buzzer to prevent the major decision.
Pantaleo also cruised in his semifinal bout against Nebraska's fourth-ranked Tyler Berger, defeating the Cornhusker, 9-3, with four takedowns, including two in the first period, and 1:04 in riding-time advantage to control from start to finish. In all, Pantaleo posted a 5-0 record -- with two bonus wins and three wins over ranked opponents -- en route to the title. It was his second trip to the CKLV finals; he previously took second place as a true freshman in 2014.
Coon, ranked second at heavyweight, captured his second CKLV crown, adding to his heavyweight title as a true freshman in 2013, with a 4-2 sudden-victory win against Arizona State's fourth-ranked Tanner Hall. After trading little more than a reversal and two escapes during regulation, Coon spun behind Hall's single-leg shot off the overtime whistle to secure the winning takedown. It was his second win against Hall already this season. Coon also earned a 2-0 win against Stanford's 13th-ranked Nathan Butler in the semifinals -- on an escape and third-period rideout. He posted a 6-0 tournament record to improve to 11-0 on the season.
Fifth-year senior Domenic Abounader, ranked fifth at 184 pounds, dropped his championship bout, falling to Ohio State's second-ranked Myles Martin, 8-5, after two OSU takedowns in the third period. He cruised in the semifinal round, earning bonus points with an 8-0 major decision against Virginia Tech's sixth-ranked Zack Zavatsky. Abounader earned a quick reversal and four back points in the second before riding out the third to accumulate 2:49 in time advantage. Like both Pantaleo and Coon, Abounader is a two-time CKLV finalist.
Junior/sophomore Myles Amine, ranked sixth at 174 pounds, took third place at 174 pounds for the second straight year at the CKLV, defeating Northern Iowa's eighth-ranked Taylor Lujan, 12-8, in the placing bout. Amine scored four takedowns in the bout, including three in the opening period, and added a second-period reversal and 2:37 in riding-time advantage.
Amine split his morning matches, falling to Ohio State's third-ranked Bo Jordan, 6-4, in the semifinals before bouncing back with a dominant 10-1 major decision over Navy's seventh-ranked Jadaen Bernstein behind two takedowns, a four-point tilt and 3:34 in riding time. Amine posted a 6-1 record in the tournament with four wins over ranked opponents.
Freshman Drew Mattin, ranked 18th at 125 pounds, claimed fourth place in his CKLV debut, falling to Minnesota's top-seeded and third-ranked Ethan Lizak, 9-0, in the third-place bout. The bulk of Lizak's points came on two turns in the third period. Mattin posted a 6-2 record in the tournament; his only losses came against the top seed and the eventual champion.
Mattin earned three wins in the morning wrestlebacks, including two bonus wins and a pair against All-America opponents. He opened the day with a buzzer-beating fall against Arizona State's sixth-ranked Ryan Millhof, rallying back from a six-point deficit to stick the Sun Devil at the second-period buzzer (5:00). He also edged Stanford's 11th-ranked Connor Schram, 6-4, in overtime in the consolation semifinals, rolling through a Schram single leg to scramble for the winning takedown.
Junior/sophomore Stevan Micic, top seeded and ranked second nationally, claimed fifth place at 133 pounds with a 5-2 tournament record. He dropped back-to-back matches in the semifinals and consolation semis before bouncing back with an 8-2 decision against Edinboro's 11th-ranked Korbin Myers for fifth place, scoring three takedowns and riding for 2:25 in the contest. His semifinal loss -- 7-5 against Ohio State's ninth-ranked Luke Pletcher -- came with some controversy after a two-and-two exchange in a first-period scramble. Micic, who scored first on a single leg just 15 seconds in, couldn't hang onto his early advantage as Pletcher used a late third-period takedown to steal the bout.
The Wolverines lost two just before clinching placement places, as top-seeded junior/sophomore Logan Massa withdrew due to an injury suffered in last night's 165-pound quarterfinals and graduate student Kevin Beazley dropping a 10-8 decision to Northern Colorado's Jacob Seely. Beazley rallied all the way back from a six-point deficit to tie the score late but gave up a reversal in the waning seconds of the third.
Michigan will wrap up its first-semester competition next Sunday (Dec. 10), hosting Oregon State in the annual Joe Wells Classic at 2 p.m. at Cliff Keen Arena. Tickets are still available through the U-M Ticket Office.