Quick Reactions from the 2023 CKLV Invitational
Much was made about how difficult and deep this tournament was. Without hyperbole, it’s accurate to say it was the best regular-season collegiate tournament since perhaps the 2014 Southern Scuffle. I discussed this with the FloWrestling personnel and we came up with the 2014 tournament as the best comparison. That tournament featured the teams that would end up finishing top-three at the NCAA Tournament that same season. Penn State, Minnesota, and Oklahoma State. That tournament may have had more top-end star power; with three eventual NCAA champions; however, this field was likely deeper.
An example of this is the 184 lb weight class that had four All-Americans miss the podium.
Iowa State won the tournament and finished with seven medalists (1 champion and 2 runner’s-up).
The only two past NCAA champions in this tournament (David Carr - Shane Griffith) both failed to make the finals.
David Carr was beaten in the CKLV semifinals by Cornell’s Julian Ramirez. Both of Carr’s regular-season losses have come in the semifinals of this tournament. The previous one came in 2019 to Northwestern’s Ryan Deakin.
The finals only had one matchup featuring two wrestles that previously met in college; 157 lbs. Like the previous meeting, Peyton Robb prevailed over Jacori Teemer.
The only finals match that featured wrestlers from the same conference was 184 lbs with Parker Keckeisen (Northern Iowa) and Will Feldkamp (Iowa State).
The finals had a pair of wrestlers that used to be teammates at Northern Illinois University. Izzak Olejnik at 165 lbs and Feldkamp.
Perhaps the most surprising team performance was Stanford. The Cardinal finished with a champion (Nico Provo - 125 lbs) and five other placewinners. Five of their six placewinners were either freshmen or sophomores.
Stanford’s talent (and youth) makes their move to the ACC an even more interesting proposition. The ACC seems to get better and better each year. Now throw a young, star-studded Stanford team into the mix and you have a mini-meat grinder.
Speaking of conferences, the Big 12 produced the most champions with four. (Olejnik, DeVos, Keckeisen, and Bastida). The Big Ten was next with three (Mendez, Lovett, Robb).
The 2023 tournament marked the first time that Michigan went without a champion since 2015 (There was no 2020 tournament).
The 125 lb final featured a pair of wrestlers that originally committed to Cornell. Provo defeated current Big Red starter, Brett Ungar.
Nebraska’s Peyton Robb was named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestling. His win at one of the tournament’s most difficult weights was reason enough for the award. It’s more staggering when you consider that he nearly lost his leg in the days following the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
The 2023 CKLV Invitational featured three champions who moved up in weight from the 2022-23 campaign. Jesse Mendez (133/141), Trent Hidlay (184/197), and Yonger Bastida (197/285).
This year’s finals saw a pair of wrestlers win their second titles (Peyton Robb - 157 and Trent Hidlay - 197). Two other champions had the opportunity to repeat in Brock Hardy (Nebraska) and Julian Ramirez (Cornell). Hardy finished sixth and Ramirez was the runner-up at 165 lbs.
Stanford’s Tyler Knox (5th - 133), Virginia Tech’s Sonny Sasso (6th - 197), Stanford’s Lorenzo Norman (7th - 174), and Joey Novak (8th - 197) were the only true freshmen that found their way onto the CKLV podium.
Much was made about upsets and deservedly so. However, 141, 149, and 165 all saw the top four seeds make the semifinals. Additionally, 197 and 285 had the top three seeds, plus the fifth seed.
The Ironman award goes to Nic Bouzakis at 133 lbs. Bouzakis fell in the opening round to Knox of Stanford and proceeded to win seven straight bouts to take third. During that run, he had three falls, two techs and a major decision before defeating #14 Dom Zaccone (Campbell) for third place.
Runner-up in the Ironman category is Ed Scott who lost in the second round then won six straight to take third at 157 lbs. His run through the backside included wins over All-Americans in his final two matches.
2023 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Final Results
Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Final Results
1. Iowa State 130.5
2. Nebraska 125.5
3. Ohio State 123.5
4. NC State 115
5. Oregon State 98.5
6. Cornell 93.5
7. Stanford 85.5
8. Michigan 81.5
9. Oklahoma State 78.5
10. South Dakota State 74
125: Nico Provo (Stanford) dec Brett Ungar (Cornell) 5-1
133: Kai Orine (NC State) maj Evan Frost (Iowa State) 12-4
141: Jesse Mendez (Ohio State) dec Ryan Jack (NC State) 5-2
149: Ridge Lovett (Nebraska) dec Caleb Henson (Virginia Tech) 4-3
157: Peyton Robb (Nebraska) dec Jacori Teemer (Arizona State) 6-4
165: Izzak Olejnik (Oklahoma State) dec Julian Ramirez (Cornell) 4-2
174: Cade Devos (South Dakota State) dec Travis Wittlake (Oregon State) 9-7
184: Parker Keckeisen (Northern Iowa) maj Will Feldkamp (Iowa State) 14-4
197: Trent Hidlay (NC State) dec Jaxon Smith (Maryland) 5-2
285: Yonger Bastida (Iowa State) dec Lucas Davison (Michigan) 5-3
Third Place Matches
125: Caleb Smith (Nebraska) dec Brandon Kaylor (Oregon State) 4-1SV
133: Nic Bouzakis (Ohio State) dec Dom Zaccone (Campbell) 4-2
141: Lachlan McNeil (North Carolina) dec Cael Happel (Northern Iowa) 6-3
149: Kyle Parco (Arizona State) maj Dylan D’Emilio (Ohio State) 11-1
157: Ed Scott (NC State) maj Bryce Andonian (Virginia Tech) 18-7
165: David Carr (Iowa State) dec Cam Amine (Michigan) 3-1
174: Carson Kharchla (Ohio State) dec Danny Wask (Navy) 10-3
184: Dustin Plott (Oklahoma State) dec Lenny Pinto (Nebraska) 11-7
197: Tanner Sloan (South Dakota State) dec Jacob Cardenas (Cornell) 7-2
285: Taye Ghadiali (Campbell) dec Boone McDermott (Oregon State) 15-6
Fifth Place Matches
125: Jore Volk (Wyoming) MedFFT Michael DeAugustino (Michigan)
133: Tyler Knox (Stanford) MedFFT Derrick Cardinal (South Dakota State)
141: Tagen Jamison (Oklahoma State) maj Brock Hardy (Nebraska) 13-5
149: Casey Swiderski (Iowa State) maj Nash Singleton (Iowa State) 13-4
157: Daniel Cardenas (Stanford) dec Will Lewan (Michigan) 12-10
165: Garrett Thompson (Ohio) fall Hunter Garvin (Stanford) 5:50
174: Sal Perrine (Ohio) dec Austin Murphy (Campbell) 8-5SV
184: Sam Wolf (Air Force) dec Jaden Bullock (Michigan) 10-9
197: Silas Allred (Nebraska) dec Sonny Sasso (Virginia Tech) 8-5
285: Grady Griess (Navy) MedFFT Nick Feldman (Ohio State)
Seventh Place Matches
125: Matt Ramos (Purdue) dec Tanner Jordan (South Dakota State) 7-3
133: Julian Farber (Northern Iowa) dec Ethan Oakley (Appalachian State) 10-9
141: Anthony Echemendia (Iowa State) maj Vince Cornella (Cornell) 13-3
149: Gabe Willochell (Wyoming) MedFFT Jackson Arrington (NC State)
157: Paddy Gallagher (Ohio State) dec Trevor Chumbley (Northwestern) 9-5
165: Matthew Olguin (Oregon State) maj Brevin Cassella (Binghamton) 13-0
174: Lorenzo Norman (Stanford) dec MJ Gaitan (Iowa State) 11-8
184: Dylan Fishback (NC State) maj Sam Fisher (Virginia Tech) 16-4
197: Nick Stemmet (Stanford) dec Joey Novak (Wyoming) 14-7
285: Cory Day (Binghamton) MedFFT Lewis Fernandes (Cornell)
2023 CKLV Semifinal Results
2023 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Semifinal Results
125 lbs - Nico Provo (Stanford) dec Jore Volk (Wyoming) 8-1
125 lbs - Brett Ungar (Cornell) InjDef Michael DeAugustino (Michigan)
133 lbs - Kai Orine (NC State) dec Derrick Cardinal (South Dakota State) 6-3
133 lbs - Evan Frost (Iowa State) dec Tyler Knox (Stanford) 2-1
141 lbs - Jesse Mendez (Ohio State) maj Brock Hardy (Nebraska) 11-3
141 lbs - Ryan Jack (NC State) dec Lachlan McNeil (North Carolina) 4-2
149 lbs - Ridge Lovett (Nebraska) maj Dylan D’Emilio (Ohio State) 11-0
149 lbs - Caleb Henson (Virginia Tech) dec Kyle Parco (Arizona State) 5-0
157 lbs - Peyton Robb (Nebraska) dec Will Lewan (Michigan) 8-2
157 lbs - Jacori Teemer (Arizona State) maj Daniel Cardenas (Stanford) 14-6
165 lbs - Julian Ramirez (Cornell) dec David Carr (Iowa State) 4-3
165 lbs - Izzak Olejnik (Oklahoma State) dec Cam Amine (Michigan) 6-4
174 lbs - Travis Wittlake (Oregon State) dec Danny Wask (Navy) 9-8
174 lbs - Cade DeVos (South Dakota State) dec Carson Kharchla (Ohio State) 11-8
184 lbs - Parker Keckeisen (Northern Iowa) dec Lenny Pinto (Nebraska) 8-4
184 lbs - Will Feldkamp (Iowa State) maj Sam Wolf (Air Force) 10-0
197 lbs - Jaxon Smith (Maryland) dec Tanner Sloan (South Dakota State) 8-2
197 lbs - Trent Hidlay (NC State) maj Jacob Cardenas (Cornell) 10-2
285 lbs - Lucas Davison (Michigan) dec Taye Ghadiali (Campbell) 6-2
285 lbs - Yonger Bastida (Iowa State) tech Grady Griess (Navy) 18-3