What a weekend at the 2023 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational! Iowa State came away with the team title outdistancing Nebraska, who had won the previous three titles, by a mere five points. Perennial CKLV threat Ohio State finished in third two points behind the Cornhuskers.
While the team race was great, we’re focusing on some of the top individual performances. Specifically, those wrestlers who significantly improved their stock over the weekend. Not all of them are the same. Some went from All-American threat to title contender. Others went from national qualifiers to high All-American status. Some were freshmen, and some were fifth or sixth-year seniors.
Below are ten wrestlers who stood out and saw their proverbial stock rise significantly in some form or fashion over those two days in Vegas. By the way, if we were giving a team award, it would go to Stanford. We’ve highlighted two of their wrestlers but could have mentioned a few more.
Nico Provo (Stanford)
Perhaps no wrestler in the tournament improved his stock the way Nico Provo did in capturing the title at 125 lbs. Provo entered Vegas ranked #20 in the country and that gave him the ninth seed. That meant he’d have to defeat four straight opponents ranked in the top 20 to earn his title. In consecutive matches, Provo downed, #18 Kysen Terukina (Iowa State), #2 Matt Ramos (Purdue), #11 Jore Volk (Wyoming), and #8 Brett Ungar (Cornell).
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