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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    2023 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Preview and Predictions (Part Two)

    Friday marks the start of one of the tentpole events of the collegiate regular season, the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Typically, the CKLV has an argument for being the toughest in-season tournament in the country. This year there’s no argument. Seven of the top-ten tournament teams in the country will attend. Going further, the field includes 14 of the top-20 teams. 

    From an individual standpoint, five weights have a wrestler that ranked either number one or number two at their respective weights. It’s no exaggeration when someone says that this is like a mini-National Tournament. Last year’s tournament featured six wrestlers who went on to wrestle in the NCAA finals. With an even stronger field expected, that number could rise in 2023. 

    Here’s a weight-by-weight look at the CKLV. In each weight, we’ve noted the ranked wrestlers that are expected to compete, along with analysis, new faces to watch, potential spoilers, and picks for the semifinals and finals. 

    Since this tournament (and the preview) is so large, we’ll break it into two parts. Part one focused on 125-157.

    165 lbs

    Ranked Wrestlers: #2 David Carr (Iowa State), #3 Cam Amine (Michigan), #6 Izzak Olejnik (Oklahoma State), #7 Julian Ramirez (Cornell), #8 Matthew Olguin (Oregon State), #10 Antrell Taylor (Nebraska), #17 Maxx Mayfield (Northwestern), #19 Garrett Thompson (Ohio), #20 Connor Brady (Virginia Tech), #21 Brevin Cassella (Binghamton), #25 Giano Petrucelli (Air Force), #29 Hunter Garvin (Stanford), #30 Stoney Buell (Purdue), #33 Jack Thomsen (Northern Iowa)

    The first/last/only regular season loss of David Carr’s career came back in December of 2019 at the CKLV semifinals (to Ryan Deakin). A CKLV title is about the only collegiate accomplishment missing from Carr’s lengthy resume. Though he’s only wrestled four matches so far this season, Carr already has two wins over 2023 All-Americans. His most recent one came in a dominating 16-4 major decision over Michael Caliendo at the Cy-Hawk Dual. 






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