197 lb Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational finalist Tanner Harvey (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
Sun Devils Sixth Place Finish has mixed feelings
Arizona State finished sixth at the Cliff Keen Invitational with 89 points. Although the Sun Devils finished near the top of the standings, questions are surrounding the team.
First, Richard Figueroa claimed the lone title for the Sun Devils in the 125-pound class. Figueroa has a win over top-10 opponent, including his finals victory over Purdue's Matt Ramos, while Brandon Courtney is sidelined with an injury. Therefore, Figueroa is putting pressure on Courtney's starting spot for the 125-pound spot at ASU.
Second, Michael Kilic took the starting role at 157 pounds compared to Max Wilner. Currently, both wrestlers have struggled this season since Jacori Teemer is most likely out for the season. As of now, ASU has no answer to fill the shoes of Teemer.
Third, the 197-pound class has been wide open for a handful of years. However, Kordell Norfleet has been stuck as a top 25 wrestler for multiple seasons. Norfleet is struggling to push the Sun Devils into a higher position.
Lastly, Cohlton Schultz was upset by South Dakota State's AJ Nevills. After medically forfeiting to eighth place, the Sun Devils have to be worried that Schultz is not untouchable. Schultz must work on his takedown offense and defense if he wants to remain atop.
Luka and Legend Drive the Mustangs at Cliff Keen
Cal Poly did not send a full lineup to the Cliff Keen Invitational, making them finish 24th with 11.5 points. Yet, Luke Wick and Legend Lamer made deep runs in their weight classes.
Wick finished 3-2 in the 157-pound class including a major decision over Kilic. Lamer went 2-2 against a tough 165-pound bracket. However, Lamer earned one of Cal Poly's two pins in the tournament with a second-period fall over Kaden Hart in the first round.
Beavers Prove to Be a Wrecking Force at Cliff Keen
Oregon State's lightweights are not far behind Arizona State's squad. 125-pound Brandon Kaylor earned victories over Virginia Tech's Eddie Ventresca and Ohio State's Malik Heinselman to finish fourth.
133-pound Jason Shaner went 1-1 against Sam Latona. In addition, he picked up wins over North Carolina State's Kai Orine and CSU Bakersfield's Chance Rich on his way to a fourth-place showing.
Tanner Harvey outperformed his fifth seed by finishing second in the 197-pound class. Harvey looks to sit atop of the Pac-12 with an early 5-2 victory over Norfleet.