UPDATE: McKenna, Martin and Moore help lead Ohio State to third-straight CKLV team title

By Richard Immel | Dec. 01, 2018, 10:05 p.m. (ET)

Photo: Ohio State’s Myles Martin controls Nebraska’s Taylor Venz in an All-American battle at 184 pounds. Photo by Richard Immel.

LAS VEGAS – Three individual champions proved more than enough to lift No. 2 Ohio State to its third-consecutive team championship at the always-tough Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.

Striking the victors pose for the Buckeyes were top seeds Myles Martin, Kollin Moore and Joey McKenna, all of whom controlled quality opponents in the finals. Martin and Moore are repeat champions at this event.

The NCAA champion and three-time All-American senior Martin was nothing short of sensational all weekend at the Las Vegas Convention Center. His tournament that included one fall and three major decisions was punctuated with a decisive 11-5 win over Nebraska All-American sophomore Taylor Venz.

“I try to be a moving target. It makes it tough on these guys to get to my legs,” Martin said. “I’m just having fun, using what the coaches showed me. There’s no science to it. There’s no math problem you got to figure out. It’s just wresting and I love wrestling.”

Martin was named Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament for his efforts.

It was another Ohio State-Nebraska showdown in the 197-pound finals won by two-time All-American Kollin Moore. The Buckeye juggernaut gutted out an 8-3 decision over Husker sophomore Eric Schultz.

At 141 pounds, McKenna stymied Mizzou All American Jaydin Eierman, and his eccentric style, with crisp, clean leg attacks and solid positioning throughout. The 6-2 win in the finals was McKenna’s sixth of the weekend and solidified his No. 2 national ranking.

Eierman joined fellow All-American Daniel Lewis as the highest placing Mizzou wrestlers, leading the Tigers to a runner-up finish in the team race. Ohio State finished 32.5 points ahead of Mizzou.

Nebraska, who boasted three finalists and one champion, came in third place overall. Despite some early-season woes, Husker junior Isaiah White was impressive on his way to the 165-pound title. White utilized a third-period ride out to flatten Virginia Tech’s upstart freshman Mekhi Lewis in the finals, 2-0.

The most exciting finals bout came at 174 pounds, with Michigan’s Myles Amine edging Lewis in a scramble fest, 10-7. Amine pushed forward with consistent pressure and sturdy offense from the neutral position, while Lewis muddied the waters when things were forced to the mat.

Rising Big Ten powers Rutgers and Northwestern both claimed two champions at day’s end.

The Scarlet Knights were led by NCAA finalist Nick Suriano and All-American Anthony Ashnault to a respectable ninth-place team finish.

Suriano picked his poison against surprise finalist Micky Phillippi of Pittsburgh, winning by 11-3 major decision.

“I’ve got a lot of work to do,” Suriano said. “I’m adjusting to this weight a little bit, but I’m fired up…I come to fight. I’m seeing a trend. People who know what I’m talking about know what that trend is. I think it’s a really tough weight and I got pushed this tournament.”

Ashnault built a massive lead on Buckeye All-American Micah Jordan and hung on to win, 14-10. It was the top position that proved the difference for Ashnault as he collected two sets of nearfall in the first period to put the match out of reach.

The Wildcats scored big wins in the finals from Sebastian Rivera at 125 pounds and Ryan Deakin at 157 pounds. Rivera outgunned Oregon State senior Ronnie Bresser in a spectacular 6-4 contest. Deakin made things less dramatic in his 8-2 win over Purdue sophomore Griffin Parriott. 

Minnesota’s goliath freshman Gable Steveson pushed around Tate Orndorff of Utah Valley in the heavyweight final to pick up his first major collegiate tournament win and remain undefeated in his brief career. It was a 12-4 major decision for Steveson, pushing his tally of bonus-point wins in Las Vegas to four.

Complete results and archived matches from the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational can be found on Flowrestling.com

2017 CLIFF KEEN LAS VEGAS INVITATIONAL
At Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 30-Dec. 1


Team Standings
1. Ohio State 148
2. Missouri 115.5
3. Nebraska 105.5
4. Northern Iowa 84.5
5. Michigan 82.5
6. Minnesota 79.5
7. Pittsburgh 77
8. Utah Valley 70
9. Rutgers 66.5
10. Purdue 65.5

Final Results
125 pounds
1st – Sebastian Rivera (Northwestern) DEC Ronnie Bresser (Oregon State), 6-4
3rd – Sean Russell (Minnesota) DEC Brent Fleetwood (North Dakota State), 4-0
5th – Drew Mattin (Michigan) DEC Travis Piotrowski (Illinois), 3-2
7th – Zeke Moisey (Nebraska) DEC Devin Schroder (Purdue), 4-3

133 pounds
1st – Nick Suriano (Rutgers) MD Micky Phillippi (Pittsburgh), 11-3
3rd – Luke Pletcher (Ohio State) DEC Ethan Lizak (Minnesota), 5-4
5th – John Erneste (Missouri) DEC Montorie Bridges (Wyoming), 10-4
7th – Charles Tucker (Cornell) M FOR Cam Sykora (North Dakota State)

141 pounds
1st – Joseph Mckenna (Ohio State) DEC Jaydin Eierman (Missouri), 6-2
3rd – Kanen Storr (Michigan) DEC Dom Demas (Oklahoma), 5-2
5th – Josh Alber (Northern Iowa) M FOR Michael Carr (Illinois)
7th – Samuel Krivus (Virginia) DEC Sam Turner (Wyoming), 5-3

149 pounds
1st – Anthony Ashnault (Rutgers) DEC Micah Jordan (Ohio State), 14-10
3rd – Austin O'Connor (North Carolina) DEF Brock Zacherl (Clarion)
5th –   Mitch Finesilver (Duke) DEC Josh Heil (Campbell University), 9-4
7th – Max Thomsen (Northern Iowa) DEC Jared Prince (United States Naval Academy), 12-6

157 pounds
1st – Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) DEC Griffin Parriott (Purdue), 8-2
3rd – Tyler Berger (Nebraska) DEC Keshawn Hayes (Ohio State), 6-3
5th – Taleb Rahmani (Pittsburgh) DEC Kennedy Monday (North Carolina), 9-2
7th – Eric Barone (Illinois) DEC Hunter Willits (Oregon State), 4-0

165 pounds
1st – Isaiah White (Nebraska) DEC Mekhi Lewis (Virginia Tech), 2-0
3rd – Demetrius Romero (Utah Valley) DEC Logan Massa (Michigan), 9-6
5th – Branson Ashworth (Wyoming) M FOR Bryce Steiert (Northern Iowa)
7th – Connor Flynn (Missouri) DEC Joey Gunther (Illinois), 4-0

174 pounds
1st – Myles Amine (Michigan) DEC Daniel Lewis (Missouri), 10-7
3rd – Taylor Lujan (Northern Iowa) M FOR Michael Labriola (Nebraska)
5th – Spencer Carey (United States Naval Academy) M FOR Dylan Lydy (Purdue)
7th – Devin Skatzka (Minnesota) DEC Kimball Bastian (Utah Valley), 9-4

184 pounds
1st – Myles Martin (Ohio State) DEC Taylor Venz (Nebraska), 11-5
3rd – Drew Foster (Northern Iowa) DEC Zack Zavatsky (Virginia Tech), 9-5
5th – Lou Deprez (Binghamton) DEC Maxwell Dean (Cornell), 5-3 SV
7th – Nino Bonaccorsi (Pittsburgh) MD Will Schany (Virginia), 14-3

197 pounds
1st – Kollin Moore (Ohio State) DEC Eric Schultz (Nebraska), 8-3
3rd – Jay Aiello (Virginia) DEC Nathan Traxler (Stanford), 4-2
5th – Christian Brunner (Purdue) M FOR Greg Bulsak (Clarion)
7th – Tom Sleigh (Virginia Tech) M FOR Tanner Orndorff (Utah Valley)

285 pounds
1st – Gable Steveson (Minnesota) MD Tate Orndorff (Utah Valley), 12-4
3rd – Zach Elam (Missouri) DEC Demetrius Thomas (Pittsburgh), 3-1 SV
5th – Cory Daniel (North Carolina) M FOR Chase Singletary (Ohio State)
7th – Brian Andrews (Wyoming) M FOR Joseph Goodhart (Drexel)