The following is a press release courtesy of Iowa State athletics communications.
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Six Iowa State grapplers remain alive at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational after the opening session of the tournament. Four Cyclones are alive in the championship bracket, led by sophomore 125-pounder Earl Hall.
Hall picked up his first signature win of the season, defeating No. 5 seed John Martinez of Air Force. Hall won 5-3 and notched his first career win over a top-10 opponent, as Martinez is ranked No. 8 nationally by InterMat.
In his first match, Hall won by major decision, defeating The Citadel’s Joaquin Martinez 11-3, racking up 2:05 of riding time in the match. Hall will face Iowa native Dylan Peters of UNI tonight in the quarterfinals. Peters is the No. 4 seed and pinned his first two opponents today.
All-American Michael Moreno, the No. 1 seed at 165 pounds, is 2-0 so far in the tournament with two pins. The Urbandale, Iowa native picked up a second period fall over Army’s Coleman Grace and a third period fall over The Citadel’s Kenneth Radford. Moreno squares off with Cornell’s Dylan Palacio in the quarterfinals tonight.
Lelund Weatherspoon improved his record to 12-1 overall on the season with two big wins in the 174-pound bracket, where he’s seeded seventh. Weatherpoon picked up a first period pin in his first match over Northern Idaho’s John Dennis and followed that up with a 4-0 decision over No. 10 seed Cody Caldwell of UNI. Weatherspoon had 4:01 of riding time in his win over Caldwell.
The Jackson, Mich., native faces No. 2 seed Robert Kokesh of Nebraska in the quarterfinals tonight. Kokesh was an All-American last season as a freshman, taking third for the Huskers.
John Nicholson advanced to the quarterfinals at 157 pounds after going 2-0 in the morning session. Nicholson won his first match 15-4 then defeated the No. 8 seed Anthony Perrotti of Rutgers 5-3 in the first sudden victory period. Nicholson will face Nebraska All-American James Green, who has the No. 1 seed, tonight in the quarterfinals.
Redshirt sophomore Tanner Weatherman and redshirt freshman Gabe Moreno are both still alive in the consolation bracket after going 2-1 on the day. Moreno upset the No. 11 seed, defeating Wyoming’s Cole Mendenhall to advance in the wrestle backs at 141 pounds. Weatherman took down American’s Jason Grimes 11-5 to advance in the wrestle backs at 184 pounds.
Iowa State sits within striking distance sill in the team standings at 13th with 21 points. For the final session I team standings and brackets, click here.
The quarterfinals and consolation rounds resume this evening at the Las Vegas Convention Center beginning at 8 p.m. CDT