Bedelyon and Small Advance to Semifinals in Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nev. – Five Kent State wrestlers survived a grueling day one of the 30th annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Friday inside the Las Vegas Convention Center. Senior Nic Bedelyon (Lewistown, Pa.) and sophomore Tyler Small (Littlestown, Pa.) each went 3-0 and advanced to Saturday's semifinal round, while three other Golden Flashes went 3-1, moving on to the round of 12.
Bedelyon cruised into the semifinals with three comfortable victories at 125 pounds. He pinned Brown's Billy Watterson in the third period, before scoring a 16-6 major decision over Army's Scott Filbert. Bedelyon then only needed 1:02 to stick Indiana's Zachary Zimmer in the quarterfinal round.
Small was dominant in a 9-0 major decision over Northern Colorado's Casey Cruz in the first round of the 141-pound bracket. Small then downed Hofstra's Luke Vaith 6-1 to advance to the quarterfinals, where he topped Nebraska-Kearney's Dalton Jensen 6-4.
Junior Mallie Shuster (Newville, Pa.) is just one win away from clinching a top eight placement after going 3-1 on Friday. Shuster claimed a first round upset of Ohio State's Josh Demas 8-2. Demas was ranked 14th in the nation and seeded third in the 157-pound bracket. After a setback to Joshua Kreimier of Air Force, Shuster won by injury default against Navy's Zach Basich and edged Hofstra's Tyler Banks 4-2.
Junior Keith Witt (Oak Harbor, Ohio) dropped his opening match 4-1 against No. 7 Matt Wilps of Pittsburgh, but battled back with three straight victories, including a 9-0 major decision over Bakerfield's Oren Grosvirt-Dramen.
Senior Brendan Barlow (Westerville, Ohio) also went 3-1 with a major decision. His victims included Jared Erickson (Air Force), Charles Merrill (Calif. Baptist) and Dustin Dennison (Utah Valley State).
Sophomore Brandonn Johnson (Middletown, Md.) claimed a pair of major decision wins in the consolation bracket, before falling 6-4 in sudden victory to Nebraska's Tyler Koehn.
Junior Stevie Mitcheff (Lorain,Ohio) and senior Marcel Clopton (Shaker Hts., Ohio) each went 1-2. Mitcheff (133) drew No. 8 Garrett Drucker (Oregon State) in the opening round, while Clopton (149) ran into No. 20 Taylor Walsh (Indiana) in his first bout.
One of 34 teams competing, the Golden Flashes sit in ninth place with 40.5 points. Action resumes Saturday at noon Eastern.