Mizzou Wrestling Starts Hot at Las Vegas Invite

Friday, Nov. 30-

The No. 7 Mizzou wrestling team put together a strong performance on the first day of the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Invitational. The Tigers sent 10 grapplers to the meet, all of which rank in the top-20 of their respective weight class.

The Tigers enter Saturday in second place with 80.5 points, trailing only Ohio State’s 85. Both squads have six remaining in the championship bracket, but Mizzou sends three to the consolation round, while the Buckeyes only send two.

Mizzou opened the competition strong with No. 4 Alan Waters pinning his opponent at 125 pounds. The junior from Kansas City followed that up with consecutive major decisions to advance to the semifinals.

Nathan McCormick received a first round bye, but the time off didn’t faze him as he coasted to a 12-5 win at 133 pounds. In the quarterfinals, McCormick dominated in an 18-3 victory. The No. 6 senior will square off against George DiCamillo from Virginia on Saturday.

In the 141-pound class, No. 14 Nicholas Hucke squared off against Nebraska’s Ridge Kiley, who won a close 4-2 dual. Hucke then faced Jarrett Morril lfrom North Idaho College and lost another close match 5-3, ending his weekend.

At 149 pounds, Drake Houdashelt won his first two matches 10-2 and 4-3, but the No. 15 sophomore from O’Fallon, Mo., dropped his quarterfinal bout to Jason Chamberlain of Boise State. He will compete in the consolation bracket on Saturday.

No. 19 Kyle Bradley represented the Tigers in the 157-pound weight class, but he was quickly upset in the first round, dropping him into the consolation bracket. However, Bradley dominated the rest of the afternoon, scoring a major decision and two pins. The St. Peters native is also still alive heading into the Saturday.

Zach Toal has looked impressive at 165 pounds, winning all three of his matches, including one pin. He has a tough draw tomorrow, facing Cornell’s Kyle Dake.

After scoring two early victories in the 174-pound class, No. 15 Todd Porter dropped his quarterfinal match. The senior from House Springs, Mo., will compete in the consolation bracket.

The Tigers’ final three grapplers all put together impressive first days, and advance into Saturday’s semis. No. 8 Mike Larson had the closest shaves at the 184-pound weight class, winning 2-1 and 6-2 after a first round bye.

In the 197-pound weight class, No. 5 Brent Haynes overwhelmed his opponents, winning all three of his matches, including two by major decision.

Similarly, No. 2 Dom Bradley was a load, taking his first two matches by major decision. In the quarterfinals, he defeated Atticus Disney by injury forfeit in a match that featured two of the top heavyweights in the country.

The nine remaining Tiger wrestlers resume competition at 11 a.m. Saturday in Las Vegas.

-Gregory Dailey
23 Sports
Staff Writer