Gwiazdowski and Gantt Finish in Top Four at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite
Dec. 7, 2013
LAS VEGAS, NEV. - Three NC State wrestlers placed at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational this weekend. The Pack had five of its nine wrestlers advance to Day 2 action, with redshirt sophomore Nick Gwiazdowski placing third, junior Tommy Gantt fourth, and freshman Brian Hamann seventh.
The Pack finished ninth overall with 59.5 points. Among the 33 teams that competed this weekend, 12 were ranked in the top-25 in this week’s USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll, including four top-10 schools. NC State finished higher than No. 14 Virginia Tech, No. 19 Purdue, No. 20 Oregon State and No. 25 Boise State.
"Overall, it was a strong performance for us," said head coach Pat Popolizio. "We had a lot of good, individual wins and gained experience for our young team against some of the best teams in the country."
After his first loss of the season on Friday, Gwiazdowski responded with four wins on Saturday to finish third at 285 pounds. Gwiazdowski won 6-4 and then 6-3 before advancing to the third-place bout with a medical forfeit win. In his final match, he downed No. 12 seed Adam Fager of Utah Valley State 4-3.
Gantt started the day with a 4-2 win over No. 10 seed Robert Burg of Navy, and then advanced with a medical forfeit win in the 157 pound bracket. In the third-place bout, Gantt nearly pulled off an upset of No 2 seed R.J. Pena of Oregon State, who is ranked fifth nationally, but lost 5-3 and placed fourth.
Hamann, who knocked off two seeded wrestlers on Friday, placed seventh at 149 pounds. The rookie downed Alex Johnson of Navy 5-3, before falling to No. 7 seed Ian Paddock of Ohio State. Hamann earned seventh place with a medical forfeit win.
The Pack will return to action on December 19, traveling to Boone, N.C., to compete in a pair of duals against Appalachian State and Cleveland State.
For complete results, click here.