NC State Wrestling In Las Vegas For Cliff Keen Invitational
Dec. 1, 2005
With a 2-0 record in dual meets and a strong showing across the board two weeks ago in the Wolfpack Open, NC State's wrestling team will dive head first into the deep end of the pool this weekend when it participates in the 2005 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
The Las Vegas Invitational, which will run all day Friday and Saturday, December 2-3, is college wrestling's answer to the Preseason NIT. The field is traditionally loaded and all 10 weight classes will features numerous ranked wrestlers and All-America candidates.
"The Las Vegas Invitational is one of the three best early-season college wrestling tournaments in the country," NC State wrestling coach Carter Jordan said. "We will be seriously challenged in this tournament, and that's good. This will be a true measuring stick of where we stand at this point in the season."
NC State will put five starters with unbeaten records on the mat at Las Vegas, and two more with just one loss apiece. Two starters -- sophomore Kody Hamrah at 157 pounds and senior Kevin Gabrielson at 165 -- are injured and did not make the trip.
Redshirt-juniors Jeremy Hartrum at 125 and Jeff Breese at 133, freshman 149-pounder Joe Caramanica and junior heavyweight Jainor Palma all are 5-0 heading into action Friday in Las Vegas. Redshirt-freshman 197-pounder Ryan Goodman is 4-0. In addition, junior 174-pounder Rick Brownlee is 5-1, and sophomore 184-pounder Jeremy Colbert is 4-1. Among the starters, only redshirt-freshman Jalil Dozier has more than one loss, and his record is a solid 5-2.
Redshirt-junior Bryant Reams (5-2) will start in Hamrah's place at 157, and redshirt-sophomore Michael Waite (3-3) will take Gabrielson's place at 165. Hamrah (ankle, wrist) and Gabrielson (knee) both have been cleared to work out, and Jordan hopes both will return in time to travel with the team to North Dakota State and South Dakota State in mid-December.
NC State defeated Newberry and The Citadel in dual matches to begin the season, then won eight of the 10 weight classes at the Wolfpack Open. The Citadel easily provided the Pack with its toughest competition to date, but this weekend will see the competition cranked up several notches.
"I think we're as ready for this as we can be at this point in the season," Jordan said. "The guys on this team have worked very hard and made a strong commitment to one another and to the program. We have several kids I hope and expect will do well here."
Following is NC State's starting lineup for the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational: