Stith, Pitsch Remain in Contention for Titles at Las Vegas Invite

Dec. 1, 2006

PRIMM, Nev. - The 25th Cliff Keen/Las Vegas Invitational got underway Friday morning at the Star of the Desert in Primm, Nev., with nine members of the Arizona State University wrestling program taking the mats at one of the top events in the nation each year. Through the first day of competition, three Sun Devils remain alive in their respective brackets with a pair of wrestlers still in contention for individual titles.

No. 2 Brian Stith (157) and No. 8 Patrick Pitsch (165), seeded No. 1 and No. 3 in their weight classes, respectively, won their first three bouts of the event to move into the semifinals that are slated for Saturday morning. Stith opened the day with a 6-2 defeat of Hayden Harrison of Embry-Riddle before scoring a 19-2 technical fall over Nate Berryman (UNC Greensboro) to reach the quarterfinals. In that round, Stith picked up a 6-1 decision over conference rival Josh Zupancic of Stanford to earn his semifinal berth where he will meet fifth-seeded and No. 9 Matt Kocher (Pittsburgh).

As the No. 3 seed, Pitsch advanced through his bracket for a meeting with second-seeded and fifth-ranked Eric Tannenbaum of Michigan in the semifinals. Pitsch opened the day with a 9-1 major decision over Oregon State's Brett Arand before scoring a 5-2 decision over Shawn Kitchner (Brown). In the quarterfinals, Pitsch scored a 5-3 decision over Jake Donar of Wisconsin.

The final Sun Devil still in the tournament is Jason Trulson at 197, who needs to win his first bout Saturday morning in order to finish in the Top 8. Trulson opened the tournament with a 4-1 victory over John Drake (CS Fullerton) in the pigtails before scoring a fall in 3:18 over Nick Clark (UNC Greensboro) in the first round. After absorbing an 11-2 major decision loss to fourth-seed and national No. 12 Matt Montiero of Cal Poly in the second round, Trulson rebounded with a 5-1 decision over Justin Schlecht (Dickinson State) before scoring a close 3-1 decision over Craig Brester of Nebraska.

Tyler Bowles picked up two victories at 125 pounds, the first of his collegiate career, to lead those Sun Devils that did not place in the event. Pat Payne, the 13th-ranked wrestler at 141 and the sixth seed in the tournament, won his first bout of the day before bowing out with an injury. Chris Remsen (149), Jake Cranford (184) and Thor Moen (285) each scored one win on the day. Cranford's win came quickly as he pinned Preston Pavich of Wyoming in just 17 seconds.

Action concludes Saturday with the medal rounds.

2006 Cliff Keen/Las Vegas Invitational
Star of the Desert Arena - Primm, Nev.
Numbers preceding wrestlers are tournament seed/national ranking

125 - Tyler Bowles (2-2, Did Not Place)
Pigtail - Mike Rodriguez (Cornell) decision Bowles, 11-5
Conso 1st - Bowles decision Greg EinFrank (Brown), 9-4
Conso 2nd - Bowles decision Zach Valdez (Air Force), 7-3
Conso 3rd - #11/15 Chad Sportelli (Kent State) decision Bowles, 11-4

133 - Shawn Jones (0-2, Did Not Place)
1st Round - Matt DeLorenzo (Columbia) pinned Jones, 6:34
Conso 2nd - Chris Diehl (Michigan) decision Jones, 10-6

141 - #6/13 Pat Payne (1-0, Did Not Place)
1st Round - Payne decision Jeff Newby (Boise State), 5-0
2nd Round - #11/nr Dave Roberts (Cal Poly) won by default
Conso Fourth - Garrett Desmond (Wyoming) won by default

149 - Chris Remsen (1-2, Did Not Place)
Pigtail - Remsen decision Jason Mendez (Embry-Riddle), 6-4
1st Round - Jordan LaFollette (Brown) decision Remsen, 6-4
Conso 2nd - Rob Hitschler (Penn) major decision Remsen, 14-0

157 - #1/2 Brian Stith (3-0)
1st Round - Stith decision Hayden Harrison (Embry-Riddle), 6-2
2nd Round - Stith tech fall Nate Berryman (UNC Greensboro), 19-2
Quarters - Stith decision Josh Zupancic (Stanford), 6-1
Semis - Stith vs. #5/9 Matt Kocher (Pittsburgh)

165 - #3/8 Patrick Pitsch (3-0)
1st Round - Pitsch major decision Brett Arand (Oregon State), 9-1
2nd Round - Pitsch decision Shawn Kitchner (Brown), 5-2
Quarters - Pitsch decision Jake Donar (Wisconsin), 5-3
Semis - Pitsch vs. #2/5 Eric Tannenbaum (Michigan)

184 - Jake Cranford (1-2, Did Not Place)
Pigtail - #9/nr Trevor Brandvold (Wisconsin), 8-0
Conso 1st - Cranford pinned Preston Pavich, 0:17
Conso 2nd - Tyler Bernacchi (UC Davis) decision Cranford, 5-2

197 - Jason Trulson (4-1)
Pigtail - Trulson decision John Drake (CS Fullerton), 4-1
1st Round - Trulson pinned Nick Clark (UNC-Greensboro), 3:18
2nd Round - #4/12 Matt Montiero (Cal Poly) major decision Trulson, 11-2
Conso 3rd - Trulson decision Justin Schlecht (Dickinson State), 5-1
Conso 4th - Trulson decision Craig Brester (Nebraska), 3-1
Conso 5th - Trulson vs. #6/15 Jared Villers (West Virginia)

285 - Thor Moen (1-2, Did Not Place)
1st Round - nr/#14 Andy Patrick (Boise State) major decision Moen, 12-4
Conso 1st - Moen decision Jed Wade (Columbia), 3-2
Conso 2nd - Joe Sheffield (UNC-Greensboro) decision Moen, 5-1

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