Stanford Wrestling to Compete at Las Vegas Invitational

Nov. 28, 2007

Stanford, Calif. - The Stanford wrestling team has its sights set on Las Vegas this week, as the team will compete in the 26th annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational this Friday and Saturday. Known as one of the most competitive collegiate tournaments of the season, this year's event will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev.

The elite field features wrestlers from 49 programs around the country, and 12 teams ranked in the current USAToday/Intermat/NWCA top-25. Two top-10 teams, No. 7 Missouri and No. 9 Wisconsin, highlight the field, but wrestlers from No. 12 Hofstra, No. 14 Nebraska, No. 15 Edinboro, No. 16 Ohio State, No. 18 Illinois, No. 19 Pittsburgh, No. 20 Navy, N0. 22 Penn, No. 23 Harvard and No. 25 Old Dominion will also compete. Six Pac-10 teams, including Stanford and Oregon State who are both receiving votes in the poll, will also be in attendance.

The Cardinal has started the season off strong, winning its first two dual matches and boasting a combined nine placewinners in its first two tournaments. Senior 125-pounder Tanner Gardner (12-0), who is ranked fourth in the nation, remains undefeated this season and has captured two tournament titles. Senior Josh Zupancic (11-1) is ranked eighth at 157 pounds and won the Central Missouri Open title earlier this month. Stanford's third senior, heavyweight Phillip Doerner (11-4), is having the best season of his career, nearly doubling his career win total in the first three weeks of the season.

Gardner and Zupancic, both returning All-Americans, will have a chance to square off with some of their top competition this week. Ten wrestlers ranked at 125 pounds are expected to compete, including defending National Champion Paul Donahoe of Nebraska. At 157 pounds, Zupancic will be among ten ranked wrestlers expected to compete, including the top three ranked wrestlers in the weight class.

Gardner has placed fourth at the Invitational the last two years, and Zupancic took seventh at the event in 2006.

Action begins at 9 a.m. on Friday with pigtail rounds, and continues through the quarterfinals on Friday night. On Saturday, wrestling begins at 9 a.m. with the Championship Finals and the awards ceremony scheduled for 5 p.m.

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