Brenner and Rogers Place at Cliff Keen Invitational

By Ira Green
WVU Sports Information Office

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (December 6, 2008) – Fifth-year seniors Dustin Rogers and Kurt Brenner of the West Virginia University wrestling team each placed at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational in Las Vegas, Nev., at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Brenner, a No. 3 seed, took fourth place in the consolation bracket at 174 pounds, while Rogers, a No. 5 seed heavyweight, took seventh place in the consolation bracket.

Brenner started the day in the championship bracket, but fell to No. 2 seed Brandon Browne of Nebraska in his first match of the day. Brenner took Browne to the final period, but fell 5-1. A Freedom, Pa., native, Brenner bounced back with a 3-2 decision against New Mexico’s Jesse Feinsad. In the consolation finals, Brenner battled Indiana’s Trevor Perry, a No. 5 seed, but lost, ultimately earning the four-place finish.

Rogers earned a seventh place finish after defeating Minnesota’s Benjamin Berhow, a No. 6 seed. Rogers earned a takedown in the first period and registered another one in the second en route to a 5-3 decision.

In his first bout of the day, Rogers faced Indiana’s No. 11 seed, Nate Everhart. Rogers dominated the match, scoring seven of his nine points in the first period, courtesy of two takedowns and three near fall points. He later added two escape points in the third period for the 9-4 decision. His next match came against the No. 1 seed Kyle Massey of Wisconsin. After going scoreless in the first period, Massey earned an escape point, but Rogers retaliated with a takedown moments later. Massey, however, recorded three more points in the second period and three in the third for the 8-3 decision.

“We understood coming into this tournament that this is a valuable one from all different levels. We needed to feel it, we needed to see it and we need to compete with it,” Coach Craig Turnbull said. “We brought three experienced wrestlers into this tournament who we thought could take a run at the finals and we were a little bit unlucky with (David) Jauregui losing in the first round. The other two competed to get into the finals, Kurt and Dustin.

“The other six guys are relatively all beginning their careers. All of them are in their third varsity match ever and I think they had varied success. They all had a tremendous experience and I think they'll be better from it.”

Freshman Lance Bryson also competed in the second day of the tournament with a third round consolation match at 184 pounds against Pitt’s Zac Thomusseit. Bryson fell behind in the second period after Thomusseit earned an escape point, but tied the match in the third session with an escape point. In the first overtime, Bryson and Thomusseit battled, but Pitt’s Thomusseit gained a takedown with only six seconds left in the first overtime period for the 3-1 overtime decision.

“Lance, as a true freshman, just came in and battled really well,” Turnbull said. “He was probably about five seconds away from placing in this tournament as a true freshman.”

Another young Mountaineer who finished the tournament with tremendous success was redshirt-freshman Grant Lowther at 133 pounds. The Washington, Pa., native won three matches, two of which via 8-0 major decisions.

“Grant's experience was valuable because it was the first time Grant had wrestled a match in a year and a half, since he was in high school,” Turnbull commented. “He spent last year with shoulder surgery, so he hasn't really been on a match with an official since then. His first match was with one of the better athletes in the program. He has come back and is having very good success.”

The Mountaineers return to action on Dec. 14 with a dual meet at Penn State. The match is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

Results from Day 2

Championship Bracket
174 pounds – No. 2 seed Brandon Browne (Nebraska) DEC Kurt Brenner (WVU), 5-1

184 pounds – No. 11 seed Zac Thomusseit (Pitt) DEC (OT) Lance Bryson (WVU), 3-1

285 pounds – No. 5 seed Dustin Rogers (WVU) DEC No. 11 seed Nate Everhart (Indiana), 9-4

285 pounds – No. 1 seed Kyle Massey (Wisconsin) DEC No. 5 seed Dustin Rogers (WVU), 8-3

174 pounds – Kurt Brenner (WVU) DEC Jesse Feinsad (New Mexico), 3-2

285 pounds – No. 5 seed Dustin Rogers (WVU) DEC No. 6 seed Benjamin Berhow (Minnesota), 5-3


174 pounds – No. 5 seed Trevor Perry (Indiana) FALL Kurt Brenner (WVU), 0:45

First Day Feature

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (December 5, 2008) – The West Virginia University wrestling team advanced two wrestlers, fifth-year seniors Kurt Brenner (174) and Dustin Rogers (HWT), to the quarterfinals of the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas, Nev., at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Brenner, who moved into the second round on a bye, defeated Eastern Wrestling League rival Pitt’s Karl DeCiantis, 4-2. In the third round, Brenner took on Arizona State’s Eric Starks and won in convincing fashion, 10-3. The Freedom, Pa., native tallied three takedowns in the first period alone and tacked on a total of 1:15 in riding time. He is slated to wrestle Wisconsin’s Travis Rutt to advance to the semifinals.

Rogers earned the first pin fall for the Mountaineers in the second round, his first bout of the day. Against Brown’s Zach Zdrada, Rogers scored on two takedowns, and with nine seconds left in the first period, pinned Zdrada. In his next bout, Rogers took Army’s Mike Sprigg, a No. 12 seed, down to the wire. After pulling ahead 4-3, Sprigg earned an escape point to tie the match at four apiece. In the first overtime, Rogers used his speed to shoot at Sprigg’s legs and earned the takedown to win the bout. For a spot in the semifinals, Rogers is scheduled to wrestle Columbia’s Ryan Flores, who he faced in the “Sprawl & Brawl” dual meets on Nov. 23.

Freshman Lance Bryson (184) and redshirt-freshman Grant Lowther (133) also had successful days.

Bryson posted a 12-3 major decision against North Dakota State’s Kenny Moenkediak. Bryson registered two takedowns in the first period, another in the second period, and then two more in the third period. Bryson continued his success against Minnesota’s Brent Eidenschink, with a 3-1 decision. In the third round match, Bryson faced a difficult No. 4 seed, AJ Kissel of Purdue and lost via pin fall at the 4:44 mark. In his first bout in the consolation bracket, Bryson defeated Dickinson State’s Brett Owen, 8-2.

Lowther, who lost his first bout of the day, rebounded for a string of strong performances. In his first match in the consolation bracket, Lowther defeated Virginia Tech’s Jared Jones in an 8-0 major decision. Against Dickinson State’s Blake Hunter, Lowther would prevail, again. Lowther jumped out to a 9-1 lead and would take the win, 11-8. In his final bout of the day, Lowther defeated Northern Idaho’s Lester Brown, 8-0. A Washington, Pa., native, Lowther tallied two takedowns and three near fall points in the victory.

The Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational continues tomorrow, Dec. 6, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Round three of the consolation bracket will start at 9 a.m. and the semifinals will start at 10 a.m.
Results from Day 1 are below:

133 pounds –TJ Dillashaw (Cal St. Fullerton) TF Grant Lowther, 16-0
141 pounds – Eljah Nacita (Cal St. Bakersfield) DEC Colin Johnston, 3-1
149 pounds – Chase Smith (Wyoming) FALL David Jauregui, 5:27
157 pounds – Ryan Goodman DEC Joey Wilson (UC Davis), 3-1
165 pounds – Christian Mory MAJOR Devin Velasquez (Cal St. Fullerton), 12-3
174 pounds – Kurt Brenner DEC Karl DeCiantis (Pitt), 4-2
184 pounds – Lance Bryson MAJOR Kenny Moenkediak (North Dakota State), 12-3
197 pounds – John Drake (Cal St. Fullerton) DEC Brandon Boyer (WVU), 3-2
285 pounds – Dustin Rogers (WVU) FALL Zach Zdrada (Brown), 2:56

157 pounds – Jason Johnstone (Ohio State) DEC Ryan Goodman (WVU), 8-3
165 pounds – Zach Shanaman (Penn) MAJOR Christian Mory (WVU), 10-1
184 pounds – Lance Bryson (WVU) DEC Brent Eidenschink (Minnesota), 3-1

174 pounds – Kurt Brenner DEC Eric Starks (Arizona State), 10-3
184 pounds – AJ Kissel (Purdue) FALL Lance Bryson (WVU), 4:44
285 pounds – Dustin Rogers SV Mike Sprigg (Army), 6-4


133 pounds – Grant Lowther (WVU) MAJOR Jared Jones (Virginia Tech), 8-0
141 pounds – Chris Davis (Sacred Heart) FallColin Johnston (WVU)
149 pounds – Brian Petersen (Minnesota) INJURY DEF David Jauregui (WVU)
157 pounds – Derek Sickles (Columbia) MAJOR Ryan Goodman (WVU), 11-1
197 pounds – Brandon Boyer (WVU) DEC Jonas Schenzel (Montana State), 11-7

133 pounds – Grant Lowther (WVU) DEC Blake Hunter (Dickinson State), 11-8
141 pounds – Chris Davis (Sacred Heart) FALL Colin Johnston (WVU), 2:51
165 pounds – Ethan Headlee (Pitt) DEC Christian Mory (WVU), 7-0
184 pounds – Lance Bryson (WVU) DEC Brett Owen (Dickinson State), 8-2
197 pounds – Joe Kennedy (Lehigh) DEC Brandon Boyer (WVU), 8-6

133 pounds – Grant Lowther (WVU) MAJOR Lester Brown (Northern Idaho), 8-0
133 pounds – Matt Vacanti (Nebraska) INJURY DEF Grant Lowther (WVU)

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