Smith Takes Fourth at Cliff Keen
LAS VEGAS (Dec. 3, 2016) – No. 6/8 Jacob A. Smith earned his third consecutive podium finish at 197 pounds for the West Virginia University wrestling team at the 2016 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Charleston, West Virginia, native finished fourth for the second straight season. Smith earned an eighth-place finish at the event in 2014.
“This tournament is a great indicator for the season,” WVU coach Sammie Henson said. “Obviously, we need to continue to work. Jake had some good success but isn’t where he wants to be. We believe that with commitment he will reach his goal of becoming an All-American.”
The redshirt junior dropped a 9-7 decision to No. 12 Kollin Moore of Ohio State in the third-place match. Moore got the first takedown of the match, but Smith escaped and countered as the two went into the second period tied, 3-3. Moore took a 4-3 lead on an escape and added a takedown as Smith entered the third period trailing 6-3. Starting on bottom, Smith quickly escaped to come within two, down 6-4, but Moore scored a takedown for an 8-4 lead. Smith escaped and then added a takedown of his own, Moore escaped in the closing seconds to take the win.
Smith met fellow West Virginia native Jared Haught of Virginia Tech in the championship semifinals. Smith struck first with a takedown in the first for a 2-0 lead. Haught escaped as Smith took a 2-1 lead in to the first, starting on top. Smith cut Haught early in the second, knotting the score at 2-2. Haught countered with a takedown midway through the second for a 4-2 advantage. Smith escaped and entered the third trailing 4-3. Starting in the defensive position, he quickly escaped to even the score at 4-4. Neither wrestler scored for the remainder of regulation, sending the bout to sudden victory. Haught scored the takedown as Smith dropped the 6-4 decision to move to the consolation semifinals.
Following his loss to Haught, Smith wrestled No. 15 Ricky Robertson of Wisconsin in the consolation semifinals, winning an 8-1 decision. After a scoreless first, Smith started the second on bottom and took a 1-0 lead on an escape. He scored a takedown soon after and turned Robertson for back points, claiming a 5-0 advantage midway through the second period. Robertson opted for a neutral start in the third, and Smith added another takedown. He tacked on the point for riding time in taking the 8-1 decision to advance to the third-place bout.
In the consolation bracket, Cory Stainbrook dropped an 11-4 decision to Central Michigan’s Corey Keener. The Mountaineers finished 28th overall in the tournament.
The Mountaineers travel to Pittsburgh on Sunday, Dec. 11, for a 2 p.m. tilt with No. 21 Pitt at Fitzgerald Field House.
Smith into Semifinals at Cliff Keen
LAS VEGAS (Dec. 2, 2016) – No. 6/8 Jacob A. Smith will wrestle in the 197-pound semifinals after leading the West Virginia University wrestling team on the first day of competition at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Friday.
After going 3-0 on the day, Smith, a native of Charleston, West Virginia, will face a familiar foe in No. 3 Jared Haught of Virginia Tech in Saturday’s championship semifinals. Haught, who hails from Parkersburg, West Virginia, and Smith squared off in the consolation semifinals of last year’s event, with Smith winning a 2-0 decision on his way to a fourth-place finish.
Cory Stainbrook also remains in contention for a podium finish at 133 pounds. He went 3-1 on the day, bouncing back from a second-round loss. Stainbrook will face Central Michigan’s Corey Keener in the second consolation round of eight on Saturday morning.
“Jake Smith is wrestling tough and continues to make his mark on the season,” WVU coach Sammie Henson said. “Cory has come into this season with a great outlook for his senior year. It continues to show in his toughness on the mat.”
The consolation finals begin at noon ET on Saturday, while the championship semifinals are slated for a 1 p.m. ET start. The championship finals, as well as third- and fourth-place matches, are set for 6 p.m. ET start.
Smith, the No. 3 seed in the tournament, used a pair of wins in the championship round to advance to the quarterfinals. He started the tournament off with a 5-0 decision over Cal Baptist’s Jake Short before claiming a 6-1 win over Central Michigan’s Austin Severn in the second round to qualify for the quarterfinals. Smith then defeated No. 16 Tom Sleigh of Bucknell in the quarterfinals, taking a 6-1 decision to advance to the championship semifinals, looking for his third straight podium finish at the event.
Stainbrook joined Smith in the evening session after going 2-1 in the morning session. He won a 6-2 decision over Bucknell’s Zach Firestone in the first championship round before dropping a 6-3 decision to No. 18 Mark Grey of Cornell in the second round. Stainbrook rebounded with an 11-5 win over Columbia’s Alec Kelly to stay alive in the consolation bracket in the round of 16. He then claimed a 6-3 decision over Edinboro’s Korbin Myers to advance to Saturday’s rounds.
After suffering his first loss of the season in a 14-2 major decision to CSU Bakersfield’s Coleman Hammond at 149, Christian Monserrat bounced back to win a 12-6 decision over Peter Cunningham of Cal Baptist in the first round of wrestlebacks. Just as it looked like he would take a 4-3 decision over Minnesota’s Fredy Stroker in the second round of the consolation bracket, Stroker was awarded a last-second takedown as Monserrat dropped the match, 5-4.
Joe Wheeling and Ty Millward also bounced back from first-round losses with solid wins in the first round of the consolation bracket. At 141, Wheeling dropped an 8-1 decision to No. 13 Brock Zacherl of Clarion before taking an 11-4 win over Jeff Bizzle of Nebraska-Kearney. He later dropped a close 1-0 decision to American’s Jeff Mutchnik on an escape in the second round of wrestlebacks.
After suffering a 16-0 loss by tech. fall to Chaz Polson of Wyoming in the first round at 174, Millward came back to win a 4-1 decision over Harvard’s Spencer Kiehm in the consolation bracket. He then dropped a 6-2 decision to Alex Aguilar of North Idaho.
West Virginia is tied for 34th place at the event.
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