Smith into Semifinals at Cliff Keen

  • By Ashley Bailey
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  • December 02, 2016 11:15 PM
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LAS VEGAS – 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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