Badgers Claim Silver in Vegas
Abigail Ruckdashel | 12-5-2016
As the semester starts to draw to a close, Badger Wrestling is just heating up. This past weekend, the Badgers headed to the Cliff Keen Invitational held in Las Vegas to compete with some of the best teams in the country. Led by No. 2 ranked heavyweight Connor Medbery and No. 2 ranked 165lb. Isaac Jordan, Wisconsin was able to claim silver.
According to FloWrestling, 40 percent of the individuals present at Cliff Keen were ranked, along with roughly half of the teams. Heading into day two, the Badgers were sitting in sixth. With Medbery and Jordan in the semifinals they were also eyeing six more spots on the podium.
As day two began, Wisconsin came out swinging. At one point they held the top spot, eventually going on to claim the second behind Ohio State. In the end, the Badgers finished with seven guys on the podium, three finishing top three.
Individually, Medbery claimed first as he won a sudden decision victory in the final round against No. 3 Ty Walz of Virginia Tech. The match was a nail biter as scoring went back and forth. Finally in the first overtime, Medbery was able to get the takedown to seal his victory.
Isaac Jordan took home silver as he fell in a 8-7 decision to Michigan Freshman, No. 6 Logan Massa, whom he will see again this year, probably at least twice. Massa had the riding time to bring defeat to Jordan in a stunning finish. Jordan also racked up two tech falls and two pins prior to the finals.
Cole Martin nabbed a bronze for UW. Martin won in sudden victory 8-7 over Russell Rohlfing of Bakersfield. The match ended tied in third, but Martin earned the victory with riding time. Martin knocked off fourth seeded Logan Everett of Army earlier in the day to earn a shot against Rohlfing.
Hunter Ritter finished sixth. Ritter secured his spot on the podium as he won a close 6-5 decision over Army’s Samson Imonode In his final match of the tournament Hunter faced fourth seeded Jordan Ellingwood of Central Michigan. Ellingwood took Ritter down, eventually going on to win the match 4-1.
“Tricky” Ricky Robertson also grabbed a sixth place finish. Robertson claimed a spot on the podium after a close 9-7 decision over Utah Valley’s Tanner Orndoff. In the place match he was pinned in the first period by Corey Griego.
Newly ranked Andrew Crone also grabbed a spot on the 149lb podium. He took it to Iowa State’s Chase Straw in the final round, winning easily with a 11-3 major decision.
Eli Stickley rounded out the day for the badgers, grabbing eighth at 133lb. With a 6-4 decision over Wyoming’s Drew Templeman, Stickley claimed a podium spot. After that match, Stickley dropped the next two, still managing to bring some hardware back to the Badger State.
After all was said and done, the Badgers finished with 113.5 points, just five behind Cliff Keen champion Ohio State. Virginia Tech, Minnesota and Cornell rounded out the top five. The Wisconsin Big Ten matchups begin this Friday, December 9th, against Indiana at 7pm in Bloomington.
The first chance to catch the Badgers at home is two days later, Sunday, December 11th at noon, in the Fieldhouse. The Badgers will host University of Northern Iowa.
Photo: Pam Ruschell