Wilson & Smith Still Alive in Vegas, Wilson Advances to Semis

Junior Josh Wilson

Dec. 2, 2011

Day 1 ResultsGet Acrobat Reader

LAS VEGAS - Utah Valley University 149-pounder Josh Wilson became the first-ever Wolverine to reach the semis at the coveted Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Friday. He defeated two ranked foes on the day en route to advancing to the semifinal and will meet up with Western Wrestling Conference rival in fifth-ranked Cole VonOhlen from Air Force on Saturday.

The UVU junior Wilson went 3-0 through the 149-pound bracket on Friday and advanced to Saturday's semifinal by picking up wins over Stanford's Timmy Boone, sixth-seeded and 12th-ranked Craig Eifert of Cornell and third-seeded and seventh-ranked Scott Sakaguchi of Oregon State.

Wilson opened with Boone at the tournament and the Wolverine grappler pulled out a 3-2 decision over the Stanford Cardinal foe. In the round of 16 Wilson then upset the Big Red's Eifert 4-1 and continued his hot streak in the quarters with a 4-2 upset victory over the Beavers' Sakaguchi.

"What a day for Josh (Wilson)," UVU head coach Greg Williams said. "He wrestled really well and knocked off two ranked guys to became our first-ever wrestler to make it to the semis here."

UVU 165-pounder Ethan Smith is also still alive for the Wolverines heading into day two of the invite. Smith dropped his opening bout against the second-seed and fourth-ranked P.J. Gillespie from Hofstra but battled back to win his next three to advance to Saturday. In the consolation bracket he beat San Francisco State's Isaiah Jimenez 2-1, Ohio State's Derek Garcia by medical forfeit and Brown's Patrick Labuz 8-6. On Saturday Smith will open against the third-seed and 10th-ranked Robert Kokoesh from Nebraska in the consolation quarterfinal.

As a team the Wolverines ended day one in 18th place out of 34 teams with 24 total points.

"The guys wrestled well for as young as we are and at a tournament of this level," Williams added. "Almost everyone one won at least one match and overall I was pleased with how the guys wrestled."

Behind Wilson and Smith UVU's Colby Christensen (125 pounds), Avery Garner (141), Napoleon Aniciete (157) and Dustin Dennison (Hwt.) all finished with 2-2 records at the Las Vegas Invitational, while Monte Schmalhaus (174) went 1-2.

Utah Valley's Derek Malan (133), David Prieto (184) and Brian Chamberlain (197) also competed for the Wolverines at the CKLV Invitational and all finished with 0-2 records at the prestigious pre-season tournament.

The final day of the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational will begin Saturday at 9 a.m. PT/10 a.m. MT. The finals will then start at 3 p.m. PT/4 p.m. MT.