UP NEXT: CLIFF KEEN INVITATIONAL
Following disappointing finishes in their last two appearances, No. 25 ranked Stanford wrestling (2-2, 1-0 Pac-12) will travel to Las Vegas this weekend to compete in the Cliff Keen Invitational. The invitational is one of the toughest college tournaments in the country and features 30 Division 1 teams.
In their annual outdoor wrestling meet vs. Maryland (3-1) on the day of Big Game, the Cardinal fell in an incredibly close defeat by a score of 18-15. After a surprise upset of the now No. 11-ranked 125-pound redshirt senior Connor Schram, the Cardinal fell behind in total points. The match came down to the final heavyweight bout, where No. 13-ranked redshirt senior Nathan Butler was narrowly upset by the Terrapin’s No. 15-ranked Youssif Heida.
The Cardinal then traveled to Bakersfield for the Roadrunner Invitational the following day, Nov. 19, and competed in the invitational play there. All Stanford wrestlers struggled to find success in this meet, with the highest placement of the day belonging to No. 16-ranked 197-pound Nathan Traxler, who placed second in his weight class. The team finished sixth overall at the meet with 78 total points.
The Cardinal will look to bounce back from these lackluster performances in the desert this weekend, as a plethora of competitive schools will travel to Las Vegas. Making an impact in this tournament would be huge for the national perception of Stanford wrestling, which has had a mediocre season to this point.
Schram, Traxler, Butler and the rest of the team, including standout 149-pound redshirt freshman Requir van der Merwe, will attempt to climb the rankings in their weight class, going up against top wrestlers from all over the country. Nine of the top 20 teams will be in attendance, including No. 2 Ohio State, No. 6 NC State, No. 9 Michigan, No. 12 Arizona State and No. 13 Nebraska, in addition to No. 10 Virginia Tech, whom the Cardinal have already competed against this year.
The action begins on Friday and will wrap up on Saturday night.
Contact Bobby Pragada at bpragada “at” stanford.edu.