The No. 25-ranked Stanford wrestling program (2-2, 1-0 Pac-12) netted itself an impressive top-10 finish at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, which ran from Dec. 1-3. The team scored 58.5 total points, which was good enough for a top-10 finish, an impressive finish at a tournament that featured some of the best wrestlers in the country.
Four total Cardinal wrestlers placed in the top eight of their respective weight classes in the tournament, the most ever to place in Stanford’s history at the Cliff Keen Invitational. The four placing members of the Cardinal were 125-pound redshirt senior Connor Schram in sixth place, 174-pound redshirt senior Keaton Subjeck in sixth place, 197-pound redshirt freshman Nathan Traxler in seventh place and heavyweight redshirt senior Nathan Butler in fourth place.
Schram, ranked No. 11 in the country, finished the tournament with a 3-2 record, advancing to a 9-3 total record on the season. In the semifinals, he took No. 16 Taylor LaMont from Utah Valley to two tiebreakers before eventually falling. During the fifth-place match, Schram was forced to medically forfeit and will look to get healthy during the team’s upcoming break.
Subjeck, holding the No. 15 ranking in his weight class, fell in the quarterfinals but battled back on Saturday to take two major decisions and advance to the fifth-place match, where he narrowly fell to No. 7-ranked Jadaen Bernstein of Navy in a 7-5 decision.
Traxler, who currently holds No. 16 in the 197-pound rankings, went 4-2 during the tournament, dropping his bouts versus higher ranked opponents and taking out his unranked foes. It wasn’t a flashy tournament for the first year competitor, but he got it done and managed to land within the top eight.
Butler, the current No. 13 ranked heavyweight wrestler in the country, had an exceptional tournament and claimed the highest finish for the Cardinal at fourth overall. He posted a massive upset, beating Pitt’s No. 8-ranked Ryan Solomon in a 3-1 decision to reach the third place match. He conceded a last second takedown in the third-place match to Duke’s Jacob Kasper, who is No. 6 in the nation. Butler is now 11-4 on the year.
This tournament marks the last time the Cardinal will compete for two weeks, when they travel to Reno, Nevada to compete in the Reno Tournament of Champions. Another invitational, the ranked and unranked members of the Cardinal will have another stage on which to prove themselves on the national level. The action begins on Dec. 17.
Contact Bobby Pragada at bpragada “at” stanford.edu.