UVU wrestling: 3 Wolverine wrestlers advance to Saturday at CKLV Invite

By James Warnick

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Nov. 30 2012 10:58 p.m. MST

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Three Utah Valley University wrestlers advanced to day two of the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Friday at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Jade Rauser (125 pounds), Josh Wilson (149) and Abner Cook (165) are all still alive at the prestigious tournament and will continue wrestling Saturday morning.

"Jade had a great win today," UVU coach Greg Williams said. "This is a great tournament and I was really pleased with our guys' effort. The kids are starting to feel more and more like they belong here.

"Jade, Josh and Abner will all have to come out and win a couple more matches on Saturday. But I'm excited with how the team wrestled."

Rauser had the biggest showing Friday, as the redshirt freshman upset the No. 3 seed and 13th-ranked Sean Boyle from Michigan 10-7 in the second round. The victory advanced him into the quarters.

Rauser began his tournament run by pinning Boise State's Rami Haddadin in the first period (2:03). After upsetting Boyle, he then fell to Air Force's Josh Martinez in the quarters. Rauser went 2-1 on Friday and opens up Saturday morning against Brock Banta from North Idaho.

Wilson and Cook also advanced to Saturday after the two finished 3-1 apiece during the first day of the tournament.

Wilson, who placed fifth at this tournament last season after knocking off three ranked wrestlers, defeated Kent State's Nicholas Carr but then fell to the No. 6 seed and 13th-ranked Cam Tessari from Ohio State in the second round. The UVU senior and reigning NCAA qualifier battled back by beating CSU-Peublo's Nick Stahler and San Francisco State's Conrad Snell in the consolation bracket.

Wilson takes on top-seeded and fourth-ranked Scott Sakaguchi from Oregon State in his first bout Saturday.

Cook received a tough draw in his opening bout as he matched up with three-time NCAA Champion and top-seed and top-ranked Kyle Dake of Cornell. After getting pinned by Dake, Cook won his next three contests to advance.

Cook defeated Wisconsin's Benjamin Cox 6-0, Harvard's Ian Roy 9-7 and CSU Bakersfield's David Meza by technical fall (18-2). Cook takes on the fifth-seeded and 10th-ranked Taylor Massa of Michigan on Saturday morning.

UVU's David Prieto (197) also wrestled well but just missed out on advancing to the second day as he went 2-2.

Prieto began by dropping a 2-1 bout to Army's Bryce Barnes but bounced back by winning his next two matches by major decision. The 197-pound sophomore beat South Dakota State's Brandon Ballard 13-5 and CSU Bakersfield's Frankie Hurtado 13-4 before falling to Navy's Peter Huntley in overtime, 5-4.

Also in action at the tournament for UVU on Friday were 133-pounder Chasen Tolbert, 141-pounder Avery Garner, 157-pounder Napoleon Aniciete, 174-pounder Monte Schmalhaus, 184-pounder Derek Thomas and heavyweight Adam Fager. Tolbert, Garner, Aniciete and Schmalhaus each went 1-2, while Thomas and Fager finished 0-2.

In the team score race, UVU is in 22nd place out of 32 teams with 17 points. No. 5 Ohio State is currently in first place with 85 points. No. 7 Missouri is right behind the Buckeyes with 80.5 points.

The 31st annual CKLV Invitational concludes Saturday. Action begins at 9 a.m. PT and the finals start at 3 p.m. PT. Live video can be viewed at FloWrestling.com.

James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.

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