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Wrestling: Three Boilermakers place at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational

PRIMM, Nev. — The Purdue wrestling team posted a 13th-place finish at the 2009 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 4-5, amassing 58 team points in the two-day tournament. Three Boilermakers placed in their respective weight classes, led by 10th-ranked junior Luke Manuel’s bronze-medal finish at 174 pounds.

Luke Manuel led the squad with his third-place effort at 174 pounds (Photo PurdueSports.com)

Luke Manuel led the squad with his third-place effort at 174 pounds (Photo PurdueSports.com)

Manuel finished the tournament with a solid 5-1 record, topping a trio of ranked opponents in the process. He opened the day with a semifinal matchup against third-ranked Stephen Dwyer of Nebraska, but came up short and suffered his first loss of the season, 7-3. However he lost no sleep over the affair, rolling hard into the wrestlebacks and taking down consecutive ranked grapplers en route to the bronze. He pinned No. 11 Ryan Patrovich of Hofstra in the consolation semifinals, putting him on his blades in just 1:37 to advance to the third-place match, and put on a dominating performance in his 6-2 decision over eighth-ranked Jeff James of Oklahoma in the consolation finals. Manuel surrendered just two takedowns in the tournament, both to Dwyer, and picked up his first two falls of the season. He sports the Boilermakers’ top mark of the season so far, sitting at 16-1 overall.

No. 13 junior Logan Brown captured fifth place at 197 pounds for the second straight season, finishing with a 4-2 tournament record. After reaching the semifinals last night, Brown had a tough draw on Saturday, facing top-seeded and second-ranked Craig Brester of Nebraska to start the day, suffering a loss by fall in 1:30, and following with a 6-2 loss to fifth-ranked Cam Simaz of Cornell in the consolations. He received a medical forfeit from Michigan’s 14th-ranked Anthony Biondo to earn fifth and a total of six placing points. Brown coughed up just one takedown in the tournament, using his slow and steady approach to win three of his four victories by decision.

Salazar earned his first career placing in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, taking home eighth at 157 pounds. He dropped his consolation quarterfinal bout to Northern Colorado’s Justin Gaethje in sudden victory, 9-7, to open the day, and bowed to eighth-ranked Shane Vernon of Oklahoma in the seventh-place match by major decision, 10-1.

In an interesting note for Purdue, the Boilermakers had five matches with 13th-ranked archrival Indiana in the tournament, taking home four victories over the Hoosiers, including a pair of elimination matches.

The overall team title is a two-horse race as Ohio State and Cornell head into tonight’s finals just one point apart at 118.5 and 117.5, respectively. The Buckeyes have three competitors in the finals, while the Big Red have a pair.

Purdue returns to action on Sunday, Dec. 20, hosting the Purdue Duals in Holloway Gymnasium in the Intercollegiate Athletic Facility. Keep checking the Purdue Wrestling Twitter Page for more updates on the Boilermakers, and visit PurdueSports.com for updates on the Purdue wrestling team.

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