Chippewas finish sixth at Cliff Keen Invitational

Redshirt Freshman Mason Smith and opponent look at the clock, Nov. 13 in McGuirk Arena on the campus of Central Michigan University. Josh Barnhart | Freelance Photographer

The 35th annual Cliff Keen Invitational is in the books and Central Michigan wrestling left its mark, finishing in sixth place.

The two-day tournament in Las Vegas featured 34 teams — 11 being ranked in Intermat’s Top 25.

“This is by far the best competition we had so far,” said Head Coach Tom Borrelli. “We found out a lot of things we needed to find out about our team. I think we did better than a lot of people would have expected us to.”

Colin Heffernan (157) led the charge for No. 14 Central Michigan, but lost in the finals to Minnesota’s Jake Short in a 3-2 decision. Heffernan is now 14-1 on the season.

Sophomore Justin Oliver made it to the semifinals, falling short to eventual 149-pound champion Micah Jordan of Ohio State.

“(Oliver wrestled) better than in the Eastern Michigan Open Finals,” Borrelli said. “Better match, (but he) still has to work on some things. (Oliver) was caught in some situations that we’ve been trying to improve on that Jordan does well in.”

Junior 184-pounder Jordan Ellingwood, senior 133-pounder Corey Keener and freshman 141-pounder Mason Smith all took fifth place in their respective classes. Ellingwood fell to eventual 184-pound champion Gabe Dean of Cornell. Dean is ranked No. 1 in Intermat’s 184-pound rankings. Mason Smith fell to eventual 141-pound runner up Bryce Meredith, who is ranked No. 7 in Intermat’s poll.

Central Michigan wrestling will be back in action for the Midlands Championships in Evanston, Illinois on Dec 29-30.