Only one CMU wrestler remains undefeated after day one of Cliff Keen

Sophomore Justin Oliver wrestles against junior Colt Cotten during the match against Buffalo University on Sunday, February 7, 2016.

Only No. 3 Justin Oliver (149) remains in championship competition for Central Michigan wrestling after one day of the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. 

Oliver, who took third in last year’s tournament, got to the semifinals after only surrendering five points in the first four matches. 

He won by technical fall, 16-1, in the first round; a 6-0 decision in the Round of 32; an 8-0 major decision; then a convincing 9-4 victory over No. 6 Maruca of ASU.

He’ll be facing off against No. 5 Colton McCrystal of Nebraska on Saturday, Dec. 2 when play resumes. The winner of this match will compete in the finals on Saturday afternoon.

After one day, CMU is ranked seventh with 52 points. Michigan leads the pack with 90, followed by Ohio State with 85. UM still has five wrestlers in the semis heading to Day Two, OSU has six remaining. 


The only other Chippewas to reach the quarterfinals were No. 11 senior C.J. Brucki (174), who fell to Myles Amine of Michigan and No. 5 Jordan Ellingwood (184), who was pinned in 4:26 by No. 13 Taylor Venz of Nebraska.

Brucki’s last win of Friday was a nail-biting upset 9-8 win over No. 6 Womack of Cornell in the Round of 16. 

Before Ellingwood’s upset loss in the quarterfinals, he beat McRill of West Virginia 6-0 and No. 12 Ness of North Carolina 6-2.

No. 9 Mason Smith (141), who’s coming off a recent streak of success, took an early loss to Kanen Storr of Iowa State. His first match ended with a huge 24-4 win by technical fall, followed by another tech fall over Fitzgerald of OSU, 15-0. 

Colin Heffernan (157), one of the team’s veteran leaders, had to forfeit due to injury at 3:14 in the round of 16. This came after a 10-5 decision in the first round and an 8-0 major decision in the Round of 32. 

He also sat out and forfeited his consolation match, signifying this may be a fairly significant injury.

Brucki, Smith, and Ellingwood are all still alive in the consolation bracket, which will resume tomorrow at 9 a.m.


Redshirt freshman Drew Hildebrandt (125) won his first match before losing to No. 9 Mattin of Michigan in the Round of 32. He won in a narrow 1-0 decision in his first consolation match, losing to No. 7 Hayes of Virginia the next round, taking him out of competition. 

Fellow RS freshman Dresden Simon (133) had a couple losses by major decision, his first against No. 1 Micic of Michigan in the first round. He rattled off two big wins – 8-0 and 10-4 – in the consolation bracket before losing 12-4 to Bridges of Wyoming in the Consolation Round of 8 No. 1.

Sophomore Logan Parks (165) took a quick loss, falling to No. 11 De La Riva of CSU-Bakersfield, 6-4. He took two narrow victories to kick off his consolation competition before falling to Deprez of Binghamton 8-2 and ending his weekend. 

Junior Jordan Atienza (197) won by pin in just :52 in his first match, but lost to Honis of Cornell 9-7 in the Round of 32. After a win over May of Michigan State in the consolation bracket, his quick and disappointing weekend ended with a loss to Schultz of Nebraska, 5-4.

After dropping his first match, Redshirt freshman Matt Stencel (HWT) took his first consolation match 12-2, eventually losing by fall after 1:39 to Sweany of Cornell.