Trio of Gophers Finish on Podium in Vegas

Three University of Minnesota wrestlers sat on the podium at the end of the second day of the Cliff Keen Invitational. Ethan Lizak wrestled back and earned a third-place finish at 125, senior Nick Wanzek settled for sixth place while Tommy Thorn claimed seventh place for Minnesota.

After his narrow defeat on day one, Lizak responded with a huge 16-0 tech fall of No. 11 Louie Hayes in his first match of day two. Lizak was able to grab a 14-0 lead by the end of the first period and eventually secured a takedown in the second.

Lizak then earned a spot in the third-place match with a 2:07 pin of No. 19 Jay Schwarm of Northern Iowa. Lizak was on his way to scoring another four-point near fall in the first before it turned into his first pin of the Cliff Keen.

In the third place match, Lizak took down Mattin early to earn a 2-0 lead. He then used two near falls to extend his lead to 8-0 before adding a riding time point to finish the tournament with three straight bonus point wins.

It was a memorable first day for Wanzek in Las Vegas, he completed a 6-0 comeback in the round of 16 and then upset No. 8 Anthony Valencia of Arizona State by a 2-1 decision in the quarters to reach the semifinals. Day two went a little differently for the senior. He fell in the semifinal, and then had to withdraw due to injury and settled for a sixth-place finish.

After eventual runner-up Josh Alber of Northern Iowa tripped up Thorn in the quarterfinals, Thorn took out his frustration on Nicholas Gil of Navy with an 18-2 tech fall. The 18 points is the most Thorn has scored in a match this season. There was no score in the first period of Thorn’s next match against No. 15 Mason Smith, but an odd position eventually did Thorn in, and he was pinned at 2:23 and dropped to the seventh-place match.

Thorn made sure he finished his weekend off on a positive note. He pinned No. 18 Kanen Storr of Iowa State at 2:36, giving him four pins for the weekend.

Minnesota will be back in action on Dec. 10 when they return home to host Fresno State. The dual is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. at Maturi Pavilion.

Whether it is updates during a tournament, recaps or any Minnesota wrestling news, is your home for Gopher Wrestling news. Be sure to follow Gopher Wrestling on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest updates.

2017 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Results

Ethan Lizak (5-1, 3rd Place)
Champ Rnd 1: Bye
Champ Rnd 2: No. 3 Ethan Lizak dec Thayer Atkins, 8-0
Round of 16: No. 3 Ethan Lizak maj dec Kyle Norstrem (Virginia Tech), 13-5
Quarters: No. 12 Taylor LaMont (Utah Valley) dec No. 3 Ethan Lizak, 4-3
Cons: Rnd of 8 (2): No. 3 Ethan Lizak tech fall No. 11 Louie Hayes, 16-0
Cons Semis: No. 3 Ethan Lizak fall (2:07) No. 19 Jay Schwarm (Northern Iowa)
3rd Place: No. 3 Ethan Lizak maj dec No. 18 Drew Mattin (Michigan), 9-0

Steve Polakowski (0-2)
Champ Rnd 1: Bye
Champ Rnd 2: Montorie Bridges (Wyoming) dec Steve Polakokwski, 5-2
Cons Rnd of 16 (1): Ben Thornton (Purdue) maj dec Steve Polakowski, 9-1

Tommy Thorn (4-2, 7th Place)
Champ Rnd 1: No. 8 Tommy Thorn fall (4:54) Chris Deloza (Fresno State)
Champ Rnd 2: No. 8 Tommy Thorn fall (1:39) Jake Thompson (Western Wyoming)
Round of 16: No. 8 Tommy Thorn fall (2:23) Joe Russ (Binghamton)
Quarters: No. 12 Josh Alber (Northern Iowa) dec No. 8 Tommy Thorn, 4-3
Cons Rnd of 8 (2): No. 15 Mason Smith fall (2:23) No. 8 Tommy Thorn
7th Place: No. 8 Tommy Thorn fall (2:36) No. 17 Kanen Storr (Iowa State)

Hunter Marko (0-2)
Champ Rnd 1: No. 9 Justin Oliver (Central Mich) tech fall Hunter Marko, 16-1
Cons Rnd 1: Jacob Macalolooy (Columbia) dec Hunter Marko, 5-1

Jose Champagne (1-2)
Champ Rnd 1: Bye
Champ Rnd 2: Jose Champange dec Jake Tucker (Michigan State), 9-2
Round of 16: No. 12 Alec Pantaleo (Michigan) dec Jose Champagne, 9-4
Cons Rnd of 16 (2): Andrew Shomers (Edinboro) maj dec Jose Champagne, 8-0

Nick Wanzek (4-1, 6th Place)
Champ Rnd 1: No. 9 Nick Wanzek tech fall Luke Wilson (Cal Poly), 21-6
Champ Rnd 2: No. 9 Nick Wanzek dec Nick Kiussis (West Virginia), 7-5
Round of 16: No. 9 Nick Wanzek SV-1 No. 17 Jake Wentzel (Pittsburgh), 9-7
Quarters: No. 9 Nick Wanzek dec No. 8 Anthony Valencia (Arizona State), 2-1
Semis: No. 15 Evan Wick (Wisconsin) dec No. 9 Nick Wanzek, 10-4
Cons Semis: Isaiah White (Nebraska) med No. 9 Nick Wanzek
5th Place: med No. 9 Nick Wanzek

Chris Pfarr (0-2)
Champ Rnd 1: No. 16 Christian Brucki (Central Mich) dec Chris Pfarr, 6-5
Cons Rnd 1: No. 18 Ben Harvey (Army) SV-1 Chris Pfarr, 3-1

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Dylan Anderson (3-2)
Champ Rnd 1: Dylan Anderson dec Zen Ikehara (Air Force), 5-3
Champ Rnd 2: Dylan Anderson maj dec Austin Klient (California Baptist), 15-3
Round of 16: No. 5 Dom Abounader (Michigan) dec Dylan Anderson, 7-4
Cons Rnd of 16 (2): Dylan Anderson dec Brendan McRill, 11-5
Cons Rnd of 8 (1): Christian Lafragola (Brown) dec Dylan Anderson, 9-6

Bobby Steveson (0-2)
Champ Rnd 1: No. 14 Jeric Kasunic (American) dec Bobby Steveson, 2-1
Cons Rnd 1: No. 15 Christian Brunner (Purdue) tech fall Bobby Steveson, 15-0

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