Cliff Keen announces marketing deal with Alec Pantaleo

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Updated: July 25, 2022

Cliff Keen Athletic announced July 18 that it entered into a marketing deal with Alec Pantaleo, the 2022 U.S. Open Champ and internationally-ranked Cliff Keen Wrestling Club (CKWC) Wrestler.

Pantaleo was a three-time NCAA All-American and 2018 Big Ten champ from the University of Michigan and joins team Cliff Keen after an impressive couple of years on the international scene. Alec came on the freestyle radar early, earning a Team USA Junior World Freestyle Team berth in 2016. He was also a Team USA U23 World Freestyle Team member in 2019.

Last year, Alec won several gold medals, including the prestigious Pan-Ams in Guatemala City and the Poland Open. He finished the 2021 campaignranked No. 1 in the world at 70 kg, by United World Wrestling (UWW).

“We are very excited to have Alec on Team Cliff Keen! He is an absolute warrior on the mats, and a class act off them. He personifies what we’re all about and is a great role model for other wrestlers. His accomplishments the past couple of years have been impressive. We are very proud of Alec, and I have always been impressed with his character and the way he conducts himself. I think the sky’s the limit for Alec and we will be excited to watch him continue to pursue his goals,” said Tom Keen, president of Cliff Keen Athletic.

Alec will continue to train in freestyle with the Cliff Keen Wrestling Club, based in Ann Arbor, Mich. He will be a prominent fixture in Cliff Keen’s future brand marketing and advertising to the wrestling market. “It’s very rare in life that you find things that resonate with your personal philosophies on success in life. Cliff Keen is the epitome of that. I’m excited to push the limits, and represent a brand that sets a high standard of success both on and off the mat.”

A long-time supporter of amateur wrestling of all disciplines, Cliff Keen Athletic is the world’s leader in wrestling uniforms, equipment, and training apparel.

Pantaleo’s bio and wrestling accomplishments are listed below, courtesy of University of Michigan Athletics, Intermat, and Wikipedia:

Current World Ranking: No. 19 at 70 kg (Freestyle)

Alec has garnered many levels of success in freestyle following his first appearance to the international circuit in 2015. Since then, Alec has finished top-eight at every United States freestyle national-championships and represented the United States overseas in numerous notable sporting events.

2015

Alec finished with runner-up honors at the Junior National Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada.

2016

Alec won the Junior National Championships at 66 kg, beating Princeton’s Matthew Kolodzik in the first place-bout. In the weeks following he made the United States Junior World team at 66 kg by beating Kolodzik two more time times in a best-of-three final bout. Pantaleo went on to represent the United States at the Junior World Championships in Macon, France later that summer. Pantaleo finished with a 10th-place finish at the 2016 Junior World Championships.

2017

Pantaleo placed 5th at the USA Senior National Men’s Freestyle Championships at 70 kg in Las Vegas, Nevada.

2018

Pantaleo placed third at 70 kg at the 2018 Senior National Men’s Freestyle National Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada. He also placed 3rd at the 2018 Senior World Team Trials at 70 kg in Rochester, Minnesota.

2019

Alec won the 70 kg U23 National Championships in Akron, Ohio, and was bestowed the Outstanding Wrestler Award by USA Wrestling following a remarkably dominant performance. Pantaleo posted a perfect 7-0 record and outscored his opponents by a margin of 69-2. Additionally, he secured his spot as a 2019 U23 World Team Member.

Later that year, Pantaleo finished 8th in the world at the U23 World championships in Budapest, Hungary. In the opening round Pantaleo defeated Stefan Tonu of Moldova by a score of 8-0. Domestically, Pantaleo also placed 4th at the 70 kg 2019 Senior National Men’s Freestyle championships in Las Vegas, Nevada, and 8th at 74 kg in Fort Worth, Texas.

2020

Pantaleo won gold at the Cerro Pelado International in Havana, Cuba with a perfect 5-0 record while representing the United States at 70 kg. In the finals Pantaleo beat former United States national champion/ World Team member Reece Humphrey by a score of 7- 2.

2021

Pantaleo earned a 3rd place finish at the inaugural Flowrestling 150-pound 8-man bracket challenge in Austin, Texas. Pantaleo went 2-1 in route to a bronze medal, beating former NCAA national champions Jordan Oliver and Anthony Ashnault. Pantaleo fell to James Green by a score of 4-2 in the semi-finals. Pantaleo claimed the 70 kg title at the Matteo Pellicone International in Rome, Italy in April 2021. Pantaleo beat 2019 World finalist Daulet Niyazbekov of Kazakhstan in the opening round and gold medal match with respective scores of 6-2 and 4-0.

Domestically, Alec took 2nd at the 2021 U.S Senior National Championships while competing at 70 kg. In June 2021, Alec Pantaleo won gold at the 2021 Pan-American Wrestling Championships in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Pantaleo won all three of his matches by technical superiority, beating Carlos Romero Millaqueo from Chile with a score of 12–0 in the gold medal bout.Pantaleo also claimed the 2021 Poland Open championship in Warsaw, Poland. Pantaleo defeated James Green in the final bout by a score of 5-3. In his semi-final bout, Pantaleo defeated three-time World champion and Olympic bronze Medalist Haji Aliyev of Azerbaijan with a score of 6-6.

2022

Pantaleo claimed gold in the U.S. Open National Championships, going undefeated while beating Jordan Oliver in gold-medal match.

University of Michigan Career:

Fifth-Year Senior (2018-19)

  • NCAA All-American, 157 pounds
  • Claimed third place at the NCAA Championships (March 21-23) with a 6-1 record
  • Avenged a loss to North Carolina State’s #5 Hayden Hidlay with a 5-3 decision in the NCAA third-place bout and final collegiate match; also earned a 6-2 decision over Iowa’s #6 Kaleb Young in the consolation semifinals;
  • Took third place at the Big Ten Championships (March 9-10) with a 4-1 mark;
  • Avenged a dual-meet loss to Northwestern’s #3 Ryan Deakin, 10-4, in the Big Ten third-place match; also earned a 5-3 decision over Iowa’s #7 Kaleb Young in the consolation semis;
  • Posted a 6-2 record in Big Ten duals, with notable wins against Purdue’s #12 Griffin Parriott (4-3, Jan. 20), Ohio State’s #6 Ke-Shawn Hayes (3-2, Jan 25) and Nebraska’s #14 John Van Brill (7-2, Feb. 17).

Senior/Junior (2017-18)

  • NCAA All-American, 157 pounds;
  • Claimed fifth place at the NCAA Championships (March 15-17) with a 4-2 record;
  • Defeated Ohio State’s Micah Jordan, 6-4, in the NCAA fifth-place bout; also avenged a loss to Lehigh’s Ian Brown, 12-4, in the first round;
  • Captured the 157-pound title at the Big Ten Championships (March 3-4) with a 3-0 mark;
  • Defeated Ohio State’s Micah Jordan, 3-1, in the Big Ten championship match; also avenged a loss to Wisconsin’s #19 Andrew Crone, 7-3, in the quarterfinals;
  • Posted a 7-2 record in Big Ten duals, with notable wins against Minnesota’s #19 Jake Short (5-2, Jan. 21), Nebraska’s #8 Tyler Berger (9-3, Feb. 2) and Ohio State’s #5 Micah Jordan (12-7, Feb. 11);
  • Captured the 157-pound title at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (Dec. 1-2) with a 5-0 mark;
  • Defeated Ohio State’s #6 Micah Jordan, 10-3, in the CKLV championship bout; also defeated Nebraska’s #4 Tyler Berger, 9-3, in the semifinals.

Junior (2016-17) Redshirted season; did not compete in college season

Sophomore (2015-16)

  • NCAA All-American, 149 pounds;
  • Claimed sixth place at the NCAA Championships (March 17-19) with a 3-3 record; pinned Drexel’s fourth-seeded Matthew Cimato at 3:48 in quarterfinal to secure first All-America honor;
  • Took third place at the Big Ten Championships (March 5-6) with a 4-1 record
  • Avenged an earlier-season loss with two Big Ten wins against Northwestern’s Jason Tsirtsis, including an 8-4 decision in the third-place match;
  • Rolled to a 19-4 technical fall in 3:43 against Virginia Tech’s Sal Mastriani in the National Duals (Feb. 21);
  • Rallied from an early deficit to defeat Central Michigan’s #10 Colin Heffernan, 10-4 (Jan. 22);
  • Earned a 5-3 decision against Ohio State’s Hunter Stieber (Jan. 9)
  • Claimed third place at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (Dec. 4-5) with a 7-1 record;
  • Pinned Kent State’s #9 Mike DePalms (1:47) in the CKLV consolation semis; also earned wins against Boise State’s #18 Geo Martinez (7-4) and Arizona State’s #17 Matt Kraus (7-2);
  • Posted a 3-0 record at the season-opening Northeast Duals (Nov. 15) with a fall and two major decisions.

Freshman (2014-15)

  • NCAA Qualifier; posted a 2-2 record at the NCAA Championships (March 19-21);
  • Claimed fourth place at the Big Ten Championships (March 7-8) with a 3-2 record;
  • Avenged earlier-season loss to Penn State’s Zack Beitz with a 3-1 decision in the Big Ten wrestlebacks;
  • Posted a 7-2 record in Big Ten duals
  • Cruised major decision wins vs. Nebraska’s Justin Arthur (11-3, Feb. 6) and Indiana’s Trevor Moody (14-6, Jan. 25);
  • Opened the conference slate with an 8-4 decision over Minnesota’s Jake Short (Jan. 9)
  • Claimed runner-up honors at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (Dec. 5-6) with a 4-1 record;
  • Defeated Virginia Tech’s #9 Sal Mastriani, 10-3, and Hofstra’s #15 Cody Ruggirello, 8-7, at CKLV;
  • Earned a 10-5 decision against Central Michigan’s Colin Heffernan for first varsity win (Nov. 25);
  • Captured the 149-pound freshman/sophomore title at the Michigan State Open (Nov.2) with a 5-0 record. Earned an 8-1 decision over Findlay’s Ryan Skonieczny in collegiate debut.

Prep & Personal Notes

  • Graduated from Canton High School (2014);
  • Captured a Michigan state title at 135 pounds as a sophomore (2012) and was a two-time state finalist, claiming runner-up honors as a senior (2014);
  • Career prep record of 177-9, including a near-perfect 51-1 mark as a senior;
  • Enrolled in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts; majoring in sociology;
  • Son of Mike and Wendy Pantaleo; father wrestled at Olivet College (1984-87), where he was a two-time All-American;
  • Uncle, Joe Pantaleo, was a two-time NCAA finalist at Michigan (1986-89)
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