Only four top seeds win Vegas championships; Iowa State edged Nebraska and Ohio State for CKLV team title

Updated: December 3, 2023

Photo: Iowa State’s Yonger Bastida, who is wrestling at heavyweight this season after the native of Cuba competed at 197 pounds the past two years, elevated Michigan’s Lucas Davison and eventually scored a winning takedown with nine seconds left to win the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational championship. The ISU junior was one of seven place winners for the Cyclones, who claimed their first CKLV championship since 1996 and fifth all-time. (Sam Janicki photo)

By Mike Finn

LAS VEGAS — The prestigious Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational has historically been known for its many early-season upsets and the 41st annual tournament continued its reputation as only four No. 1 seeds won championships and five other top-seeded college wrestlers failed to make the finals Saturday night at the Westgate Paradise Events Center.

The only top-seeded wrestlers to leave Las Vegas with a championship were Nebraska’s Ridge Lovett (149 pounds) and Peyton Robb (157), NC State’s Kai Orine (133) and Northern Iowa’s Parker Keckeisen (184), while Michigan heavyweight Lucas Davison finished second.

Nebraska’s Peyton Robb (right) won a second straight Cliff Keen Las Vegas title  with a victory over Arizona State’s Jacori Teemer in the 157-pound title Saturday night in Las Vegas. (Sam Janicki photo)

The Wolverine heavyweight fell to Iowa State’s No. 2 seed Yonger Bastida — the junior and native of Cuba who wrestled at 197 pounds in the past two years — who helped the Cyclones claim their first CKLV team championship since 1996 and fifth all-time as ISU ended up with seven place winners and 130.5 points.

Eight different schools won individual championships in the two-day event, including Nebraska, which also stayed close in the team race with six total placewinners and 125.5 points. Meanwhile, Ohio State claimed third place with 123.5 points, thanks to a championship by Jesse Mendez (141 pounds) and placements from five other wrestlers.

Stanford’s Nico Provo (left) ignored his No. 9 seed in Vegas and won the 125-pound championship with a 5-1 decision vs. No. 3 Brett Unger of Cornell. The Cardinal sophomore also beat No. 1 seed Matt Ramos of Purdue in an earlier match. (Sam Janicki photo)

The other individual championships came from Stanford’s No. 9 seed Nico Provo at 125 pounds, Oklahoma State’s No. 3 Izzak Olejnik at 165, South Dakota State’s No. 3 Cade Devos at 174 and NC State’s No. 2 Trent Hidlay at 197.

A total of 20 wrestlers, which were double-digit seeds or unseeded were among the 80 placewinners from this year’s event.

The following is a list of No. 1 seeds who got upset and did not make the finals:

125 – Matt Ramos (Purdue) lost 8-1 to Stanford’s Nico Provo in the quarterfinals, then lost in consy semifinals 8-4 to Nebraska’s Caleb Smith before settling for seventh place.

141 – Lachlan McNeil (North Carolina) lost 4-2 to NC State’s Ryan Jack in the semifinals and ended up in third place.

165 – David Carr (Iowa State) lost 4-3 to Cornell’s Julian Ramirez in the semifinals before coming back to place third with a 3-1 victory over No. 2 seed Cam Amine (Michigan), who lost in the semifinals to Olejnik. Oddly, Carr’s career record is 100-4 … with two of those losses coming in the 2022 and 2023 NCAAs (after he won a national title in 2021) … and the other two have occurred in the CKLV. (He lost to Northwestern’s Ryan Deakin in the 2019-20 season.)

174 – Shane Griffith (Michigan) lost 4-2 in the Round of 16 to Stanford’s unseeded Lorenzo Norman. Griffith, a 2021 NCAA champ for Stanford before transferring this past year to Michigan, came back to win two consolation matches by a technical fall and major decision before medically forfeiting his third wrestleback match.

197 – Tanner Sloan (South Dakota State) lost 8-2 to Maryland’s No. 5 seed Jaxon Smith in the semifinals.  Sloan came back to beat No. 3 seed Jacob Cardenas of Cornell in the third-place match.

WIN Magazine will provide even more in-depth coverage of this year’s CKLV in the next issue, which will be printed Dec. 14. Click here or call 888-305-0606 to subscribe in time for Christmas.

Top-10 Team Scores

Pl. School (Champs/Placewinners) Points
1. Iowa State (1/7) 130.5
2. Nebraska (2/6) 125.5
3. Ohio State (1/6) 123.5
4. NC State (2/6) 115
5. Oregon State (0/5) 98.5
6. Cornell (0/5) 93.5
7. Stanford (1/6) 85.5
8. Michigan (0/5) 81.5
9. Oklahoma State (1/3) 78.5
10. South Dakota State (1/4) 74

Placement Matches (Includes wrestlers’ seeds before each name)

125 pounds

1st – 9. Nico Provo (Stanford) dec. 3. Brett Ungar (Cornell), 5-1

3rd – 4. Caleb Smith (Nebraska) dec. 6. Brandon Kaylor (Oregon State), 4-1 SV

5th – 5. Jore Volk (Wyoming) won by medical forfeit over 2. Michael DeAugustino (Michigan)

7th – 1. Matt Ramos (Purdue) dec. 7. Tanner Jordan (South Dakota State), 7-3

133 pounds

1st – 1. Kai Orine (NC State) major dec. 2. Evan Frost (Iowa State), 12-4

3rd – 6. Nic Bouzakis (Ohio State) dec. 5. Domenic Zaccone (Campbell), 4-2

5th – US Tyler Knox (Stanford) won by medical forfeit over 13. Derrick Cardinal (South Dakota State)

7th – US Julian Farber (Northern Iowa) dec. 12. Ethan Oakley (Appalachian State), 10-9

141 pounds

1st – 3. Jesse Mendez (Ohio State) dec. 4. Ryan Jack (NC State), 5-2

3rd – 1. Lachlan McNeil (North Carolina) dec. 5. Cael Happel (Northern Iowa), 6-3

5th – 10. Tagen Jamison (Oklahoma State) major dec. 2. Brock Hardy (Nebraska), 13-5

7th – 8. Anthony Echemendia (Iowa State) major dec. 6. Vince Cornella (Cornell), 13-3

149 pounds

1st – 1. Ridge Lovett (Nebraska) dec. 3. Caleb Henson (Virginia Tech), 4-3

3rd – 2. Kyle Parco (Arizona State) major dec. 4. Dylan D`Emilio (Ohio State), 11-1

5th – 10. Casey Swiderski (Iowa State) major dec. US Nash Singleton (Oregon State), 13-4

7th – 12. Gabe Willochel (Wyoming) won by medical forfeit over 5. Jackson Arrington (NC State)

157 pounds

1st – 1. Peyton Robb (Nebraska) dec. 2. Jacori Teemer (Arizona State), 6-4

3rd – 5. Ed Scott (NC State) major dec. 3. Bryce Andonian (Virginia Tech), 18-7

5th – 6. Daniel Cardenas (Stanford) dec. 4. Will Lewan (Michigan), 12-10

7th – 10. Paddy Gallagher (Ohio State) dec. 7. Trevor Chumbley (Northwestern), 9-5

165 pounds

1st – 3. Izzak Olejnik (Oklahoma State) dec. 4. Julian Ramirez (Cornell), 4-2

3rd – 1. David Carr (Iowa State) dec. 2. Cameron Amine (Michigan), 3-1

5th – 8. Garrett Thompson (Ohio) pinned 13. Hunter Garvin (Stanford), 5:50

7th – 5. Matthew Olguin (Oregon State) major dec. 10. Brevin Cassella (Binghamton), 13-0

174 pounds

1st – 3. Cade Devos (South Dakota State) dec. 4. Travis Wittlake (Oregon State), 9-7

3rd – 2. Carson Kharchla (Ohio State) dec. 9. Danny Wask (Navy), 10-3

5th – US Sal Perrine (Ohio) dec. 7. Austin Murphy (Campbell), 8-5 SV

7th – US Lorenzo Norman (Stanford) dec. 6. MJ Gaitan (Iowa State), 11-8

184 pounds

1st – 1. Parker Keckeisen (Northern Iowa) major dec. 7. William Feldkamp (Iowa State), 14-4

3rd – 4. Dustin Plott (Oklahoma State) dec. 5. Lenny Pinto (Nebraska), 11-7

5th – 14. Sam Wolf (Air Force) dec. US Jaden Bullock (Michigan), 10-9

7th – 12. Dylan Fishback (NC State) major dec. 9. Sam Fisher (Virginia Tech), 16-4

197 pounds

1st – 2. Trent Hidlay (NC State) dec. 5. Jaxon Smith (Maryland), 5-2

3rd – 1. Tanner Sloan (South Dakota State) dec. 3. Jacob Cardenas (Cornell), 7-2

5th – 6. Silas Allred (Nebraska) dec. US Sonny Sasso (Virginia Tech), 8-5

7th – 7. Nick Stemmet (Stanford) dec. US Joey Novak (Wyoming), 14-7


1st – 2. Yonger Bastida (Iowa State) dec. 1. Lucas Davison (Michigan), 5-3

3rd – 5. Taye Ghadiali (Campbell) major dec. 11. Boone McDermott (Oregon State), 15-6

5th- 3. Grady Griess (Navy) won by medical forfeit over 7. Nick Feldman (Ohio State)

7th – 12. Cory Day Binghamton, NY (Binghamton) won by medical forfeit over 10. Lewis Fernandes (Cornell)