Iowa State sends three to semifinals after Day 1 of Cliff Keen


Chris Jorgensen/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State’s then-redshirt sophomore Alex Mackall ties up with his opponent during the dual against Missouri on Feb. 24, 2018, in Hilton Coliseum.

Zach Martin

LAS VEGAS – Alex Mackall and the Iowa State wrestling team had a successful first day of the 2019 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.

Mackall (125 pounds), Jarrett Degen (149) and David Carr (157) all won their respective quarterfinal matches by a single point Friday to advance to today’s semifinals.

No one had a more dominant and thrilling day then Mackall, the redshirt junior who was ranked sixth entering the tournament.

After two victories — an 11-4 decision in the first round and a 15-0 over three minute technical fall in the round of 16 — Mackall got tested in the quarters.

Tenth-seed and unranked Jack Thomsen from Nebraska was up 6-3 after the Huskers won a challenge for back points, but Mackall responded with an escape and a late third period takedown to tie the match at six.

Mackall rode out Thomsen for the 7-6 victory as the second seed will now face third-seeded and ninth-ranked Devin Schroder from Purdue.

Degen did the unthinkable in his first pair of bouts, registering a first period takedown. He won 8-2 over conference foe Nathan Moore of Northern Colorado before triumphing 7-4 over Michigan’s Ben Lamantia.

In the quarters, he won 10-9 over 13th-ranked Collin Purinton of Nebraska. He’ll battle Sammy Sasso, the Ohio State freshman who is ranked 12th.

Carr, as the third seed, notched a pair of decision wins then used a third period takedown to edge Oklahoma’s Justin Thomas 6-5. The redshirt freshman gets his biggest test of the year, a date with second seed and second ranked Ryan Deakin from Northwestern.

Ian Parker (141), Marcus Coleman (174), Sam Colbray (184) and Gannon Gremmel (heavyweight), dropped their respective quarterfinals to higher seeded grapplers and fall into the consolation bracket. All will wrestle in tomorrow mornings blood round.

After winning his opening match 9-3, Todd Small was defeated by top-seeded Charles Tucker of Cornell 5-3. Small has ran through the consolation bracket to stay alive for the second day.

The redshirt junior pinned Travis Ford-Melton from Purdue in 4 minutes, 46 seconds then edged South Dakota State’s Zach Price 12-6. Small will now wrestle 11th-seeded Louie Hayes of Virginia.

The Cyclones end the first day in a tie for sixth with Purdue in the team standings with 45.5 points. Nebraska is up by one point over Ohio State, 69-68.

The second day will kick off at 11 a.m. central time Saturday with consolation matches. Semifinals and place matches fifth through eighth will go one hour later. Championship and third place matches will happen 5 p.m. central time.