Nebraska Wrestling Wins Cliff Keen Invite Title

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Isaiah White (165) won his second consecutive individual title and the No. 2 Nebraska wrestling team won their third Cliff Keen Invitational team title in program history on Saturday night at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev. White was one of nine Huskers who placed as NU amassed 118 team points, the most among the 32 schools competing. The team title is Nebraska’s first since 2008; the Huskers also took home the title in 2003. In both seasons, Nebraska went on to record Top-5 finishes at the NCAA Championships.

The day began with semifinals matches. Ridge Lovett (133) was the first of five Huskers to wrestle in the semifinals. Lovett matched up against #8 Montorie Bridges of Wyoming. The Huskers and Cowboys squared off against one another in Lincoln on Nov. 22, but Lovett did not wrestle. Bridges got the best of the NU freshman, defeating him 5-1.

#6 Chad Red Jr. (141) then went up against #1 Luke Pletcher of Ohio State, who placed fourth at the 2019 NCAA Championships. Pletcher did not allow a takedown and won by major decision, 11-3.

#6 Mikey Labriola (174) and #7 Dylan Lydy (Purdue) went to sudden victory tied 1-1, but Lydy scored a takedown to win the match by a final score of 3-1.

#13 Christian Lance was taken down twice by #2 Mason Parris (Michigan) in the first period and ultimately fell 6-1.

#4 Isaiah White (165) advanced to the finals with a clutch takedown against #12 Ethan Smith (Ohio State) in the second tiebreaker period. With the 4-1 victory, White advanced to the Cliff Keen finals for a second consecutive year.

Consolation of 8 (#2)
Alex Thomsen (125) was the first of five Huskers competing in consolation bracket matches on Saturday. Thomsen lead 12-7 after two periods, but #16 Jacob Schwarm (UNI) scored eight near-fall points to finish the match with a flurry and win a 16-12 decision.

#13 Collin Purinton (149) and Arizona State’s Joshua Maruca went back-and-forth their entire match, but it was Purinton who earned a one-point escape with nine seconds remaining to secure a 12-11 victory.

Peyton Robb (157) never trailed against Minnesota’s Carson Brolsma and moved onto the Consolation of 4 round with a 9-7 decision.

#6 Taylor Venz (184) rebounded from his quarterfinal defeat, topping #18 Zach Carlson of South Dakota State, 10-5. Venz scored a takedown eight seconds into the match and added four near-fall points before the first period was over on his way to victory.

#10 Eric Schultz (197) was the fourth Husker to advance to the Consolation of 4 with an 8-4 decision over #18 Tanner Orndorff (Utah Valley). Schultz did not yield a single takedown the duration of the match.

Consolation of 4
Purinton (149) battled against #7 Griffin Parriott (Purdue), but came up short, falling 7-3. Robb (157) faced Fresno State’s Jacob Wright and fell by decision, 4-3.

Venz (184) continued his run through the consolation bracket, recording a pin in three minutes, 40 seconds against #7 Benjamin Darmstadt (Cornell). Schultz (197) followed suit with a victory of his own, defeating Jacob Seely (Northern Colorado), 6-1.

Consolation Semifinals
#6 Chad Red Jr. (141) and #13 Ian Parker (Iowa State) were tied 3-3 heading into the third period but a stalling call and escape gave Parker the 5-3 win.

#5 Mikey Labriola (174) avenged his semifinals loss by scoring a takedown in the sudden victory period to defeat Kimball Bastian (Utah Valley), 7-5.

#6 Taylor Venz (184) and #3 Taylor Lujan (Northern Iowa) squared off in a rematch of their Nov. 24 match that Lujan won by major decision. Venz led 7-1 in the waning seconds of the first period before Lujan stormed back, accumulating four takedowns and emerging with a 12-9 decision.

Seventh-Place Bouts
#13 Collin Purinton (149) came up short against Brock Zacherl (Clarion), dropping a 5-3 decision to finish in eighth place.

Peyton Robb (157) ended his tournament run on a positive note, defeating Jacori Teemer (Arizona State) 5-0 to finish in seventh place.

Fifth-Place Bouts
#6 Chad Red Jr. (141) defeated Michael Blockhus (UNI) by major decision (16-6) to earn a fifth-place finish. The bout marked the third time Red Jr. has defeated the Panther grappler this season.

#6 Taylor Venz (184) avenged his 7-4 quarterfinal loss to #5 Lou DePrez (Binghamton) on Friday, pinning DePrez in one minute and 29 seconds to take home a fifth-place finish on Saturday.

#10 Eric Schultz (197) also placed fifth, using takedowns in each of the first two periods to defeat Greg Bulsak (Clarion), 4-2.

#20 Carter Isley (UNI) scored a takedown with 32 seconds remaining in the third period to break a 1-1 tie and defeat #13 Christian Lance (HWT), 3-1. Lance finished in sixth place in the heavyweight division.

Third-Place Bouts
Ridge Lovett (133) scored a takedown and four near-fall points in the first period and never looked back, defeating Todd Small (Iowa State) 7-1 to secure a third-place finish.

#5 Mikey Labriola (174) scored two takedowns in the third period, including one in the waning seconds to knot the score at five with Devin Skatzka (Minnesota). In sudden victory, Labriola needed only five seconds to record the match-winning takedown and secure a third-place finish.

#4 Isaiah White (165) took on #5 Joshua Shields (Arizona State) in the 165-pound title match on Saturday night. It was a rematch of the 165-pound championship bout at the Journeymen Collegiate Classic on Nov. 10. White won an individual title then and added another on Saturday night. Tied 1-1, White scored a takedown in sudden victory to secure his second consecutive Cliff Keen individual title.

The Huskers will take a two-week break from competition to wrap up the academic semester before returning to action on Dec. 20 when they host the Oregon State Beavers at 6 p.m. in the Devaney Center. The dual meet will be televised by FS1 and tickets are available on

Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational
Dec. 6-7, 2019
Las Vegas, Nev. (Las Vegas Convention Center)

Match Results (rankings from InterMat)
125: Alex Thomsen (0-1 on Saturday, 2-2 overall tournament record) — DNP
Cons. of 8 (#2): #16 Jacob Schwarm (UNI) dec. Alex Thomsen, 16-12 SV

133: Ridge Lovett (2-1 on Saturday, 5-1 overall tournament record) — 3rd Place
Semifinals: #8 Montorie Bridges (Wyoming) dec. Ridge Lovett, 5-1
Cons. Semifinals: Ridge Lovett pinned Mosha Schwartz (Northern Colorado) (2:06)
Third Place Bout: Ridge Lovett dec. Todd Small (Iowa State), 7-1

141: #6 Chad Red Jr. (1-2 on Saturday, 4-2 overall tournament record) — 5th Place
Semifinals: #1 Luke Pletcher (Ohio State) major dec. #6 Chad Red Jr., 11-3
Cons Semifinals: #13 Ian Parker (Iowa State) dec. #6 Chad Red Jr., 5-3
Fifth Place Bout: #6 Chad Red Jr. major dec. Michael Blockhus (UNI), 16-6

149: #13 Collin Purinton (1-2 on Saturday, 3-3 overall tournament record) — 8th Place
Cons. of 8 (#2): #13 Collin Purinton dec. Joshua Maruca (Arizona State), 12-11
Cons. of 4: #7 Griffin Parriott (Purdue) dec. #13 Collin Purinton, 7-3
Seventh Place Bout: Brock Zacherl (Clarion) dec. #13 Collin Purinton, 5-3

157: Peyton Robb (2-1 on Saturday, 4-2 overall tournament record) — 7th Place
Cons. of 8 (#2): Peyton Robb dec. Carson Brolsma (Minnesota), 9-7
Cons. of 4: Jacob Wright (Fresno State) dec. Peyton Robb, 4-3
Seventh Place Bout: Peyton Robb dec. Jacori Teemer (Arizona State), 5-0

165: #4 Isaiah White (2-0 on Saturday, 5-0 overall tournament record) — 1st Place
Semifinals: #4 Isaiah White dec. #12 Ethan Smith (Ohio State), 4-1 TB-2
Finals: #4 Isaiah White dec. #5 Joshua Shields (Arizona State), 3-1 SV

174: #5 Mikey Labriola (2-1 on Saturday, 5-1 overall tournament record) — 3rd Place
Semifinals: #7 Dylan Lydy (Purdue) dec. #5 Mikey Labriola, 3-1 SV-1
Cons. Semifinals: #5 Mikey Labriola dec. Kimball Bastian (Utah Valley), 7-5 SV
Third Place Bout: #5 Mikey Labriola dec. Devin Skatzka (Minnesota), 7-5 SV

184: #6 Taylor Venz (3-1 on Saturday, 5-2 overall tournament record) — 5th Place
Cons. of 8 (#2): #6 Taylor Venz dec. #18 Zach Carlson (South Dakota State), 10-5
Cons. of 4: #6 Taylor Venz pinned #7 Benjamin Darmstadt (Cornell) (3:40)
Cons. Semifinals: #3 Taylor Lujan (Northern Iowa) dec. #6 Taylor Venz, 12-9
Fifth Place Bout: #6 Taylor Venz pinned #5 Lou DePrez (Binghamton) (1:29)

197: #10 Eric Schultz (3-1 on Saturday, 5-2 overall tournament record) — 5th Place
Cons. of 8 (#2): #10 Eric Schultz dec. #18 Tanner Orndorff (Utah Valley), 8-4
Cons. of 4: #10 Eric Schultz dec. Jacob Seely (Northern Colorado), 6-1
Cons. Semifinals: Jake Woodley (Oklahoma) dec. #10 Eric Schultz, 3-2
Fifth Place Bout: #10 Eric Schultz dec. Greg Bulsak (Clarion), 4-2

HWT: #13 Christian Lance (1-2 on Saturday, 4-2 overall tournament record) — 6th Place
Semifinals: #2 Mason Parris (Michigan) dec. #13 Christian Lance, 6-1
Cons. Semifinals: Gannon Gremmel (Iowa State) dec. #13 Christian Lance, 5-2
Fifth Place Bout: #20 Carter Isley (UNI) dec. #13 Christian Lance, 3-1