David Terao headlined the AU wrestling team’s performance at the 31st annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Dec. 1.
“Our guys wrestled well, and David performed to our expectations with his fifth-place finish,” AU wrestling head coach Teague Moore told AU Athletics. “This result proves he can compete with the best in the country.”
Terao has been one of AU’s top grapplers throughout the early portion of 2012 and earned fifth place at 125 pounds over the weekend. The redshirt freshman’s breakthrough victory came when he upset Michigan’s Sean Boyle, who entered the competition ranked 13th in the country.
For his efforts in Las Vegas, Terao was named the AU Student-Athlete of the Week. Terao’s record sits at 12-5, after he finished second at the Brockport/Oklahoma Invitational Nov. 10 and fourth at the Keystone Classic Nov. 18.
AU’s Blake Herrin began his run in the second round and reached the quarterfinals in the heavyweight division after defeating Northern Iowa’s Cody Krumweide, 6-3.
Herrin then squared off with Oregon State’s Chad Hanke and lost against the No. 6-ranked heavyweight in the nation. Herrin lost to California Baptist’s Charles Merrill in his next and final match of the event.
After earning a 10-2 major decision over Herrin, Hanke ended up making it all the way to the finals before picking up his first loss of the season against Missouri’s Dominique Bradley.
Aside from Terao and Herrin, John Boyle, at 141 pounds, was another bright spot for the Eagles. Boyle earned a 10-2 major decision over Arizona State’s Matthew Kraus in the first round, before being sent to the consolation round after losing to Harvard’s Steve Keith, 5-0.
Boyle was able to notch a sudden victory over No. 12 Camryn Jackson of Michigan in the consolation round. Earlier this season, Jackson defeated No. 3 Michael Mangrum of Oregon State.
As a team, AU finished tied for 19th in the 32-team field after recording 29.5 points.
“Overall, we had a good experience,” Moore said. “Our wrestlers faced a number of nationally ranked opponents, and we know what we need to improve upon for our first dual meet on Sunday and the national championships in March.”
Ohio State (124.5 points) edged out Missouri (123.5) for the team championship to win the invitational for the second consecutive year.
The Eagles will host No. 21 Maryland in the Bender Takedown at 7 p.m. The Terrapins defeated the Eagles, 23-14, last season.