Dec. 1, 2011
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
After turning in a strong showing last Saturday's Northeast Duals, the Army wrestling team resumes its tournament slate this weekend (Dec. 2-3), when the Black Knights travel to Las Vegas to compete in the 30th annual Cliff Keen Invitational
National powers Cornell, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio State, Oregon State, Pittsburgh Stanford and Wyoming headline the 34-team field that has been assembled for this year's edition of the prestigious tournament. The event will be contested inside the Las Vegas Convention Center.
All-session passes, which include the championship finals, will be sold for $40 (adults) and $30 (students). Single-session tickets will also be offered with preliminary rounds ($15/$12) and championship finals ($20/$15) being sold separately. There will be no pre-sale of tickets, and all seats are general admission.
Army fell to Arizona State (23-15) and Binghamton (20-13) before pounding Sacred Heart (45-3) at last weekend's Northeast Duals in Troy, N.Y. Freshman Scott Filbert went 3-0 with a pin at 125 pounds to lead the Black Knights. Filbert was the only Army wrestler to post three wins at the event.
The Black Knights have fared well in their first two tournament appearances of the season, placing fourth at the Oklahoma-Gold Classic and finishing seventh at the Body Bar Invitational. Army is competing in the Cliff Keen Invitational for the first time since placing 17th three years ago.
Senior Jimmy Rafferty, who went 2-1 at the Northeast Duals, leads the team with 11 wins this season. The 157-pounder will look to build upon his 11-6 mark this weekend.
Juniors Daniel Young (149 pounds) and Connor Hanafee (141) are tied for second on the team with 10 wins apiece. Young also shares the team lead with four bonus-point victories, having registered two pins and two major decisions already this season. Hanafee, meanwhile, has racked up three bonus-point wins with one pin and a pair of major decisions.
Fellow junior Jordan Thome, who enters the weekend ranked 19th nationally at 133 pounds by InterMat, shows a 9-3 overall record. The returning NCAA qualifier is tied for the team lead with three pins and four bonus-point victories.
Following this weekend's tournament, Army will return to West Point on Thursday, Dec. 8, to host Hofstra in a non-league dual match at Christl Arena. The match, which will serve as Army's final competition of the 2011 calendar year, is set to get under way at 7 p.m.