Falcons Wrap Up Competition at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational
Dec. 5, 2009
PRIMM, Nev. - Five members of the Air Force wrestling team completed action Friday at the annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, being held at the Star of the Desert Arena. Leading the way for the Falcons was senior James Ciccone (Mentor, Ohio), who compiled a 3-2 record in the tournament.
Ciccone dropped a 7-4 decision to Western State's Charlie Pipher in the pigtail rounds at 184 pounds, but started off strong in the consolation bracket by pinning Robert Cooney of Southern Illinois-Edwardsville in a time of 1:21. He then picked up two more victories, registering a 13-3 major decision against Cal Poly's Tyler Holt and a 7-6 decision over Zach Jimenez of San Francisco State. However, his run at the tournament ended with a loss to Nebraska's Josh Ihnen by major decision.
Junior Joseph Stafford (Loomis, Calif.), wrestling at 165 pounds, finished his weekend with an even record. In the opening round, Stafford lost to Ohio State's Colt Sponseller, seeded third in the tournament and ranked eighth in the nation, by technical fall. He responded by pinning Jarrod Purvis of New Mexico Highlands in a time of 4:04, followed by a 10-1 major decision over Western Wyoming's Jared Hammond to advance in the consolation bracket. Stafford ended his tournament with a loss, as he was pinned by Rider's Rob Morrison.
Meanwhile, senior Tyler French (Malta, Mont.) posted one of the biggest upsets of the day, defeating third-seed Nate Lee of Boise State in the opening round at 174 pounds. French was able to score a 4-3 victory over Lee, who is currently ranked seventh in the nation. However, French could not register a victory, dropping a 2-0 decision to Michigan's Justin Zeerip before being pinned by Cal Poly's Ryan DesRoches in the consolation bracket.
The Falcons, who have another group in action today at the FHSU-Bob Smith Open in Hays, Kan., will open their home slate on Friday, Dec. 11, as they host Ohio and Colorado School of Mines in a pair of dual meets, scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. in Clune Arena.