LAS VEGAS – South Dakota State’s Clay Carlson lived up to his top billing at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, winning the 141-pound title in dramatic fashion Saturday afternoon.
Carlson, a junior from Willmar, Minnesota, trailed 6-3 to second-seeded Andrew Alirez of Northern Colorado entering the final period of their championship bout. Carlson worked an escape early in the period to pull to within 6-4 before posting two takedowns in the final minute, the second of which he turned into a pin of Alirez on the edge of the mat with five seconds remaining.
Carlson, undefeated on the season at 10-0, moved into the title bout with a 6-1 decision over fifth-seeded Parker Filius of Purdue earlier in the day.
Two other Jackrabbits advanced to placing matches Saturday. At 174 pounds, Cade DeVos finished fourth after going 1-2 on the day. DeVos dropped a 6-2 decision to top-seeded Mikey Labriola of Nebraska in his first bout of the day, then scored a 5-1 decision over No. 6 Troy Fisher of Northwestern.
In the third-place match, DeVos fell 8-2 to third-seeded Christopher Foca of Cornell.
At heavyweight, A.J. Nevills completed a 4-3 record on the weekend with a sixth-place finish. In Saturday action, Nevills posted wins over Jayden Woodruff of Utah Valley (fall) and Michael McAleavey of The Citadel (decision) before being edged by top-seeded Tate Orndorff of Ohio State in the consolation semifinals.
Nevills lost by fall to Northwestern’s Lucas Davison in the fifth-place match.
Doane Conner/Oppenheim Open
In other action Saturday, three Jackrabbit wrestlers won title and two others reached the finals at the Doane Conner/Oppenheim Open in Crete, Nebraska.
Alek Martin won his second open title in a row, going 5-0 on the day at 149 pounds. Martin won three matches by decision and two by technical fall, outscoring his opponents by a combined 68-16.
Also winning titles were Cael Swensen at 157 pounds and Cody Donnelly at 197 pounds, with both wrestlers posting 4-0 marks.
Runner-up finishes were recorded by 133-pounder Derrick Cardinal and Roman Rogotzke at 184 pounds.
The Jackrabbits are off from competition until traveling to Nebraska for a dual on Dec. 18. Start time is set for 2 p.m. at the Devaney Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.