PRIMM, NV - The University at Buffalo wrestling team finished in
23rd place among 42 teams at the 28th Annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas
Invitational at the Star of the Desert Arena. Over the two-day
event, seven Bulls recorded multiple victories in their respective
weight classes. The event concluded on Saturday with John-Martin Cannon recording the Bulls' top individual finish of seventh
place in the 165-pound weight class.
On Saturday, Cannon opened the day by dropping an 8-3 decision to sixth nationally-ranked and 2009 NCAA All-American Andy Rendos of Bucknell.
Following his loss to Rendos, Cannon found himself facing a familiar opponent in the bout for seventh-place, 11th-seed Oscar Huntley of Navy. In Cannon's string of opening upsets on Friday, the sophomore dominated Huntley in a 9-3 decision. On Saturday, the result was the same as Cannon once again dominated the four-time Virginia state placewinner in an 11-5 decision to record a seventh place-finish.
As the lone Bull competing on Saturday, Cannon had a very impressive outing at this year's event. As an unseeded competitor, the sophomore captured back-to-back opening victories over seeded wrestlers on Friday. Cannon opened the day with one of the best wins of his career as he defeated sixth-seed Eren Civan of Columbia, 5-3. Civan captured second place at the 2009 New York State Intercollegiate Championships in the 165-pound weight class.
"John-Martin competed in a field of nearly 15 top-30 wrestlers in his weight class, finishing in seventh. He did a great job for us," said head coach Jim Beichner.
As a team, Buffalo recorded its best finish since 2005. With seven Buffalo wrestlers collecting multiple victories over the two-day event, much could be said about each individual performance. On Friday, the Bulls sent Cannon, Jimmy Hamel and Kevin Smith to the quarterfinal bouts of their respective weight classes.
"We were a little disappointed with many of the results and we think we could have done much better. We see a lot of hope when we look at how many wins we had this year. As a team, we had a lot of significant wins at a lot of different weight classes. There is a lot of hope for our team. I think there are bigger and better things in store for us as long as our wrestlers use this as good experience to get us prepared for the rest of the season," said Beichner.
The Bulls (1-0-1, 0-0 MAC) return to dual action as they travel to Pennsylvania on Sunday, December 13 to face host East Stroudsburg and Drexel at 11:00 am.