Kennedy Wins Title in Vegas

Jimmy Kennedy won the 2008 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational 133-pound title with a 6-4 victory over Boise State's Andrew Hochstrasser.
Jimmy Kennedy won the 2008 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational 133-pound title with a 6-4 victory over Boise State's Andrew Hochstrasser.

Dec. 6, 2008

Final Team Scores and Brackets Get Acrobat Reader
2008 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Photos 

LAS VEGAS - No. 3 and top-seeded Jimmy Kennedy (Ingleside, Ill.) won the 133-pound title at the 27th Annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational with a 6-4 victory over Boise State's eighth-ranked and third-seeded Andrew Hochstrasser to move to 9-0 on the season. Kennedy's victory is his first win in a major collegiate tournament and his third title overall along with two wins at the Missouri Open.

"It's really good to get this win since I wasn't able to finish this tournament last year because I was sick," Kennedy said. "Coming out here, that was kind of in the back of my mind, but I got through the first few matches with everything clicking and I was able to ride that momentum throughout the tournament."

Kennedy shot early against Hochstrasser and came away with a takedown just nine seconds into the bout. Hochstrasser escaped, but Kennedy got another takedown 1:20 into the match. After a Hochstrasser escape, the Illini notched a third two-pointer, but Hochstrasser slithered out to make the score 6-3 in Kennedy's favor after three minutes. Hochstrasser started down in the second and escaped, but neither wrestler managed a point the rest of the period. Kennedy started down in the third and Hochstrasser rode him the entire period but could never manage to turn the Illini junior as Kennedy walked away with a 6-4 victory and a Vegas title.

"Jimmy Kennedy did a great job all weekend," Illinois coach Mark Johnson said. "He continues to prove that if he's not the top guy in the country, he's definitely up there. All weekend, Jimmy and our two true-freshmen, B.J. Futrell and Jordan Blanton, did terrific."

Kennedy matches teammate Mike Poeta's 2007 Las Vegas Invitational title and is Illinois' third placewinner in this year's tournament. Freshman Jordan Blanton took seventh at 184 and sophomore Ryan Prater finished eighth at 141 as the Illini finished in a tie for 13th despite four starters not wrestling.

A number of Illinois grapplers will compete at Sunday's Northern Iowa Open before the Fighting Illini return home on Saturday, Dec. 13, for a double-dual against Findlay and McKendree at 1 p.m. at Huff Hall.

Final Team Scores

1. Nebraska	124.5
2. Cornell	91.0
3. Minnesota	89.0
4. Pittsburgh	85.0
5. Purdue	83.0
13T. Illinois 	64.5
13T. Wisconsin	64.5

Outstanding Wrestler: Jordan Burroughs, Nebraska
Most Falls in Least Time: Ryan Flores, Columbia

125: B.J. Futrell (No. 12 seed), Park Forest, Ill., 12-3
Pigtail: Pinned Joshua Seeley (Dakota Western), 1:37
1st Round: Dec. Taylor Cummings (N.C. State), 7-1
2nd Round: Lost by dec. to #12, 5-seed Nikko Trigas (Ohio State), 3-2
Consolation 2nd Round: Maj. dec. Ryker Vandertoolen (Western Wyoming), 18-6
Consolation 3rd Round: Dec. Michael Martinez (Wyoming), 7-5
Consolation Round of 12: Dec. by #9, 3-seed Marcos Orozco, 8-6
Futrell eliminated

133: #3 Jimmy Kennedy (No. 1 seed), Jr., Ingleside, Ill., 9-0
1st Round: Pinned Tom Kellher (Wisconsin), 2:04
2nd Round: Tech. fall Arsenia Barksdale (Adams State), 17-2, 7:00
Quarterfinals: Maj. dec. 9-seed Cory VomBaur (Wyoming), 19-7
Semifinals: Dec. #16, 4-seed Dave Marble (Bucknell), 6-2
Championship: Dec. #8, 3-seed Andrew Hochstrasser (Boise State), 6-4
Kennedy wins Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational

141: Ryan Prater (No. 10 seed), So., Plainfield, Ill., 8-4
1st Round: Maj. dec. Juan Archuleta (Purdue), 13-4
2nd Round: Maj. dec. #10, 7-seed Mike Thorn (Minnesota), 11-0
Quarterfinals: Lost by tech. fall to #5, 2-seed Kellen Russell (Michigan), 16-1 (5:30)
Consolation Round of 12: Dec. Casey Thome (Army), 11-8
Consolation Quaterfinals: Pinned by 13-seed Chris Diaz (Virginia Tech), 3:33
7th place: Med. forfeit to Filip Novachkov (Cal Poly)
Prater finished in eighth place

149: Troy Tirapelle (No. 10 seed), Jr., Clovis, Calif., 8-4
Pigtail: Dec. Brian Petersen (Minnesota), 9-6
1st Round: Dec. Justin Morris (Western State), 3-2
2nd Round: Pinned by #11, 7-seed Matt Kyler (Army), 2:35
Consolation 2nd Round: Dec. by Justin Morrill (Utah Valley State), 11-6
Tirapelle eliminated

157: Grant Paswall (No. 14 seed), So., Katonah, N.Y., 3-6
1st Round: Tech. fall Noomis Jones (Adams State), 16-0 (5:21)
2nd Round: Dec. by #5, 3-seed J.P. O'Connor (Harvard), 4-0
Consolation 2nd Round: Dec. Steven De La Fuente (Cal State Fullerton), 5-3
Consolation 3rd Round: Pinned by 11-seed Sean Bilodeau (Lehigh), 5:56
Paswall eliminated

165: Joe Barczak, So., Fox Lake, Ill., 5-1
Pigtail: Tech. fall Quinton Godley (N.C. State), 15-0 (6:38)
1st Round: Dec. Jeb Clark (Utah Valley State), 6-3
2nd Round: Dec. by #1, 1-seed Mack Lewnes (Cornell), 12-5
Consolation 2nd Round: Maj. dec. Mike Gorman (Army), 14-2
Consolation 3rd Round: Pinned by Mike Galante (Lehigh), 0:47
Barczak eliminated

184: Jordan Blanton (No. 8 seed), Fr., Richmond, Ill., 11-3
1st Round: Pinned Kamron Jackson (North Idaho), 3:45
2nd Round: Maj. dec. Eric Bugenhagen (Wisconsin), 14-5
Quarterfinals: Dec. by #4, 1-seed Louis Caputo (Harvard), 5-3
Consolation Round of 12: Maj. dec. Evan Hinebauch (Montana State), 13-5
Consolation Quarterfinals: Dec. by Tim Hawkins (Cal State Fullerton), 6-1
7th Place: Dec. 11-seed Zac Thomusseit (Pittsburgh), 7-5
Blanton finished in seventh place

197: #18 Patrick Bond (No. 6 seed), So., Chesapeake, Va., 5-5
1st Round: Dec. Chris McPhall (Minnesota), 6-3
2nd Round: Dec. by Rudi Burtschi (North Idaho), 5-3
Consolation 2nd Round: Pinned by Luke McPeek (New Mexico), 7:36 (SV1)
Bond eliminated