WR to Las Vegas for Prominent Tournament

Nov. 30, 2016

Cliff Keen Las Vegas Wrestling Invitational

Friday-Saturday, Dec. 2-3 / Noon ET
Las Vegas Convention Center / Las Vegas, Nevada

Purdue Notes / Tournament Information / Brackets, Results / Live Video

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - For the second time in as many weeks, the Purdue wrestling team will head west, this time bound for one of the prominent early season tournaments, the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Wrestling Invitational. The two-day, 36-team tournament opens Friday at noon ET from the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The Boilermakers' appearance in the tournament will be their 11th since 2002. In the 10 previous tournaments, Purdue has had 26 grapplers earn a podium finish, including two individual champions. At least one Boilermaker has placed in nine of the 10 years they have participated, Chad Welch being the last with a runner-up performance at 165 pounds last year.

The Boilermakers have already gone up against wrestlers from many of the participating teams this season, including: Army, Boise State, Cal Poly, California Baptist (Division II), Central Michigan, CSU Bakersfield, Eastern Michigan and Stanford. Twenty-eight teams round out the tournament field: Air Force, American, Arizona State, Binghamton, Bucknell, Clarion, Columbia, Cornell, Edinboro, Harvard, Iowa State, Kent State, Michigan, Minnesota, Navy, Nebraska-Kearney (Division II), North Idaho (NJCAA), Northern Colorado, Ohio State, Oregon State, Utah Valley, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Western Wyoming (NJCAA) and Wyoming.

According to Tuesday's InterMat Division I national rankings, potentially 70 ranked wrestlers could be in the tournament field. Half of those ranked wrestlers are among the top 10 at their respective weight, including top-ranked Bo Jordan of Wisconsin (174), Gabe Dean of Cornell (184) and Ohio State's Kyle Snyder (285). The deepest weight class is 174 pounds with nine ranked wrestlers. Although 133 pounds only has four ranked wrestlers, three of them own a spot in the top 10.

Two ranking outlets included Alex Griffin (12-4) among their top-20 wrestlers at 157 pounds on Tuesday. Both TheOpenMat.com and Trackwrestling listed the redshirt senior at No. 18 for the first regular season ranking for any Purdue wrestler.

125Ben ThorntonRS So.12-4Stoddard, Wis.
133Luke WelchRS Jr.10-3Newburgh, Ind.
141Kyle AyersmanRS Sr.7-4Dyer, Ind.
149Nate LimmexRS Fr.8-6Ada, Mich.
157Alex GriffinRS Sr.12-4Lafayette, Ind.
165Dylan LydyRS Fr.10-7Indianapolis, Ind.
174Jacob MorrisseyRS Jr.2-2Oconto Falls, Wis.
184Tanner LyndeRS Sr.7-4Delphi, Ind.
197Christian BrunnerFr.12-5East Dundee, Ill.
285Tyler KralRS Sr.12-4Crown Point, Ind.

Head Coach / Tony Ersland
Head Assistant Coach / Tyrel Todd
Assistant Coach / Kendric Maple
Volunteer Assistant Coach / Jake Sueflohn

• Seven of Alex Griffin's 12 wins this season are by tech fall, which is a career high ... four have been shutouts ... through 16 matches he holds a 130-point scoring advantage (167-37) ... Griffin is 1 of 2 Boilermakers to average over 10 points per match at 10.4.

• Through 16 matches, Griffin has racked up 94 back points and pushed his career total to 246 ... he ranks fifth on the career back points list with his next hurdle being 285 ... he also has a spot on the season record list at a tie for No. 10.

• Luke Welch ranks second behind Griffin in point differential at +66 (141-75) ... he's averaging 10.8 points with 3.8 takedowns per match, both of which are tops on the team ... he also has the most takedowns with a career-best 50 ... career marks have also already been set with five major decisions and six bonus point victories.

• Heavyweight Tyler Kral has already won a career best 12 matches this season with four shutouts ... his four shutouts are tied for most on the team ... the most wins Kral previously had in a season was nine.

• Two first-year starters have surpassed 100 points ... Nate Limmex's 107 total points checks in at No. 4 on the team (7.6 points/match) and at No. 5 is freshman Christian Brunner with 106 (6.2 points/match).

• Ben Thornton has scored first in 13 of his 16 matches, putting 57 points on the board ... his .813 scoring first percentage is the highest on the team ... he is +20 in the opening period.

• Redshirt junior Jacob Morrissey is expected to return to the mat for the first time in nearly a month after suffering an arm injury at the season-opening Eastern Michigan Open.

• Purdue's 10 wrestlers that will be in action in Las Vegas have a combined tournament record of 64-23 ... they have placed 10 times, including a championship performance from Welch (133) at the Roadrunner Open.

• Dylan Lydy found success in Las Vegas in May, capturing All-America honors at the UWW Junior Freestyle National Championships ... Lydy went 5-2 to place eighth at 74 kg ... Thornton also wrestled in the tournament at 60 kg, going 2-2.

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