LAS VEGAS — Three Husker wrestlers moved into the semifinal round of the Cliff Keen Invitational on Friday.
Jake Sueflohn (149 pounds), Robert Kokesh (174) and Josh Ihnen (184) won three matches apiece to advance to Saturday’s noon semifinals. The finals will follow later in the afternoon.
Sueflohn was the most pleasant surprise of the day for Nebraska, as he advanced by upsetting Scott Sakaguchi of Oregon State 9-7 in the quarterfinals. Sakaguchi was the tournament’s top seed at 149 pounds and ranked fourth nationally.
Sueflohn, who is ranked 17th, will face 10th-ranked Cole VonOhlen of Air Force in the semifinals.
Kokesh and Ihnen are top seeds in their respective weight classes.
Kokesh overwhelmed his opponents as he recorded a first-period pin in the first round and then won by scores of 17-2 and 17-6 in the next two rounds. Kokesh defeated Wisconsin’s Scott Liegel in the quarterfinals and will face Navy’s Matthew Miller, ranked 15th nationally, in the semifinals.
Ihnen had a closer call in the quarters as he decisioned Arizona State’s Kevin Radford 5-4. Ihnen faces 12th-ranked Jacob Swartz of Boise State in the semifinals.
James Green was the other Husker who came into the invitational as a top seed. But the 157-pounder suffered his first loss of the season when Virginia’s Jedd Moore won a 7-6 decision in the quarterfinals. Green came into the invitational as Nebraska’s only unbeaten wrestler on the season.
At 141, Nebraska’s Ridge Kiley upset Missouri’s Nicholas Hucke, ranked 14th nationally, 4-2 in the first round. Kiley then decisioned North Dakota State’s Mark Erickson before losing 4-1 in the quarterfinals to Oregon State’s Michael Mangrum, who is ranked fourth nationally.
Nebraska is in fifth place in the team race with 50 points. Ohio State leads the 32-team field with 85 points, followed by Missouri with 80.5.
Team scoring: Ohio State 85, Missouri 80.5, Cornell 53.5, Oregon State 53.5, Nebraska 50, Virginia 49, Air Force 42, Boise State 39,5, Wyoming 34.5, Wisconsin 32.5, Northern Iowa 31, Michigan 29, North Dakota State 26, Arizona State 24.5, Navy 23.5, Kent State 23, Cal Poly 21.5, CSU Bakersfield 20.5, American 19.5, West Virginia 18.5, Northern Colorado 17.5, Utah Valley 17, Colorado State 12.5, Nebraska-Kearney 12, Army 10, Harvard 10, North Idaho 10, San Francisco State 9.5, California Baptist 9, Western Wyoming 7.5, Brown 6.5, South Dakota State 6.